The U.S. economy added 155,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate remained at 7.8%. Even though the economy is growing, progress is slow. 1.8 million jobs were created in 2012. There are 12.2 million unemployed workers. When you do the math, many more jobs are needed to help grow the job market.
The number being created isn't enough to make a dent in the number of unemployed workers. That's one of the reasons federal unemployment benefits were extended through 2013. Simply put, we need a lot more jobs in 2013.
"The economy is improving, but we're still not creating jobs fast enough for the 12.2 million unemployed looking to get back to work," said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. "Especially if you're long-term unemployed, finding a job remains about as difficult as ever."
Where are the jobs that were created last year? Simply Hired's Employment Outlook Report for January 2013 reports:
- 2012 closed with nationwide job openings up 10.5% year-over-year; December saw job openings increase by 3.9%.
- Job openings increased in all 50 major metros in December. Cincinnati (9.4%), Austin (7.7%), Salt Lake City (7.4%) and St. Louis (6.2%) experienced the largest gains.
- The non-profit (43.5%) and real estate (11.7%) industries experienced the most growth in December, while the military (-15.3%) and retail (-12.9%) industries faced the largest declines.
When you look at the data, the growth is positive, though gradual. James Beriker, president and CEO of Simply Hired, says "It is very exciting to see 2012 come to a close with job openings up 10 percent year-over-year. Over the last year, we've seen job openings consistently climb while the ratio of unemployed persons to each job opening has held steady. These factors indicate that 2013 is setting up to be another year of positive and steady growth."
Hopefully, as the economy continues to improve, job growth will also pick up. Otherwise, it will continue to be challenging to find a new job, especially for the long-term unemployed.
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