Although the past few months have been great for job creation, the March Jobs Report didn’t tell the same story. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. added 88,000 jobs in March (although the unemployment rate did drop to 7.6 percent). Compared to last month, U.S. employers added 236,000 jobs, which is up from 119,000 in January.
One of the big reasons the actual unemployment rate dropped, and the number alone doesn’t reflect this, is a result of the number of people who simply stopped looking--they are not counted as “unemployed.” As more people stop looking, that will undoubtedly lower the unemployment number--but there’s still more work to be done until we’re in the clear.
So, what can the latest job reports teach you if you are looking for something new? Here are few ways job seekers can capitalize on the these reports:
Look into hiring industries
If you’re looking for a new job, it would be in your best interest to find one in an expanding industry. For instance, professional and business services added 51,000 jobs in March. In addition, the healthcare industry saw continued job growth with a gain of 23,000. Construction, leisure, and hospitality also added jobs.
Tip: If you look into different industries, be sure to highlight your transferable skills. Typically, if you aren’t seasoned in a particular industry, you may not be as successful as other job seekers with more experience. However, if you show how your skills can benefit the job and the industry, you’ll have a much better chance at starting a conversation, getting an interview, and landing the job.
Make a move
Ultimately, you may have to make a move in order to find a job. The advantage of moving, particularly to a major metro area, is the fact that many areas have seen job growth over the past few months. While relocating for a job can be intimidating, it’s often necessary. Otherwise, you could be stuck in a rut, or worse, fall behind in your career.
Tip: Do your research and find out which city will be best for you. Although big metropolises like New York City or Los Angeles may seem attractive, they may not work best for you, your industry, or your lifestyle. Research job openings in your industry in different locations, talk to your network, and understand what you’ll be losing and gaining by moving to any given city. That way, there are no surprises--and you’ll be able find a job you love in an area you’ll be satisfied with as well.
Evaluate your options
Typically, we look for full-time positions that offer benefits or perks. However, in today’s economy, we may not always have those options. So, it’s important to evaluate your options and open your mind to alternative opportunities.
For instance, the March Jobs Report indicated average hourly earnings actually increased over the past 12 months. Although hourly or temporary work may not be in your plan, the fact is, many industries are seeing huge gains with these types of jobs -- and evaluating these options can actually help you grow as a professional.
Tip: Part-time or hourly work gives you the chance to try out more than one job. If you have the chance -- and the time -- try taking on multiple gigs. When you do so, you’ll be able to figure out what you like, what you’d rather avoid, and what can positively contribute to your career.
As the March Jobs Report indicated, landing a job in this economy may not be the easiest thing to do. However, as a job seeker, you just have to look into hiring industries, relocate if applicable, and evaluate different options. When you do so, you’ll be on the fast track to landing fulfilling opportunities and growing your career.
What do you think? What are some other ways to capitalize on the March Jobs Report?
Sudy Bharadwaj is a co-founder and the CEO ofJackalope Jobs, a platform that helps job seekers find a job via their social networks. Learn how Sudy and Jackalope Jobs obsess over job seekers by connecting with them onFacebook,LinkedIn, and Twitter.