ABC7 Virtual Job Fair: John Challenger

February 6, 2012 10:48:00 AM PST
All this week we are helping you, whether you're out of work, know someone out of work or you're looking for a new job.

Our virtual job fair is set up to get you answers to your questions.

The first thing you need to do is go to our Morning Show Facebook page.

All this week, we are having guests who will be on our Facebook page to answer your questions throughout the newscast.

Monday: John Challenger of Challenger, Gray, and Christmas is here to set the stage for the week with an overall look at the job picture and tell us which sectors are the hottest.

Late last week, Challenger, Gray, and Christmas said that employers planned to announce 53,486 jobs, the largest layoff total since September.

But numbers from the federal government Friday showed that 243,000 jobs were added last month and unemployment dropped to 8.3 percent.

Right now, Challenger says, health care and specialty manufacturing are two of the industries in demand

Challenger says 80 percent of jobs are most likely filled by referrals and recruiters. so find companies that fit your skills and go to them.

2012 Job Outlook from John Challenger

-Slow and steady - we think that employers will continue to add workers at a steady pace in 2012, but the monthly employment gains will not make much of a dent in the unemployment rate, which currently stands at 8.5 percent (as of December. January figures will come out Friday).

-Hiring IS happening - it's easy to look at jobs news and conclude that "no one" is hiring. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The latest survey of employers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that non-farm employers hired 4,149,000 new workers in November and there were still 2,819,000 job openings at the end of the month.

-Little government can do - As much as Congress fights about ways to spur job growth, whether its stimulus or tax cuts, there is little they can do. It comes down to demand, which is still soft due to continued weakness in the housing market.

Jobs in Demand
- Energy/Renewable energy
- Health care
- Technology
- Specialty manufacturing

How to kick off the job search

- Get out from behind the computer - Answering online help wanted ads should not be abandoned, but it should consume the least amount of time and energy. Do that at night.

- Uncover the hidden job market - Only a fraction of job openings are found in print or online job ads, maybe as little as 20 percent. The other 80 percent are hidden and will most likely be filled from employee referrals, recruiters, etc. Identify companies in your search area where your skills could be a fit and go to them with resume in hand, whether they are advertising openings or not.

- Network, network, network - Because the largest portion of the job market is hidden, finding a job often comes down to being in the right place at the right time AND knowing the right person. Start with people you know - family, friends, fellow religious worshippers, former work colleagues - but the ultimate goal is to start meeting with people you don't know, but who are in a good position to help your job search.

- Be aggressive - You never want to be a pest, but you have to be aggressive. No one ever found a job by sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring?especially in this market.