There is a lot of hoop-la over the recession. Or coming recession. Or statistical but maybe-not-really recession. But the truth is that the job market is just fine, especially for the post-Baby-Boomer set.
The health of today’s job market is not so much a function of economic indicators as it is a function of demographic trends. There is a huge shortage of employees. Baby Boomers are retiring and Generation X and Y are less able to replace the Baby Boomers than had been anticipated; employers receive fewer hours of work per person from post-Boomers because of their focus on family (Generation X) and entrepreneurship (Generation Y). Due to these factors, the employee shortage is increasing, and only a knock-down-drag-out recession will change this sunshine outlook for employees.
Deloitte says that employees will be in high demand for the next decade, and that Deloitte’s growth strategy requires that they continue to recruit just as heavily now as they were before talk of a recession. And Forbes reporter Tara Weiss finds that other companies are reacting similarly.
Even in areas where the economic downturns are hitting the hardest — like finance, real estate and manufacturing — younger employees are in high demand.
I recently spoke with Ryan Sutton, vice president at the recruiting firm Robert Half, which specializes in the finance sector. Sutton said, “Demand will continue to be strong. It is so pent up over the years that it’s hard to say whether an economic downturn would really affect a company’s ability to catch up.” Polls conducted by Robert Half show that most companies will continue to ramp up hiring in finance.
In terms of real estate, Deloitte reports that almost 60% of people working in this market will be retirement age by 2010. And groups like Boston’s Urban Land Young Leaders see huge potential for careers in this industry, especially in terms of green building. The bottom line in real estate is that the economic problems are about home prices, not jobless claims: Just because your mortgage is exploding doesn’t mean your career is.
Another example is manufacturing, a sector that is officially in a recession, but that doesn’t mean there are no jobs. In fact, the industry is very focused on the shortage of workers and has ramped up recruiting efforts to attract young people via YouTube, MySpace and Facebook. The $70 million Dream It Do It campaign shows an industry in high-gear hiring mode, unfazed by the fears of recession.
So listen to talk of recession, but don’t let it get you down. There are a few precautions you can take in case you get laid off or downsized. But really, don’t decrease your expectations for your job just because housing prices are tanking and hedge fund managers are suffering. Many people are not convinced that the job market will be hugely affected by this activity.
Often times we get for ourselves what we expect from ourselves. So during talk of recession keep your chin up, and your expectations for your career up as well. This might just be a great time for your career.