Ask The HR Guy – Let’s End Some Unemployment FUD

“FUD”, for those not up on their slang, is “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt” (EDIT: along with, apparently, a whole host of other things: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fud ) basically what spreads over the Internet like wildfire every time some jackass from the AP writes a story and doesn’t bother to run it by the HR guy down the hall. To wit…

“Obama says more jobs are going to be cut, OMGWTFBBQLGBT!”

Ok, first, breathe. Relax. Breathe. Relax. Feel better? OK. Good, let me explain what’s going on.

Yes, the economy is technically recovering, overall. But that doesn’t mean certain industries still aren’t facing some pretty tough times. Just as an example, retail took a major hit recently when CIT went into bankruptcy: CIT provides the credit that lets 60% of retailers buy clothes.

But stop and think for a moment about who that’s affecting: retail jobs. In fact, a lot of the jobs that are going to get cut are low paying service positions. That undeniably sucks, especially since it’s going to drive up the unemployment rate among high school dropouts, which is already high and a big part of the reason that the overall rate is just going to get higher. But the actual economic impact isn’t going to be much, because these are people struggling to survive. There’s just not much consumer spending there, so the economic impact is pretty minimal.

Mostly what it means is that if you haven’t already had your office canned food drive, now would be a superb time to start.

“OMG there are fewer job postings on the Internet! OH NOES!”

This was a story that ran today in Boston, and everybody seems to be shitting themselves over it when they shouldn’t.

Notice what the articles actually say: job postings. Not jobs. There’s a big difference between the two.

This isn’t necessarily great news for job hunters, because it means that instead of seeking a job directly, they’re going to have to work their connections even harder and go through agencies more to find the jobs that are out there.

And, yes, I’m sure it means more companies are looking internally or not looking at all at the moment. But that doesn’t mean the job is out of contention or that you can’t get it. It just means you’ll have to work that much harder and keep your ears open.

In short, whenever you hear about the unemployment rate or reduced jobs, read closely. Ask questions. Because it’s a pretty safe bet things aren’t what they seem.

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