Current Weather
The Spy FM

On Jobs, Bad News Is Bad. The Good News Is Bad, Too

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
May 5, 2012

For the second month in a row, weak job growth numbers unsettled nerves in the White House and on Wall Street.

But, it’s obvious why the number of jobs added to the economy in April was disappointing. Employment grew by just 115,000. That followed a disappointing job gain in March. And together the March and April average was only about half the 250,000 jobs added monthly in December, January and February.

Again, economists suggested the warm winter weather might have boosted job growth during the winter months which left fewer jobs to be added in the spring.

However, at first glance there appeared to be a silver lining in April’s numbers: The unemployment rate inched down again to 8.1 percent.

“For the last couple of months we have a situation where the unemployment rate is still declining but that’s because people are leaving the workforce,” says Gary Burtless, a labor economists at the Brookings Institution.

He says it is good news when the unemployment rate drops because lots of people are getting hired. But that wasn’t the case in April.

Now some people might have left the workforce because they reached retirement age, and it’s possible they weren’t replaced by young people, who may have decided to stay in school because the job market is still dicey.

But there’s no doubt many people left the workforce because they’re discouraged. After months of looking, they still couldn’t find a job. Kate Riley, a former health spa manager from the San Francisco bay area, is one of them.

“I was sending out anywhere between 5 and 10 resumes weekly; was getting ignored for probably half of them, but the half that did respond the comments were very complimentary for my expertise and my experience and they did want to talk to me,” she says.

In some cases Riley even went through half a dozen interviews with a potential employer. But after more than a year of looking in the spa industry, Riley, who’s 61 years old, never got a job offer.

“Someone else was getting chosen because they fit the culture better and I recently realized that that was code for I’m older and it doesn’t fit the image that they want to project,” she says.

Last week Riley decided to stop looking.

“…It was somewhat humiliating and very depressing,” she says. “It was a shock to realize this isn’t working, because I tend to push on and push through and last week when I just decided to stop it was an emotional change for me.”

So, after a long successful career, Riley, like a lot of people in today’s job market, is going to have to find a new path. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center