The latest Census data reveals that Florida has the highest rate of long-term unemployment in the Nation. More than half of unemployed Floridians were on the sidelines at least six months last year. I was fired on July 1st and started working again on December 1st – exactly six months – and I busted my tail every single day to land this job. We can blame the housing market or the oil spill but the reasons aren’t quickly fixed and the situation is CODE RED for many.
There are more than 900,000 unemployed in the Sunshine State and four applicants for every single available job. While the debate rages on about the “real” unemployment numbers we do know that 130,000 jobs were created last year. Employers are still slow to open up jobs, and when they do, the salary being offered is often less – an average of 25% less – than the applicant was last making. Most of these “new” jobs are in low-wage and hourly-wage occupations: retail, restaurants, and theme parks. But some higher paying jobs are starting to open up again.
Healthcare continues to be an industry seeing growth. Tourists are flocking back to Florida. However, Government and Information are industries that continue to lose jobs that pay an average of $40,000. But Construction is bouncing back and we ended 2011 with a net gain of jobs. If you’re in an industry that’s losing jobs I feel your pain. I know people in the media biz that have been told to give up and find a new career!
I tell you this not to discourage you but to lay out the facts and steel you for the fight. Focus on your skills, not your past, because those skills can be applied in many different fields. If you’re beating your head against a wall sending out those resumes only to get NO response remember that WHO you know is going to help you faster than any nameless, faceless job search engine or website. Networking has never been more important. I would NEVER have landed a job as soon as I did without colleagues and friends. You may think you know who your friends are, but I promise you, you WILL KNOW who they are when they help you land your next job and paycheck.
Keep the Faith!
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