Jan 032013

The holiday season has come to a close and the economic outlook gives concern that the unemployment rate could climb again. Layoff NoticeHere is a list we came across recapping some of the bigger layoffs recently:

  • Abbott Labs (1,900)
  • American Airlines (4,400)
  • Cigna (1,100)
  • Boeing (52,200)
  • Boston Scientific (1,400)
  • Citi Bank (11,000)
  • Citi Group (1,550)
  • Consol Energy (145)
  • Covidien (595)
  • Cummins (1,500)
  • Dana Holding (25,500)
  • DuPont (1,500)
  • Exide Technologies (270)
  • First Energy (400)
  • Hawker Beechcraft (400)
  • Home Depot (7,000)
  • Hostess (15,000)
  • Lockheed Martin (10,000)
  • Major Wind Company (3,000)
  • Medtronic (1,000)
  • Pepsi (8,700)
  • Pfizer (16,300)
  • Sprint Nextel (8,000)
  • St. Jude Medical (300)
  • Stryker (1,170)
  • Wake Forest Baptist Hospital (950)
  • Zimmer (450)
Nov 222012

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Mass Layoffs report for October and things are trending in the wrong direction. Keep an eye on these stats as we move past the holiday season and companies tighten up their purse strings. You can read the entire report here but as always, GigSpire gives you the highlights below. Stay educated!

  • Employers took 1,360 mass layoff actions in October involving 131,173 workers as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month
  • Each mass layoff involved at least 50 workers from a single employer.
  • Mass layoff events in October increased by 44 from September
  • The number of associated initial claims increased by 8,711.
  • In October, 344 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector resulting in 42,946 initial claims.


Nov 162012

18,500 jobs, or close to it, will comes to an end today along with several iconic snack foods. If you haven’t heard the news, Hostess, the makers of the famous Twinkie, Devil Dogs, Wonder Bread and many other popular snack items will shut down operations seeking protection in Federal bankruptcy court.

You can read an article about the issues on almost any news medium, here is a link to CNNMoney’s take on the subject. The most powerful line in the article in our opinion is the number of people who are affected by this move.

“The closing will result in Hostess’ nearly 18,500 workers losing their jobs as the company shuts 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers nationwide. The bakers’ union represents around 5,000.”

Lesson to be learned, no job is safe. Get yourself ready to find work and constantly build your network of contacts.

Nov 092012

Did you know that if you have certain email addresses you can appear outdated? It’s true.

Certain email addresses can be viewed by the general population as an indicator that you are out of touch. Fair or not, it is a reality. And this information is particular important to be aware of when on job search.

Emails that end in “hotmail.com“, “aol.com“, “earthlink.com“, “netscape.com” and many others from the advent of email can very quickly get you discarded as a candidate. Often I hear people say things like:

  • “This person is clearly out of touch.”
  • “Who still uses this email?”
  • “Clearly this person isn’t in touch with today’s world.”

Discrimination is not only limited to the traditional categories of racism, ageism and sexism. Call it “emailism” if you wish but what ever label you put on it, if you are on job search and using one of these kinds of emails you could be jeopardizing your possibilities of getting a job.

Our recommendation is to get an email address that is more “in touch” with today’s world. Consider using gmail, yahoo (yes it is one of the originals but has maintained relevancy for whatever reason) or even get an email that is personalized. Don’t ruin your chances at an interview due to an incorrect but very real perception from employers and recruiters based on your email address!

Nov 072012

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released The Employment Situation report for October of 2012 last week. The unemployment rate was unchanged, holding steady at 7.9% for the month, equating to 12.3 million people. Keep in mind that there is another group of people who are not being counted in this statistic because they have run out of benefits and are no longer being tracked by the BLS. You can read the entire report here but as always, the summary is below.

  • The civilian labor force rose by 578,000 to 155.6 million in October
  • Employment growth has averaged 157,000 per month thus far in 2012, about the same as the average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011

Job Growth

  • Professional and business services added 51,000 jobs in October
    • Services to buildings and dwellings (+13,000)
    • Computer systems design (+7,000)
    • Employment in professional and business services has grown by 1.6 million since its most recent low point in September 2009
  • Health care added 31,000 jobs in October
    • Ambulatory health care services (+25,000)
    • Hospitals (+6,000)
    • Over the past year, employment in health care has risen by 296,000
  • Retail trade added 36,000 jobs in October
    • Motor vehicles and parts dealers (+7,000)
    • Furniture and home furnishings stores (+4,000)
    • Retail trade has added 82,000 jobs over the past 3 months
  • Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up (+28,000)
    • This industry has added 811,000 jobs since a recent low point in January 2010
  • Employment in construction edged up in October
    • The gain was concentrated in specialty trade contractors (+17,000)

Job Losses

  • Mining lost 9,000 jobs in October
    • Most of the decline occurring in support activities for mining
    • Since May of this year, employment in mining has decreased by 17,000

Keep in mind that we may see a decline over the next few months as the holiday season approaches and retail/seasonal hiring ramps up to support the demand. Do not be surprised if we see improvement followed by a drop in employment after the first of the year.

Oct 252012

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Mass Layoffs report this week outlining the trends for Sept. of 2012. You can read the entire report here but the important facts are:

  • Employers took 1,316 mass layoff actions in September involving 122,462 workers
    • Each mass layoff involved at least 50 workers from a single employer.
  • Mass layoff events in September increased by 49 from August
  • In September, 366 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector resulting in 39,748 initial claims.
  • The manufacturing sector accounted for 29 percent of mass layoff events and 34 percent of associated initial claims in the private economy.
    • Within manufacturing, the numbers of mass layoff claimants were highest in transportation equipment and in food.
  • Among the census regions, the South registered the largest number of initial claims due to mass layoffs in September.
  • Among the states, California recorded the highest number of mass layoff initial claims in September, followed by Pennsylvania and New York.
Oct 172012

We get lots of students telling us how difficult it can be to work with recruiters. They don’t understand why calls and emails aren’t returned. Here is some stark reality in the form for a rant from a student and our response. Enjoy!

“Hi GigSpire –
I’m feeling cranky about recruiters today! From my point of view, there is no measurable benefit in working with recruiters at all. I have to be even more of a squeaky wheel to get even a return message, just to hear second-hand about the thoughts of the hiring manager. I send a recruiter an email, and get a reply that indicates I’ll hear from them the next day. Then 3 days go by without a word. When I contact them again, they’ve miraculously *just heard* from the hiring manager… and the message is often that there’s no decision yet. Yes, this is my current experience, but it’s not remotely unique. <sigh>I could get this type of non-information run-around on my own, working directly with the employer. I’m unconvinced that I am being well promoted if this is any indication of their communication habits.

Thank you for being my sounding board. I don’t feel that I can actually tell these recruiters this in the remote chance that there is another position I could jump-through-these-hoops for.

Argh. Later


GigSpire’s Response:

Hi E,

Sorry to hear that you are cranky. You are about to get some information that may not make you feel warm and fuzzy.

Your experience working with recruiters is very common. When working with recruiters and headhunters realize that these people get paid to fill the orders of their clients. It is not their responsibility to market or promote you. You are a commodity, a piece of inventory, that they use to do their business. If their customer wants to purchase someone like you believe me that you will hear from them as they are motivated to close the deal.

It is erroneous to put the responsibility of not getting interviews in the hands of recruiters or headhunters. These organizations are merely channels, much like a job board, to help broadcast your availability. These professionals are aware of opportunities that you have no access to so exposing your candidacy to them is beneficial, but timing is everything. If they don’t have a fit for you, they don’t have a fit for you.

Make sure that you are doing your due diligence in your job search efforts. Ask yourself:

  • Am I attending 1-2 in person networking events per week?
  • Am I having 20 or more conversations with people in the marketplace about the business, the growth trends, and other interesting categories?
  • Am I calling into companies and speaking with peers and would be hiring managers to generate interest and set informational interviews?
  • Am I participating in groups on social media channels and videos, blogs and forums in order to position myself as a subject matter expert?
  • Are you conducting and reaching out to get informational interviews? Remember your goal should be to do 1 to 2 of these every week.
If your answer to the above questions is yes in each category, then something is going wrong and we should talk. I will be happy to talk with you about your efforts and help to redirect, or reposition, your approach.

If your answer to any of the above questions is no, then I hope you understand what you need to do. Remember there is an employer just hoping and praying you are going to walk in the door, help them understand how you will help his or her business and bring you aboard to accomplish those goals.

It’s up to you to walk in the right door.


Oct 092012

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released The Employment Situation report for September of 2012 last week. Overall the news was better than anticipated, at least at the surface. The problem is if you read the report (found here) you will notice there are a significant number of unemployed people not counted for the purpose of this report. Before we give you the summary highlights we want to bring these groups to your attention.

“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)
In September, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 802,000 discouraged workers in September, a decline of 235,000 from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in September had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)”

Just something to keep in mind. Add all these people to the 12+ million more people not included in this report and we still have over 25 MILLION people unemployed.

Here’s what happened in September:

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 7.8 percent in September. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.1 million, decreased by 456,000 in September.

Total employment rose by 873,000

Employment rose in:

  • Health care added 44,000 jobs in ambulatory health care services (+30,000) and hospitals (+8,000). Over the past year, employment in health care has risen by 295,000.
  • Transportation and warehousing increased by 17,000 jobs with gains in transit and ground passenger transportation (+9,000) and in warehousing and storage (+4,000).
  • Employment in financial activities edged up in September (+13,000), reflecting modest job growth in credit intermediation (+6,000) and real estate (+7,000).

Job Losses:

  • Manufacturing employment edged down in September (-16,000) in computer and electronic products (-6,000) and in printing and related activities (-3,000).
Sep 252012

Discouraged Workers Fall off the Reporting Radar

Finding work is tough these days, and it is even tougher for America’s young workforce. We came across a strong article on the Business Insider about the struggles of the 20-30 year old workforce in the US and thought we would pass it along. You can read the whole article here but below are some of the most powerful points:

  • Economists, analyzing government data, estimate about 4 million fewer people are in the labor force than in December 2007, primarily due to a lack of jobs rather than the normal aging of America’s population.
  • If all those so-called discouraged jobseekers had remained in the labor force, August’s jobless rate of 8.1 percent would have been 10.5 percent.
  • The labor force participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one has fallen by an unprecedented 2.5 percentage points since December 2007, slumping to a 31-year low of 63.5 percent.
  • The economy lost 8.7 million jobs in the 2007-09 recession and has so far recouped a little more than half of them.
  • Economists say jobs growth of around 125,000 per month is normally needed just to hold the jobless rate steady.
  • A pace twice that strong would be needed over a sustained period to make progress reducing the unemployment rate.
  • Last month, employers created just 96,000 jobs.
  • Last month, the proportion of 20- to 24-year-olds in the labor force was its lowest since 1972.
  • The 25-54 age group has seen a decline of 1.8 percentage points since December 2007.

Get yourself ready to find a job before you need one!

Sep 202012
Layoff Notice

Lots of ugly news as thousands of people across the country are being pounded by layoffs. Here is a list of the top layoff actions in the news this week.




The Wall Street Journal reports that Bank of America will fire 16,000 people this year.


Siemens announced Tuesday it will layoff 407 of its 660 employees at its Fort Madison wind blade plant according to RadioIowa.com


American Airlines sent out more than 11,000 layoff warning notices, including more than 1,500 in Florida according to CBS Miami


According to Bloomsbert Businessweek, on Tuesday, Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources announced it was immediately closing eight mines — four in West Virginia, three in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania — and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide by early 2013.


Around 150 jobs will be affected as the Faurecia plant in Dexter, MO reorganizes some of its production activities per ABC affiliate KAIT8.COM


In Washington state almost 290 at the Hanford cleanup site will get layoff notices this week according to the Tri-City Herald

So to review the industries that are being hit from the above layoffs:

  • Financial – Bank of America
  • Green Technology – Siemens
  • Transportation – American Airlines
  • Mining / Industrial / Energy – Alpha Natural Resources
  • Manufacturing / Automotive – Faurecia
  • Government – Hanford Cleanup Site

All of these industries are supposed to be in the rebound in today’s economy… Seems to us that these notices are just another reason to get yourself prepared.

Learn the skill of job search, might be you next time.