Posts Tagged ‘layoffs’

YES…we are getting job growth.  Is it the right kind that will sustain our local economy?  Not yet!…I wish they would include the wage ranges of these created jobs, only then would you be able to compare relevant job growth, to merely  minimum wage job growth.  A big difference since we need someone to pay taxes, buy things and create  new opportunities for business growth.  An interesting article in the New York Times yesterday(http://bit.ly/i6Wy0Q)  goes a long way to illustrate this point.  It basically says, a single person needs an income of about $30k a year in order to survive.  That does not include a Bahamas vacation and a new car every 3 years.  Just the basics and some room for savings growth.  Do you know what the Feds have as the poverty level for the same person?  $10,830.  That is a Grand Canyon size gap in actual cash people need to survive.  From my chair,  I see low wage growth in the $10-15/hr jobs, not $35,00 and above.   It is the higher wage job growth we need to fill in for the construction industry implosion that took thousands of higher paying jobs from the State.   Replacement of these ‘lost jobs’ are the key to improving our local economy, and making our State a better place to live.


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Over the last several weeks,  I have had the opportunity to interview currently employed candidates looking for a new job.  What makes these people different is:

1-They weren’t stupid enough to quit a job before they had another one.

2- Almost all said they were under appreciated at their present company.

Why should you care? Because if you are whipping your employees like a three-legged greyhound in the 8th race, you are going to lose them just when you will need them the most.  I am not saying that you should hand hold everyone, but realize  there are a few individuals you will need in order to grow your business going forward.  Many owners I speak with are not seeing this train coming down the track.  I know of an instance where the owner, after giving an across the board salary cut, tooled into work with a 100 grand classic car…can you say STUPID.

What is a guy/gal to do?  If you have cut salaries or benefits,  let the people know you will be able to restore some of these perks when the economy improves.  Buy your office staff a lunch, give movie tickets, fuel gift cards, Starbucks, or time off.  These are small cost-effective items that go along way to showing you as a human being.   So ask yourself a qustion…If the economy would improve substantially tomorrow…how many employees would you lose to others or even worse…COMPETITORS?

Start a damage control program before it’s too late

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Many people that follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MomentumMike) like when I tweet about what job seekers do in interviews.  If I wasn’t here, I probably would have a hard time believing it.  In a way…it is kind of sad that people really do/say these stupid things.  Oh crap…its hilarious!  Here is a list of 10 things I have been told by job seekers.

1- I am cancelling my interview because I ride a scooter and do not go into Phoenix (kind of limits your job market)

2-Me: What hours are you available for work? Applicant: ALL..but not Sat/sun, Friday PM or at nite + i don’t like the Sun…

3- Applicant cover letter: Hello, I just moved from Illinosi to the Phoenix area and would lovbe to get started working….

4- Applicant just came in with directions on applying ..HIGHLITED, but did not follow them..WTF

5- What does ‘fill out app online and come to the office mean” Apparently, Call about the job, stop by without online app

6- Why did you quit your last job? Applicant: My last boss had a ‘thing’ with being on time…he was an a-hole…

7-Wife hits spouse with application clipboard in office

8- Female applicant wears a tube top, with her breasts resting on my desk (they left a dent)

9- Job applicant: I am here for the welding job. Mike: Did you fill out the application online per instructions? Applicant: NO, you are an A-hole

10-  Guy tried to heat dog urine on way to drug test ( hey, he is having puppies)

Of course, I have a tons more from my seven years in the Staffing Business.  I will be sure to share them along the way so maybe some of these people will wise up.

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 Before we begin, I would like to clarify the importance of the unemployment rate. Most economists (the nerds) will agree that it is a ‘lagging indicator’, meaning it reflects data in the past and does not accurately represent the current situation. Actually we will experience an improvement in the unemployment rate 3-6 months before that improvement is represented in the rate reported. That being said, why do I think the ‘real’ unemployment rate is closer to 20% than to the reported 10%?

1. Many jobs have been reduced to part-time or are less than 40 hours and are not accounted for in the rate.

 2. There are millions of discouraged workers who were banging the pavement and could not find work so they stopped looking.

3. There are still 4-6% of the work force that never has been able to keep a job and I see this number rising as desperation continues.

The danger we face is the number of ‘almost unemployed’. These are the families that are making less because of salary cuts, a cut in hours, or one member of the family is now unemployed. They are teetering on the ability to pay their obligations and one more layoff could force them into bankruptcy. This is a middle class problem that can tip the scales of the whole economy. We have bailed out all the big guys and have done nothing to help small businesses and families prosper. As I have stated in the past, if we do not get credit flowing again, this crisis will have a long, drawn-out recovery.

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Many people are looking for an edge when it comes to the interview process.  Being able to speak in public and in an interview situation can make up for deficits you may have elsewhere.   Have you ever noticed that the person with the best ‘schmoozing skills’ is generally a very good speaker?  Do you have a great resume but have a hard time making your point?  Have you ever listened to yourself on tape and wondered who the person was?


You can attend a few meetings free and the dues are really affordable.  There are many clubs in Arizona, so you can try a few out and decide the club that fits you best.

During the weekly meeting you will have a chance to schedule a prepared speech, evaluate speeches done by others and participate in impromptu sessions called table topics that will sharpen and improve your speaking ability.   The atmosphere is very supportive and is designed to improve your abilities in front of an audience.  Correcting these mistakes in speech at a friendly meeting

If you want more information about my club, call Stuart Dille at the ARIZONA SMALL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION 602-265-4563 OR sdille@asba.com

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I have some opinions on what the real unemployment rate is:  I think it is ten pecent with the percentages broken down like this:

-Four percent  are unemployable and always looking for work. These are the homeless, etc….

-Three percent are the workers people wanted to fire for years but because of past low unemployment, pulled the trigger now.

-Three percent are the workers companies had to layoff but wanted to keep.


So the real unemployment number is three percent .  Now you have to wade through the seven ercent , which is a large task.  That is why staffing and recruiting companies still have work because no one has the time and resources to commit to the screening process.  A recent Internet job posting we had generated 1200 resumes, for a job that clearly stated NO RESUMES.  That is how you screen out candidates.  We simply ask applicants  to come to the office to interview.  By the way, this was not a low paying job, so it is not just  blue collar workers who cannot follow directions.

We also have been given a recent order for temps and after carefully screening applicants, two out of four failed to show up for the first day. I guess reruns of Andy Griffith had a higher priority.   Another posting produced three candidates and two failed a drug test for ‘hippy lettuce’.  Can you believe that?

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