In case you missed it: Sept. 16
Since then, there has been much discussion over whether the tax cuts and credits recommended to encourage hiring (especially of the long-term unemployed), infrastructure investments, school modernizations, and other initiatives proposed by the president will have a positive impact on employment in this country.
Only time will tell, but the one thing we can be sure of is that, especially as the 2012 presidential election approaches, the debate will rage on.
What we can also say for certain is that the economic turmoil of the past few years has had an impact on workforce composition. Studies continue to surface demonstrating an increase in the use of independent contractors, even as employment of full-time workers suffers.
The latest comes from MBO Partners, which found that there are 16 million contract workers in the U.S. today.
More telling is the number of Americans considering becoming an independent contractor within the next two years — 28 million. And 63 percent of independent contractors will continue their temporary work, according to MBO Partners’ study.
Other workers, in their 20s in particular, are waiting out the aftermath in part-time jobs or pursuing other interests. The New York Times profiled some of these workers, dubbed “Generation Limbo,” who are highly educated but lacking career opportunities in their field.
A recent study by the Heldrich Center at Rutgers University found that the portion of graduates who described their first job as a career fell from 30 percent, for 2006 and 2007 college graduates, to 22 percent for 2009 and 2010 graduates.
Volunteering is also an option for recent college grads and other unemployed workers, and according to a recent post on the LinkedIn Blog, one that can actually be good for your career. Post author Nicole Williams lists some of the benefits of volunteer work, including the opportunity to demonstrate and sharpen your skills and talents, and to build a social network you can tap into for future job opportunities.
Another positive note about volunteer work: One out of every five hiring managers in the U.S. has hired someone because of their volunteer work experience.
While politicians, economists, and job experts continue to brainstorm and debate the best ways to reverse the current employment situation, American workers are waiting it out in whatever way they can.