Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Consumer Confidence, Wall Street, And GMAC

Well according to the associated press, consumers confidence fell to an all time low this December. This comes on the heels of layoffs and deteriorating markets for housing, stocks, and other investments. Deepening job insecurity and falling asset prices are outweighing any optimism that consumers are having with the falling gas prices. With the unemployment rate hitting a 15 year high at 6.7% in November, economist are still not seeing an end in sight with more expected job losses in the first half of 2009. According to the Conference Board Surveys, there are more people right now that believe that the situation is bad than good.

However, nearing the end of a brutal 2008 Wall Street seems to be pointing to a higher open. With so many traders away for the holidays, the market has actually shown small moves in light volume in recent sessions. Investors though are waiting to see the mood of the holidays shoppers and their reluctance to spend to see what their best bets are. The holiday shopping season has been pretty dismal so far and that really has hurt Wall Street because consumer spending accounts for more than two thirds of the US economic activity.

Elsewhere, the government said that it would provide GMAC Financial Services with $5 billion to the funding arm of General Motors Corp. GMAC will receive this as a part of the $700 billion bank rescue plan that will help the company. The Treasury Department is also lending up to $1 billion to General Motors so that it can do a debt for equity swap with GMAC, which seeking to raise additional capital.

So Portland, with the new year fast approaching what are your thoughts on these current events and how they affect you moving forward? Please tell us what you think in the comments below.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Portland Employment Guide December 29th - January 4th

Click on the image below to view a copy of this week's edition of The Employment Guide in Portland.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Portland Employment Guide December 22nd - December 28th

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Oregonians Hit By Increased Spending On Necessities

Many this year are finding what really brings a recession home is that of the weekly draining of the wallet on necessary items such as food and gas. Americans over the last five years have allotted more and more of their budgets to such basics as shelter, health insurance, and gas. Food is usually the one necessity that takes up the biggest chunk of the household budget. For lower income families this can be the biggest obstacle to overcome. Consumers this year, have seen a rise in prices on nearly all necessities, with food being the most noticeable.

This year the Oregonian compared the prices on 15 different items that that traditionally make up a holiday meal between 2008 and 2003. The US average for a holiday meal in 2003 was $83.01 and in 2008 it is $103.78. That is a nearly a $21 dollar difference in five years! However, the Portland area this year was below average on the inflation of food and good and services. Ultimately though shopper may have a surprisingly lower receipt for their groceries in the Portland area, but they also notice that the prices have gone up.

So Portland, are you braving this winter weather we are having to spend your hard earned money on necessary items such as food, gas, or shelter? Is it harder for you to get out and plan your holiday meal? Let us know in the comments section below.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is The Recession Messing With Your Office Christmas Party?

End of the year celebrations are a good way to boost morale in the office especially when the economy is not in the best shape. However some companies are scaling back or even canceling their Christmas parties. Take Seattle based cruise line Holland America's situation. They were set to have a themed black tie holiday party for 1,800 employees and guests at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, but had to cancel due to the recession. Instead they are being offered a cookie and caroling social and paid time off to volunteer for the food bank network Northwest Harvest.

However, Yahoo is going through with their holiday party despite the announcement that they will slash 1,500 jobs and their CEO Jerry Yang will step down. Yahoo booked their Christmas party several months back to make sure that they could show appreciation for their employees. Even some companies like Knight Capital Group are going all out for their party.

According to the Chicago-based consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas 77% of the companies polled this year are having Christmas parties which is down from 90% in 2007. So with that being said Portland, what are your office Christmas party plans? Is your company pulling out the all the stops or scaling back? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Portland Employment Guide December 15th - December 21st

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

5 Steps To Thrive In This Recession

With today's economy in flux people need all the help they can get until the situation rights itself. Take a look at this article written by Kevin Wheeler on ere.net about 5 steps you can use to thrive in this recession. The article is written with companies in mind and how they should go about hiring when there are fewer and fewer jobs that are available. Here are the steps:

Action Item #1: Get in Shape

You can’t make much progress in building credibility with management until your own function is in good shape. Recruiters who saw the signs of a recession could have begun trimming the fat in their processes months ago. Get aligned with your management team and cut when they cut, slow down when they slow down, and show them you are aware and responsible.

The last several years of high demand for talent have allowed many recruiting functions to increase their headcounts, add tools and services that are not providing a significant return, and get sloppy in measuring efficiency. This is the time to examine every step in your recruiting process and see where you could be more efficient – in other words do more with fewer resources, less time, or less money. What are you spending on job postings? Could that be reduced? Could you switch to using targeted emails or some other lower cost methods? Where are you spending the majority of your budget? How could you reduce that by 10%? 20%? What can you stop doing that really won’t hurt you?

By prioritizing and cutting, refocusing, and rethinking everything you do, you will end up with a much healthier function. You will better weather the recession and be poised to aggressively deal with the boom that will inevitably come.

Action Item #2: Be Nice

Every act of discourtesy to a candidate will eventually be reflected in how they talk about you to other people. Employment brands are built on small acts – not on the big campaigns or websites. A solid brand is the accumulation of years of good deeds, happy candidates, satisfied managers, and authentic communication. Many candidates will be stressed and perhaps out of a job. They need honest feedback and guidance, if possible, on how they present themselves.

Firms that take the extra time to sit down with a candidate or send them an email and let them know their status, possibilities, and even strengths and weaknesses will reap many benefits in a stronger brand.

Action Item #3: Ruthlessly Focus

Target your marketing and sourcing only on the kinds of people you most need. Cut out or reduce all the resources you spend on marginal activities. For example, you might reduce the use of agencies that recruit volume candidates, stretch out the time to fill less critical positions, or try to use some of the new social networking tools to reach out to certain groups of candidates.

Look at internal hiring and see if there isn’t a way to improve the number of employees who move. Talk to management about increasing that number and decrease external hiring.

The goal should be to attract mostly the types of candidates you need and who are qualified. You can use this slower time to experiment on messaging, screening techniques, and on ways to get fewer but better candidates.

Action Item #4: Use Technology – Experiment!

As always, I harp on using technology whenever you can. Social networking tools can help you create and build relationships with candidates. Most are very inexpensive or free.

Experiment with better, more frequent emails to certain candidates on your shortlist; create a newsletter or blog to give interested potential candidates updates on your organization; and experiment with tools such as twitter, broadlook, or checkster.

Action Item #5: Build Relationships

I am more and more convinced that posting job descriptions is an archaic process. While I have no doubt that the practice will live on for a long time, it is not the best, cheapest, or fastest way to find good people.

Using technology to develop relationships and to communicate regularly with a selected and screened pool of candidates is the key to your real success.

In general, you are going to find only a few of the people you need by posting on Monster or any other job board. The most successful recruiters use their network, ask employees (and others) for referrals, and focus on building communities of potential candidates. This is what agencies and headhunters have been doing for decades and it’s why they have been successful.

Learn from product and service marketing how to do a better job. Watch how some leading organizations are using social media to attract and recruit candidates. Begin to generate candidates from relationships formed online. Make it a rule of thumb that if you are generating hundreds of responses to a job posting, you are doing something terribly wrong.

I guarantee that if you do all five of these things in an organization that is well-managed, you will survive this recession and become an example of how to positively deal with stressful times.

So Portland, tell us what your hiring strategies are or your tips for thriving in this recession. Employers and employees are welcome to post their comments in the section below.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Portland Employment Guide December 8th - December 14th

Click on the image below to view a copy of this week's edition of The Employment Guide in Portland.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Oregon's New State Budget Plan And Washington Mutual

Governor Ted Kulongoski revealed four tax increase packages set to boost the economy by adding 30,000 jobs from increased spending on transportation, construction, and health care for the poor. Kulongoski's proposal calls for about $54.17 billion in total spending, which is up about 12.1% from the current two year period. The general fund will be mostly funded by income taxes and would total $15.85 billion which would be a growth rate more in line with inflation.
Kulongoski believes that the budget will help Oregon prosper once the recession finally ends. Though this would hurt elderly and low income residents right now if these increases get approved. Ultimately this would mean that seniors and disabled people could lose state paid aides and access to long term care. Low income residents would no longer be eligible for cash assistance in finding a job. This is a plan that Kulongoski sees moving the state of Oregon forward even though it is not involving everyone.

In other northwest news, Washington Mutual is slashing 3,400 jobs in Seattle as the result of the company's banking operations being sold to JP Morgan Chase & Co. None of the 190 branches in the state of Washington will be closed, but with 80% of the jobs in the Seattle market closing for Washington Mutual it does not help the job market situation. Of the 3,400 jobs that are being terminated in Seattle, 1,500 will be eliminated on January 31st. The 1,900 will be be in transition jobs that will disappear on various dates throughout 2009.

So Portland and the Northwest, tell us your thoughts on the new tax proposal or the situation with Washington Mutual in the comments sections below.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Portland Employment Guide December 1st - December 8th

Click on the image below to view a copy of this week's edition of The Employment Guide in Portland.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hewlett Packard, Temp Workers, And Gas Prices

Hewlett Packard is feeling the hurt as well at its Vancouver campus, with its profits slipping 2% to $2.1 billion in its fourth quarter fiscal. With Hewlett Packard's personal printing campus in downtown Vancouver, they have seen a decline in printer orders which could be bad news. With Imaging and Printing Group's revenue falling 1% to $7.5 billion and Printer unit shipments down 8%, this could mean job cuts at the Vancouver campus.

The temporary help industry is also feeling the hurt when they lost around 1,600 jobs in October and accounted for more than half of the 2,800 jobs lost in the professional and business sector. A sector that rarely has that much downturn in one months time. Temp jobs are usually the first to go in these instances due to companies tightening their budgets in critical times.

Even if gas prices are falling the amount of people expected to travel this Thanksgiving will be at a small decline for the first time since 2002. There is an expected decline of people traveling more than 50 miles from there home, roughly about 1.4% or 600,000 travelers less than last year at Thanksgiving. The slight decrease in people traveling this year could be due to the tough economy which is being felt by everyone.

So Portland tell us what you think about the current economic situation with Hewlett Packard and the temporary job market. Also, Portland if you are going anywhere for Turkey Day let us know in the comments below.

So for those of us at Employment Guide, Healthcareerweb, and Wiser Worker, we wish you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Portland Employment Guide November 24th - December 1st

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Spikes

Oregon's unemployment rate jumped up to 7.3% in October due to the lack of consumer spending. That is 0.9% more than the national average which is 6.5%. Consumers are closing their wallets instead of spending which has led to a loss of 14,100 jobs since September. That is the worst seasonally adjusted monthly decline since February of 1981.

According to this article in the Portland Tribune, there are about 134,096 Oregonians without work and nearly every sector of the states economy has shed jobs last month. Some of these losses were more unexpected than others. With the downturn in employment causing such a scare for the future, it has increased number of first time claims for unemployment insurance. According to John Young, a Portland-area unemployment insurance claim manager,
Unemployment insurance is up 27 percent from a year ago and about 60,000 Oregonians are receiving unemployment benefits, with nearly 1,200 exhausting their 26-week benefits every week.
With that said here are some FAQs about extended benefits (EB) and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) from Oregon.gov.

The Employment Guide strives to do its part everyday, as does Wiser Worker and Healthcareerweb. Times are hard these days, so Portland, tell us how you plan on tackling this crisis in the comments section below.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Portland Employment Guide November 17th - November 24th

Click on the image below to view a copy of this week's edition of The Employment Guide in Portland.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Intel, Starbucks, and the Price of Oil

As stocks rise and fall in these tough economic times, one such stock that hits close to home has got to be Intel. Though its headquarters may be in Santa Clara, California, one of the companies main facilities is located in Hillsboro, Oregon. Intel is the largest employer in the state of Oregon with over 16,000 employees. Here is an article about the situation that Intel faces in today's Oregonian. According to the article, Intel's 4th quarter revenue has been speculated to be 4% behind the 3rd quarter revenue meaning that the selling of laptops and desktops may not be as great. However, there is no mention of how it might effect jobs going forward.

Starbucks is going through the same hard times that Intel is with steep drop in profits during the 4th quarter. The Seattle based company has an optimistic outlook for 2009, but many believe they are still at the mercy of the macroeconomy. Take a look at the article in today's Oregonian that expands on the problem that Starbucks faces going forward. Consumers are concerned about the impending recession that it has hurt our economy not just in coffee but across the board. However, 72% of the people polled say they believe that Obama can turn around our stalling economy.

On a brighter note, oil has dropped for the 17th week and the national average for gasoline is $2.22. With gas prices falling, it has helped many people save a little extra money especially during the holidays. We are the largest consumer of energy in the world and major factor in oil prices. U.S. car sales fell to a 25 year low in October and unemployment rate was at a 14 year high at 6.5%. Governor Ted Kulongoski has purpose a 2 cents per gallon tax increase and higher vehicle fees to help the economy. This plan would basically create more construction jobs and improve transportation in matters such as maintenance and preservation.

So Portland tell us what you think about our situation here locally or nationally in the comment section below.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Portland Employment Guide November 10th - November 17th

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More Retirees Are Re-Entering The Job Market

It appears that more and more retirees are trying to re-enter the job market with this economic downturn that we are experiencing. However, it is easier today that it used to be for those who are in or near retirement. The Oregonian and Business week have compiled a list of mature worker job boards. It just so happens that Wiser Worker is listed there as apart of the ever expanding list of job boards. Here is the description:
-- WiserWorker.com enables baby boomers and older workers to search for job listings by keyword or location and provides career articles and resources plus listings of local job fairs across the country.
With longer lifespans and the desire to remain productive in today's society the older workforce definitely need to make ends meet when social security is not enough. If this trend of mature workers entering the workforce continues they will account for 6.1% of the labor force by 2016. That will be almost twice what they accounted for in 2006, which was 3.6%. To read more interesting facts about the older workforce check out this article in the Oregonian.

Tell us what you think Portland. How is the job hunt for those re-entering the labor force? Let us know in the comments below.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Portland Employment Guide November 3rd - November 10th

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Portland Employment Guide Featured On KGW

If you watched the news last night on KGW channel 8 in Portland, you might have notice the piece on the Employment Guide. If you missed it here it is. Joe Smith and channel 8 were out at the job fair yesterday doing a story on job fairs and the unemployment rate. KGW was nice enough to even provide a newslink to our website.

The job fair was a success with great attendance from both job seekers and employers. Thanks for all those who attended and especially a big thanks to KGW on a job well done. Portland let us know if saw the piece and tell us what you thought.

Portland Job Fair Video

Here is a clip of the Portland Job Fair from October 28th.

Portland let us know what you thought of the job fair and if you have any pictures or video, please share them in the comments below.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Portland Employment Guide October 27th - November 3rd

Click on the image below to view a copy of this week's edition of The Employment Guide in Portland.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Portland Job Fair Is Coming!

With the Portland Job Fair coming up on October 28th, I thought we would take a look at job fair related material. Coming to a job fair can be intimidating to some and to others it is just another day on the job search front.

Either way, it's something we have all experienced. Take a look at this website for tips on job fair success or see our version from the Veteran's Transition Guide to the right of the blog. Quintessential Careers is a website that takes a look at job fair resources and has multiple links to help prepare for job fairs.

Employment Expo has more details on the Portland Job Fair including other job fairs that are going on in the Northwest. It has a list of clients that will be on hand at the job fair. So for those of you who are interested in who is going to be there you can better prepare.

So if you're in the Portland area, click here for more details on the job fair on October 28th from 10am-3pm. Let us know if you are coming to the job fair in the comments section below. Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Portland Employment Guide October 20th-27th

Click on the image below to view a copy of this week's edition of The Employment Guide in Portland.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Banking Industry and The Delay of Retirement

With the pendulum that is our economy, lets take a look at the banking industry this week. George Bush just announced a $250 billion plan for the government to buy shares in banks in hopes of turning around the financial market. The money will be used in recapitolizing nine of the nation's major banks. This has given encouragement to investors, which saw a historic 936 point jump on the Dow Jones industrial average.

This plan comes in just after the announcement of the sale of Wachovia and Washington Mutual. The selling of Wachovia to Wells Fargo probably will not hurt the Portland area as much as the selling of WaMu to JPMorgan Chase. Washington Mutual is a Seattle based company and probably had quite a few people still banking with them. Wells Fargo, another Northwest based bank out of San Francisco has stayed steady during rocky times and never got too wild. So for those of you trying to decide on what bank to invest your money in, you should definitely choose one that is very steady in today's economy.

The financial crisis has also effected those looking to retire earlier. Pensions in the last 15 months have lost an estimated $2 trillion. Those who nearing retirement are realizing that they must work longer just to afford retiring. A new AARP study shows that 1 in 5 workers over the age of 45 have stopped putting money into their 401(k), IRA, and other retirement savings accounts in the past year. Also it shows that 1 in 4 are working longer hours. Wiser Worker has weighed in on this and determined the value of $2 trillion. With the necessity of staying in the workforce longer, here is where you can do your part.

So what do you think Portland about what is going on in the banking industry? Or the prolonged retirement for those that have been ready to retire, but just can't? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Portland Employment Guide October 13th-20th

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

National Customer Service Week October 4th-10th

This week starting October 4th through the 10th is National Customer Service Week. George Bush Sr. and the US Congress brought the international event to the US in 1992 to recognize the importance of customer service and to honor those on the front line of the service industry. For the last 16 years it has been recognized during this week. Take a look at the companies that recognize Customer Service Week.

This years slogan is definitely a good way to approach customer service: One Team One Goal. This is a totally simplified thought on coming together and working towards achieving one goal with customer service. Check out some of the activities you can do that are built around the theme One Team One Goal.

Check out a list of how you and your office can celebrate Customer Service week. These are fun filled activities that you can incorporate into your daily routine this week. These do not even have to just be this week, but can be viewed as good team building functions moving forward.

The Employment Guide and Wiser Worker are ready to celebrate this week. Also take a look at the Customer Service Week website, they definitely knew what colors to pick for their website. Take a look at the latest Customer Service Positions in Portland by clicking here.

To all of those in the Customer Service industry in Portland and the Northwest, we thank you for your hard work!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Portland Employment Guide October 6th-13th

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Not All Bad

With the summer coming to a close and employers doing the most downsizing in six years, the job market does not seem to have a whole lot of hope right now. Even those looking towards retirement have just as big of problems to deal with. On top of that it does not help with the stock market crashing. Things are looking very down right now for our economy. So it is time to look forward to what the future may hold in Portland and how this affects our job market.

The unemployment rate in Portland however is exactly the same as the national average in the United States.So the labor cuts and the economic downturn did not appear to affect Portland worse than any company in general. In fact there are cities that have it worse than we do. And those looking towards retirement are doing more and more web surfing and social networking. This means that they are keeping up and surpassing generational trends that may have held them back. After the stock market crashed yesterday things rebounded and are headed in the right direction.

Life always seems to have a series of checks and balances that when one door closes another opens. So don't always feel that life is out to get you and keep you down in these tough times. Just keep pushing forward and look to the future.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Portland Employment Guide September 29th - October 6th

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Forbes.com Names Portland and 4 Other Northwest Destinations as Top Cities For Young Professionals

If you are a recent graduate or an employer that is looking to hire young professionals in the Northwest, then this is your year! Forbes.com recently listed 5 Northwest cities in their top 40 list. Here is what Forbes had to say about Portland.

21) Portland, OR

In the two measures of graduates and companies, Portland ranks 19th nationally. What pushes it to 22nd has mostly to do with cost of living and salary data. Compared with West Coast cities like Seattle, San Francisco or L.A., Portland is cheap, but nationally it's still above the median-cost level, without the high salaries of other West Coast cities.

And the 4 other Northwest cities:

36) Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City is the nation's leader in job growth and as a result is one of the country's fastest-growing cities. It remains to be seen whether the current economic boom will result in the development of a leading innovative economy that can, in turn, attract graduates from all over the country. The city is at a bit of a disadvantage because it ranks at the bottom of the never-married category.

28) Sacramento, CA

The good news for Sacramento was that it ranked 15th in its ability to attract and hold graduates from our basket of elite schools, suggesting that the Central Valley city is on young professionals' radar. However, none of our 400 best big companies and 200 best small companies call Sacramento home, which dramatically hurt its score.

19) Seattle, WA

Though Seattle is a growing destination for young professionals who have taken advantage of its growing economy, the number of Forbes-tracked companies there has not yet reached the level of critical mass to propel it into our top 15. By graduates alone, Seattle ranks ninth, but when you combine that with its 25th place ranking, it slips to 19.

1) San Francisco, CA

The total number of our tracked graduates and highly rated companies in San Francisco was second only to New York, except that San Francisco is a small fraction of its East Coast rival's size. Adjusted for its population, San Francisco has the highest share of graduates from the class of 1998 and the fourth-highest tally of companies. The exorbitant cost of living hurts, but high salaries and a top-quartile rating for its never-married population place it in the top spot.

For more information on how the rankings are determined, read the full article here. Congratulations to everyone who made the list and look forward to seeing who else makes the list next year.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Portland Employment Guide September 22nd-29th

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Portland Employment Guide September 15th-22nd

Portland Employment Guide September 8th-15th

Portland Employment Guide September 1st-8th