December job cuts set record

January 7, 2009 3:26:55 PM PST
Job cuts have set a record in the United States. Last month, employers announced the elimination of more than 166,000 positions. That's the largest on record for December and it is not welcome news for anyone looking for a job. It is estimated there are 1 million more Americans looking for work than this time last year. For those hiring there is a bigger and better pool of applicants from which to choose.

The buzz about a new restaurant in Rosemont is about the jobs.

"I always thought that it's good to have a second job, but not this urgent," said Karine Morkos, job applicant.

"It's definitely more of a challenge right now to find a job. In any capacity. So yes, the fact that they're new and they're in the right location help," said Gina Mocci, job applicant. ¶

The Capital Grille will hire close to 100 people for their February opening. Since their job fair that began on Monday, more than 500 people have applied so far.

"We're absolutely thrilled at the response, and we're excited to kind of have our pick right now of the talent pool," said Jennifer Kane, The Capital Grille managing partner. ¶

The big turn out for employment is a sign of times: 1.2 million jobs were cut in 2008, compared to 2007 when 768,000 people were laid off.

"We're certainly at the depths of this recession. The layoffs are coming not just in banking and automotive, but also in other areas like transportation and airlines and retail with the poor holiday season," said John Challenger, Challenger, Gray and Christmas. ¶

John Challenger is an outplacement research who complied the statistics. He found December had the highest job loss since his firm began tracking layoffs in 1993.

Challenger expects the beginning of this year will also be difficult for job seekers.

"January is usually a period for heavy layoffs. It looks like the first quarter is not going to improve much," said Challenger.

Challenger hopes the president-elect's stimulus package will help and show better employment figures for the second quarter.

For job seekers, experts suggest looking at your skills at finding ways they may adapt to a company that is hiring.