BLS Analysis for February 2019 – 6 Articles

Bob Marshall’s February 2019 BLS Analysis for Recruiters; 3/8/19


The 6 February Articles…


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GDP Grows 2.6% in Fourth Quarter; Slows from Third Quarter

Daily News, February 28, 2019


US real gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter, according to the “initial” estimate of GDP growth released today by the US Commerce Department.


Real GDP for the US increased 3.4% in the third quarter.


For the full year, real GDP increased 2.9% in 2018 from the 2017 annual level, up from an increase of 2.2% in 2017.


Due to the recent partial government shutdown, this initial report for the fourth quarter and annual GDP for 2018 replaces the release of the “advance” estimate originally scheduled for Jan. 30 and the second estimate originally scheduled for today.  The fourth-quarter initial estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency.  Updated estimates for the fourth quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on March 28.


A slumping housing market and bigger trade deficit softened up the economy in the final three months of 2018 after a torrid spell of growth in the middle of last year, but consumers and businesses still showed plenty of resilience despite rising headwinds, MarketWatch reported.



Answers to 10 most common job interview questions

Monster, Carole Martin, February 17, 2019


Here are the most commonly asked interview questions you can expect to be asked in your interview and advice on how you can craft effective responses.  Be ready to answer these frequently asked interview questions.


Too many job seekers stumble through interviews as if the questions asked are coming out of left field. But many interview questions are to be expected. Study this list of popular and frequently asked interview questions and answers ahead of time so you’ll be ready to answer them with confidence.


  1. What are your weaknesses?


“What are your weaknesses” is one of the most popular questions interviewers ask. It is also the most dreaded question of all. Handle it by minimizing your weakness and emphasizing your strengths. Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits: “I am always working on improving my communication skills to be a more effective presenter. I recently joined Toastmasters, which I find very helpful.”


  1. Why should we hire you?


Answer “Why should we hire you?” by summarizing your experiences: “With five years’ experience working in the financial industry and my proven record of saving the company money, I could make a big difference in your company. I’m confident I would be a great addition to your team.”


  1. Why do you want to work here?


By asking you, “Why do you want to work here?” the interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you’ve given this some thought and are not sending out resumes just because there is an opening. For example, “I’ve selected key companies whose mission statements are in line with my values, where I know I could be excited about what the company does, and this company is very high on my list of desirable choices.”


  1. What are your goals?


When you’re asked, “What are your goals?” sometimes it’s best to talk about short-term and intermediate goals rather than locking yourself into the distant future. For example, “My immediate goal is to get a job in a growth-oriented company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. I hope to eventually grow into a position of responsibility.”


  1. Why did you leave (or why are you leaving) your job?


If an interviewer asks, “Why did you leave (or why are you leaving) your job?” and you’re unemployed, state your reason for leaving in a positive context: “I managed to survive two rounds of corporate downsizing, but the third round was a 20% reduction in the workforce, which included me.”


If you are employed, focus on what you want in your next job: “After two years, I made the decision to look for a company that is team-focused, where I can add my experience.”


  1. When were you most satisfied in your job?


The interviewer who asks, “When were you most satisfied in your job?” wants to know what motivates you. If you can relate an example of a job or project when you were excited, the interviewer will get an idea of your preferences. “I was very satisfied in my last job, because I worked directly with the customers and their problems; that is an important part of the job for me.”


  1. What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?


Emphasize what makes you unique when you’re asked, “What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?”. This will take an assessment of your experiences, skills and traits. Summarize concisely: “I have a unique combination of strong technical skills, and the ability to build strong customer relationships. This allows me to use my knowledge and break down information to be more user-friendly.”


  1. What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?


It’s time to pull out your old performance appraisals and boss’s quotes to answer the question, “What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?”. This is a great way to brag about yourself through someone else’s words: “My boss has told me that I am the best designer he has ever had. He knows he can rely on me, and he likes my sense of humor.”


  1. What salary are you seeking?


When you’re asked, “What salary are you seeking?” it is to your advantage if the employer tells you the range first. Prepare by knowing the going rate in your area, and your bottom line or walk-away point. One possible answer would be: “I am sure when the time comes, we can agree on a reasonable amount. In what range do you typically pay someone with my background?”


  1. If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?


Don’t be alarmed if you’re asked, “If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?” Interviewers use this type of psychological question to see if you can think quickly. If you answer, “a bunny,” you will make a soft, passive impression. If you answer, “a lion,” you will be seen as aggressive. What type of personality would it take to get the job done? What impression do you want to make?



Third of Americans to Seek New Job This Year

Daily News, February 13, 2019


1 in 3 Americans, 33%, plan to look for a new job this year, according to data from Monster Worldwide Inc.’s 2019 State of the Candidate report.  The survey found the percentage is even higher among 18- to 34-year-olds; 48% in this age category plan to look for a new job this year.


90% of those planning to seek a new job expect to do so within the first 3 months of 2019.  And while 54% believe the process would be easy if they had to look for a new job tomorrow, the remainder believe it would be hard.


The survey also found 75% of respondents have had a job where they didn’t feel they were a good fit, and half have felt this way in two or more jobs.  Among those who have felt like a bad fit at a job, only 14% were able to tell right away when they started — it took weeks for 41% and months for 39%.


Another three-quarters of the Americans surveyed think that video will play a role in job searching in the future.  72% anticipate video in the future job search, but expected uses vary:


*Video call with recruiters/potential employers in the interview process:  36%

*Video résumé:  33%

*Video job description:  27%

*Video application submission:  25%

*Video featuring a recruiter describing a job ad:  22%


80% of respondents agreed a video of a recruiter talking about a role as part of a job ad would help them better understand a job opportunity.  The research also found 32% do not believe that a traditional résumé adequately conveys their value to employers, and this is substantially higher among respondents ages 55 to 65, at 48%.


The online survey was commissioned by Monster among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Americans ages 18 to 65.  The survey was conducted between Dec. 17 and Dec. 27, 2018.



Job Openings Rise to Record High in December

Daily News, February 12, 2019


The number of US job openings rose to a series high in December from November, according to data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The number of hires and separations were little changed.


There were 7,300,000 job openings in December, up 2.4% from November; however, openings increased 29.4% on a year-over-year basis.


Job openings in December increased in a number of industries, led by increases of 88,000 in construction; 84,000 in accommodation and food services; and 79,000 in healthcare and social assistance.  On the flip side, the number of job openings decreased by 37,000 in nondurable goods manufacturing, 32,000 in federal government; and 31,000 in real estate rental and leasing.


The job openings rate — a measure of job openings compared with total employment — was 4.7%, up from 3.7% in December 2017.


MarketWatch reported the number of job openings in the US surged at the end of 2018 to the highest level since the government began keeping track in 2000, reflecting the resilience of an economy that keeps growing despite rising headwinds at home and abroad.  Openings exceeded the 6,500,000 Americans who were officially classified as unemployed during the month.



Companies Hiring for Skill Sets, Not Open Roles: Korn Ferry

Daily News, February 6, 2019


Companies are hiring on the basis of skills versus open positions, according to a survey released by executive search firm Korn Ferry.


Of the talent acquisition professionals surveyed, 57% have hired for a specific skill set even if they didn’t yet have a defined role for that candidate.  And more than three-quarters of respondents, 77%, said they are hiring for roles today that didn’t even exist a year ago.


“While technological advances are creating new roles in areas such as data analytics and artificial intelligence, other trends, such as an enhanced focus on the customer experience journey, are putting a premium on different skill sets,” said Jacob Zabkowicz, Korn Ferry global VP and general manager, recruitment process outsourcing.  “Businesses increasingly understand that the rapid pace of change means that, to thrive in the future, they will need access to skills and expertise that don’t necessarily fit within existing job descriptions.”


The survey also asked, “because of the rate that new roles are evolving, are you finding the need to outsource your recruiting needs to an expert more or less than you did 5 years ago?”  14% said they outsource “much more,” 22% outsource “a bit more” and 36% outsource approximately the same amount.


The global Korn Ferry survey was conducted in November and December 2018 and garnered responses from more than 600 talent acquisition professionals worldwide.



Hiring Rebounds in Tech Sector During January: CompTIA

Daily News, February 4, 2019


Employment momentum in the US tech sector rebounded in January, according to CompTIA’s analysis of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly employment situation report, released Friday.  The nonprofit IT industry association found the tech sector in January added an estimated 11,200 jobs.


IT services, custom software development and computer system design led employment growth, with the services and software category accounting for an estimated 7,000 new hires in the first month of 2019.


CompTIA noted this continues a trend seen throughout much of 2018, where positions in services, software development and systems design accounted for an estimated 77% of all tech jobs gained in the IT sector last year.


New hiring in January was also reported in the categories of data processing, hosting and related services, up by 3,100 jobs; computer and electronic product manufacturing, up 2,700; and other information services, including search portals, up by 400 jobs.  The telecommunications category lost an estimated 2,000 jobs last month.


“In the year ahead, organizations will have new opportunities to build upon their digital infrastructure,” said Tim Herbert, senior VP for research and market intelligence at CompTIA.  “This will require the further shifting in mindset to IT as a strategic imperative.  And, of course, the requisite skills in areas such as architecture, development and data to make it happen.”