2011 Job Market Outlook

Posted on January 13, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The economic climate stemming from the financial industry crisis that began in December 2007 has been tough. Financial institutions, accused by Congress of taking too much risk when underwriting home mortgages—despite the significant leverage used by government agencies and regulatory bodies—responded by tightening their lending parameters for corporate and commercial clients. In addition, poor consumer spending seriously eroded profits of many companies, drastically reducing shareholder returns.

Economic Impact on Jobs
These two forces combined to stall business growth and job creation for the past two plus years, increasing the unemployment rate from about 5% to more than 10% today. For job seekers, the pool of available positions has shrunk even more. Consider that in a vibrant economy, there is much upward mobility. As new business launch or existing companies expand, they need good people to step in and run their operations. In addition, as businesses grow and profits soar, retirement and 401(k) account balances increase, prompting senior-level personnel to retire, or at least to go into some type of semi-retirement status, creating even more opportunity for upward advancement.

With housing values declining or, at best, flat-lining, and retirement accounts losing value, older workers have been forced to hold off retirement plans. Some people that had retired early jumped back into the workforce as well.

2011 Outlook
The big question now is what happens next. Many economists foresee only slight improvements to the job market in 2011. Some predict that unemployment will not fall below 10% until late in the year, if it all. However, much depends on the actions of the 112th United States Congress, which convenes in early January. Tax policy, particularly those policies that address corporate taxation rates, can have the quickest, most dramatic, and longest lasting impact to the job forecast. A reduction in the corporate tax structure signals to companies and investors alike that it is time to invest in and plan for business expansion and new start ups.

How Does This Impact My Job Search
When conducting a job search in this type of market, you need to plan for stiff competition. It is important to develop a good strategy for your search and begin your efforts by putting together a winning resume. Contact a resume professional to help you prepare a targeted resume document that will address the needs of both HR personnel and hiring managers.

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6 Responses to “2011 Job Market Outlook”

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I have recently been searching for a steady full time job and I have never come across anything like this in history. In past years I have always found something immediately because of my work ethic.

Competitiion is stiff but what is worse there is no job market. If you go to any Craig’s list, which I feel is the pulse of the working Joe people are only offering part time part time positions. Many are looking for people to work only 2 hours a day, be top notch or they are fishing to hire in the next couple of months.

I know times are tough but there are state labor laws for a reason. I myself have been trying to work with my current employer because I know business is slow but I’m not making it. Going in 4 days a week for 2 hours each day is just not worth it.

I now have two part time-part time jobs giving me about 16 to 20 hours a week worth of work. It’s not getting any better.

Hi Deborah,

The strength or weakness of the job market as it impacts an individual has a lot to do with where you are geographically and what industry and position type you are searching in. I’m not sure where you are at, but in my experience, there is some kind of job market there. However, it is possible that, being very tight, companies are not going through the same channels they did a few years back to hire, like Craig’s List. If there are only a limited number of openings for full-time roles, they can easily fill those slots by hiring candidates that have been recommended to them or have come through employee referrals. I suggest using your network of friends, neighbors, former co-workers, community acquaintences, etc. to find out about those opportunities that will never make it onto Craig’s List or any other job posting site.

Hope this help.



Thank you for your words of encouragement. Geographically I am in the Central Coast of California. For 15 years I had my own landscape design company but due to the economy my services are really not needed. I’ve had to go back to my roots of being in the food industry or retail.

I have word out to everyone I’m looking for steady emploment aside from my efforts on Craig’s list, and several other job websites. I send out two to three resumes a day.

I made more when I was twenty than I do now at the age of 49. The one job I would be better off to have been laid off than working 2 hours a day, which I know is illegal in the state of California but what am I to do?


All you can do is to keep at it. If your goal is to one day soon get back into landscape design, I recommend using the network you had to see if there are related positions (even in retail or the services side of things) that will have you in the industry when things turn around again–which is hopefully very soon!



I’m hanging in there. The second part time job I have just taken on is a plant merchandiser for a wholesale grower. I’ve worked two 4 hours shifts so far (2 stores) and they are already talking about increasing my region with 2 more. It’s a start. My only fear though is my regional manager told me upon hire that they maybe bought out coming March/April. I just have to prove myself so I don’t get cut in the buy out. Hopefully since it will be spring when nurseries are the busiest they will keep me on.

thank you again for your support.

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