As reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures, so far during 2017 the unemployment rate has decreased over four consecutive months. January yielded an unemployment rate of 4.8%, which dropped to 4.7% in February, to 4.5% in March, to 4.4% in April. Even better, the current downwards trend is expected to continue through May and beyond.
Of course, the actual unemployment rate can vary widely from region to region. Many rural counties in particular are struggling to provide new jobs to residents. Rhea County in Tennessee had an unemployment rate of 8.8% as of February 2017. Shasta County, California saw an unemployment rate of roughly 7.1% in February 2017, while New York, New York reported a 4.4 rate. Despite these regional fluctuations, the nationwide unemployment trend remains optimistic.
“Over the year, the unemployment rate has declined by 0.6 percentage points, and the number of unemployed has fallen by 854,000,” said officials from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Most recently, NPR reports that roughly 211,000 jobs were added throughout the month of April, and the overall unemployment rate has been significantly trending downward since its peak (10%) in 2009, following the Great Recession.
“The labor force participation rate, at 62.9%, changed little in April and has shown little movement over the past year,” Labor Department officials added.
Despite this positive news and an increasingly active job market, many young workers are entering the workforce with fears and skepticism about their future careers. Possibly that’s because young workers face a number of obstacles that workers of previous generations did not. For a generation raised on social media, many young people are hyper-aware of their self image and personal brand.
In fact, 74% of adults believe a person’s smile can impact a person’s career success. Then there’s the more than $1 trillion in debt currently held by college graduates.
The Missourian recently reported on new research from the Missouri University Trulaske College of Business, which highlighted the importance of being proactive and extroverted during the job search, and how those personality traits directly correlated with career success.
The researchers have been following bachelor’s of science in business administration students for roughly 13 years, and they found that extroversion and proactive behavior was significantly correlated with enhanced career success.
“You don’t necessarily have to have an extroverted personality, or high proactivity, it’s the behavior of the individual,” said Daniel Turban, chair of business and economics at Emma S. Hibbs, Harry Gunnison Brown. “For example the behavior of initiating a conversation to develop relationships.”