Of course as you’ve read and heard, the media have been blasting over TV, Radio, net and newsprint that the nation has over 10% unemployment. Some articles break down the numbers for unemployment by race, sex, and age groups, which sometimes reveal interesting information. But they often miss a different cut – some very critical numbers that affect you directly.
Now, a story published by Daily Finance called “Recession Hammers Low-Wage Workers, but Glances Off the Affluent cites findings by researchers at The Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University which tell a truly different story about unemployment numbers. This survey covers the period of October to December 2009. Here’s the deal:
Unemployment numbers for people earning over $150,000 are a low 3.2% and those in the $100,000 to $149,000 are just 4%. The Department of Labor, for years, has always claimed that anything under 5% unemployment is considered “full employment” since many times for personal reasons, transitions, etc. there are always some people not actively seeking a new job or in-between jobs.
The unfortunate fact for lower income earners is that unemployment is extremely high, particularly in the lowest wage brackets – such as under $12,499, where the unemployment rate is a mind numbing 30.8% and those in the range of $12,500 to $20,000 where the unemployment rate is 19.1%. For those in those lower income brackets and in the hardest hit industries – we feel for you.
However, if you’re in the higher income brackets, it’s not as bad as it looks – and may be much better. So next time when you read about unemployment rates, make sure you get the rest of the story before you get downright depressed or decide it is useless to look for a job. Job hunting for those people earning over $100,000 is never easy, and takes time, but the deep recession has really not affected that group significantly compared with normal times. For high income earners, use best-practices in your job search, and remember job hunting is a full time job at your level. And keep your chin up!
As we previously mentioned, the job market in the Bay area has definitely improved, but with a slight glitch: salaries (on an average) have either gone down or not kept up with inflation, as reported by a salary survey of 1,260 Silicon Valley based technology professionals.
A key example is the IT field, where salaries were down 1%. With inflation running about 3%, that’s a loss of 4% in buying power.
The good news is that here in the Silicon Valley we still lead the nation in average IT salaries at $96,299, with the average national salary being $78,845. The major area for salary growth was in Washington, DC (that figures), which had a jump of 4.3% to an average of $89,014.
We got some great comments from clients this month which we’ll use to update the website at some point, like “all the effort and hard work paid off”, “had great confidence walking into the interview room”, and “improved my salary $30,000”. 100% of our December clients who completed their job hunting campaigns checked the box that they would be happy to receive referrals.