In terms of the employment market, I wanted to share what we have seen so far.
Overall, as a company, we saw a very difficult 2009, culminating with a low point in demand during the middle part of the year. This was followed by a slight pick up, at the very end of Q3 which didn't materialize into a significant recovery. Q4 has been fairly flat with some signs of improvement and with many employers still pushing off hiring into 2010.
While history has taught my firm that simply changing the numbers on a calendar from one year to the next doesn't translate into a recovery, there are many signs pointing towards a 2010 recovery.
Specifically, three items stand out: Job Losses -- In November, employers trimmed the fewest jobs since the beginning of the recession and the unemployment rate posted the bigget one-month decline in more than 3 years. In October the average work week increased to 33.2 hours versus 33 hours. While this doesn't sound like much, it is important because it is a sign that employers that cut the hours of their workers were starting to restore these hours. This is the biggest jump in 3 years. Temporary worker increase -- There was a monthly increase of 52,000 temporary workers, which is the biggest jump in 5 years. Employers will hire temporary workers back first before hiring full time employees. While 200,000 - 300,000 added monthly temporary workers are needed for a real improvement, we need to walk before we can run. According to the CEO of Adecco ( world’s largest staffing firm), these levels should be reached in Q2 2010.
Click here for a poll that shows what others are thinking about 2010. http://polls.linkedin.com/p/68967/ydftb