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Summary:

The U.S. economy has been looking kind of iffy lately. What’s the job market outlook for 2008? Web workers want to know. Good news: The U.S. economy continues to grow (albeit slowly). Last Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest job numbers, estimating […]

The U.S. economy has been looking kind of iffy lately. What’s the job market outlook for 2008? Web workers want to know.

Good news: The U.S. economy continues to grow (albeit slowly). Last Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest job numbers, estimating that around 94,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in November. That sounds pretty good until you hear that a year prior, the economy was adding around 168,000 jobs a month.

Bad news: But workers are feeling pessimistic. A monthly survey of worker sentiment in the U.S. shows a downward trend as people increasingly worry about their job security, about employer hiring plans, and about the state of their finances.

Good news: New college grads could face a relatively strong market, as employers project double-digit increases in college hiring for the fifth straight year.

Bad news: Wage increases may hardly beat inflation next year, due to the weakening job market and general economic uncertainty. Doubts about future growth may lead employers to keep a tight rein on labor costs.

Good news: Many companies plan increased recruiting and staffing activities in 2008, according to a survey from JobFox, a web startup that allows you to create an online profile and find jobs that uniquely fit that profile. But the JobFox survey suffers from selection bias, covering only those HR and recruiting professionals interested enough in hiring to actually attend a JobFox seminar.

Bad news: The number of economists predicting recession keeps increasing. Why? The housing bust, related financial market misery, and higher energy prices are putting the kibosh on growth. And that could have painful consequences for the U.S. workforce.

What’s your job outlook for 2008? Are you with the pessimistic workforce? The more optimistic (but penny-pinching) employers? Or the hedging economists (“I see a 50% chance of recession”)?

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  1. Two things happened today. I have my own business so I am very sensitive to every win or loss of new business. Today was the first day I lost a job because the client said that the credit crunch had adversely affected their business and management had put a freeze on spending. Then, later in the day I got a note from a Washington Mutual mortgage broker who said that WaMu was closing its lending activities in New England. He said he was going to a new job at another bank.

    So two indications in the same day that this is beginning to affect my business and people that I know.

  2. Anne,
    Thank you for an interesting post and roundup of the issue.

    As a soon-to-be college graduate, I’ve noticed one interesting trend: there is a huge market for workers competent and passionate about social media and the Web; However, when I tell my classmates about genuinely exciting new job opportunities in this area, many are either not interested or do not feel prepared to do the work. I’m in a marketing communications and media major so it’s surprising that this is the case.

    Some companies are even creating educational programs for college professors and students to encourage the growth of the available Web savvy workforce.

    Have you seen this as well?

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