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Posts Tagged ‘momentum’

Well…that is a very good question.  So how about some bullet point answers:

1- The flooding, tornadoes, and other disasters are taking a big toll.  When you are digging out your house, you are not working and the companies/ businesses that produce are idle…problem

2- Federal debt has capital scared to deploy.  Long term fix requires harsh cuts in Medicare,  Social Security etc.  Who has the huevos to do it?  Not anyone I have seen!

3-You can’t get a loan without a major proctology exam along with a severe beating.  No loans, small biz can’t grow.  Simple math.

4-Our major industry..construction is in a depression.  What will take its place?  Better question..what 5 industries can take its place.

5- Healthcare plan on horizon.  Don’t like it?  Then get a waiver if you are big enough.  The rest of us just get the shaft.

6- Wage scales in AZ are on the low end and will continue that way until demand picks up for goods and services.  Can’t buy homes, cars, education, clothes, food and gas on poverty level wages..oh and these folks are not paying taxes.  Local AZ Government receipts are down and the food and sales tax increase is being used to help support the bloated salaries and benefits of top officials…not on your schools system.

Going forward we need more representatives that support the small business person…not necessarily the big biz people…they got their bailout.   Small business creates 75% of the job growth and we are wading through the mud of over regulation, lack of capital availability and a generally poor business realtionship with the folks in Washington D.C.

Muddle through people…we will make it!

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Many people that come to the office still think that we make 100% of the employment decisions.  That’s just  not true.  We advise clients on who to hire…but they make the final decision.  Here are some examples:

1- Applicants are upset/rude that they do not fit the job requirements…then act like an ass as they leave the building.

2- We are not at fault for your past criminal activity, boozing behind the wheel, or horrible work history.  That is your fault.

3-We apologize  that we cannot always call back, comfort, or advise everyone we talk to.  Our limited staff can only address open positions and people who qualify for them.

What I do want to point out is that Staffing Companies like ours, can be a good resource for job-seekers.  Treating these businesses with some respect may land you a position later on….instead of burning a bridge.  If you are wondering why employers hire companies like ours…just see the 3 examples above.

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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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Let’s lay out some facts:

1- Gas prices are going through the roof

2-Transportation costs for goods are increasing, capacity to move goods has shrunk

3- Small business creates 75% of new job growth

4-Raw materials, insurance, workers comp claims, Government regulation has increased

Take these increased costs out of an already strained budget and you have less money to hire people.  In Arizona, we have a car based economy.  Everything you purchase is moved by a vehicle.  When fuel prices go up, who pays the increased cost?  Some magic fairy?  No,  business and the consumer.  The transportation industry has been taking it in the shorts for years, so they decreased their fleets (less trucks) and now we will all compete for a smaller logistics system to move goods…meaning you will pay more.

It will take time for business and consumers to adjust to the new increases in cost.  Only after this happens, will we be able to move the job market forward…for me its looking like next fall.

 

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JOBS THAT IS!

Another week of Birther Rights bills and the new Arizona State official firearm.  Don’t confuse me with the tree huggers, I support gun rights but an official State Gun?  No wonder we only are paying below 40k a year for these people…its 30k too much! The State needs job growth not  ridiculous time wasting endeavors…but now to my point. Last week in the Arizona Republic,  Paul Blue, Phoenix’s Community and Economic Director, wrote an article on the City’s support for business is paying off with new jobs.  The problem was, a lot of these companies are bringing in temp, poverty level positions that are meant to be transition jobs, not career opportunities.  Why is this bad?  It’s not,  but these jobs will not produce an economic gain our State needs,  just the the title of ‘Low Wage Capital of the U.S..”  It is good to see Intel and some others expanding do to the higher wages these companies pay..crow about that, not temp positions.  Below is a copy of the email I sent to Mr. Blue and did not get a response . (holding my breath)

Dear Mr. Blue,

I marvel at how City officials like yourself continue to brag about bringing in employers, such as Amazon.com and pretending this is helping our economic growth.  I am a lifelong resident and owner of a staffing company here in Phoenix.   Most of the employers you mention are temp jobs, that pay below poverty level, have no benefits and add nothing to the tax base of the State.  Traditionally these jobs have been for new workers, college kids or people between jobs.  They are now a main source of jobs for people that have nowhere else to turn,  that is why it is ridiculous to cheer that you are helping the economic engine in Phoenix.  I would argue that these job actually cost us more because of the tax breaks offered and the employees still tied to some type of state aid..like Food stamps, WIC or the health system.  Here are the facts from the ground level:

-Amazon uses a temp service to hire these worker for the season…Xmas, Valentine’s day, Mothers day etc.

-At the end of the assignment, hundreds are let go and come to staffing companies like mine

-These folks tell me the Staffing Co. said the will be hired on but it never happens.

-The people taking these job are making about $11.50/hr..Do the math on a 40 hr week.  Poverty level!

-People in these jobs are the displaced 40-50 year olds that can’t find another job.  This type of employment is not designed for that.

I have nothing against these jobs, I do these types myself..but I am not out telling people I am helping economic growth because that is not accurate.  If you want to see what economic grow is see the New York Times article today http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/business/19hyundai.html .   Hyundai’s Growth helps Alabama Economy, $20 an hour jobs, suppliers and new businesses entering the market area…That is something to brag about.

Sincerely,

ME

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I was recently asked by a few colleagues to comment on the state of employment in Arizona.  Unfortunately, I  have not removed my pom-poms from storage as of yet.  That is not what people want to hear but it is a fact…We are going to be in slow growth employment for the foreseeable future.  Job growth openings for my firm are much improved BUT the climate is totally different from years past.  Employers are more cautious when making commitments and they want to see more candidates than ever before.  AND they only want to see the candidates that have industry specific skills.  If you are a ‘career changer’ you are pretty much out of luck.  Background issues can also derail your job search.  We are not talking about the guy/gal that pistol whipped grandma down at the liquor store they robbed but DUI’s and minor offenses.  There are just too many candidates with zero problems to focus on.   Displaced middle age people (like me) are even having a harder time because middle manager positions were just plain eliminated and are now not needed.  Bad news for retirement planning, keeping your home out of foreclosure and feeding your kids.  What is the solution?  Glad you asked.  Our peeps at the Legislature and Governor’s office must focus on attracting good companies to the area.  NOT spending time on fighting the Feds over trivial matters.   When you have this many fires to put out, you need to focus on the big ones…not the dumpster fire.   We are over paying the double dippers and higher city officials like we were running a casino, not a garage sale.  Going forward the only solutions they will come up with is taxing the smaller minority of people and businesses that are actually making money but that well is running dry also.  So jump on the internet and ask your Reps what the heck they are doing down there to get companies to move here or you can expect huge budget cuts and tax increases to compensate for the their continued foolishness.

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With the new year brings the opportunity to improve your staff or make some timely additions.  Before you run out thinking that Mr./Mrs. Fantastic is just sitting around waiting for your call…we better get a few things straight:

1- You will not find too many “gems” in the vast amount of unemployed people.  When you do..you better act fast.  I spoke to one prospect that sat on resumes for 3 weeks..guess what?  The good ones were gonzo!

2- Speaking of resumes.  Is that all you are using to screen applicants?  Most of these are just a poorly written commercial complete with BS, incomplete dates of employment and phony schooling.  You must actually talk to people to hire the good ones.  Yes…that means good old-fashioned in person interviews.

3- You cannot hire a person that is great at everything!  You must focus on the 3 areas you need to accomplish and hire for those first.  You will have to train the person on other tasks.

4- Training? Yes, you will actually need to spend time developing your team.  Don’t have the time.  Be prepared for a 20% increase in your salary target for that position.

5- Plan ahead.  Good candidates are cheaper now but as the economy improves, they will be harder to locate and you will be left bidding up your salary’s for the Bronze Medal Winner.  You can quote me on that!

How are businesses doing?  We work with over 85 different companies and it has been better so far.  The problem is lack of funding.  You know how I hate the banks, and they are still not helping with capital to small business.  Unless you have a ton of collateral for a loan, you are not going to get any help from them.  When they loosen up…business will get a lot better!

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