CFO Corner: The 2013 Meaning Of Unemployment

By Sudy Bharadwaj

Although President Barack Obama has been re-elected, our country continues to be divided amid our economic recovery and job growth. With a 7.9 percent unemployment rate in October, Obama is tackling the highest jobless rate of any president in the postwar era.

However, things do seem to be looking up in the 2013 unemployment forecast. The Labor Department recently reported the nation added 171,000 positions on net in October, with more jobs than initially estimated in August and September. According to the New York Times, economists are hopeful that post-election policies in Congress will address fiscal tightening that may increase job and output growth.

Regardless of your political affiliation, we can all agree that changes need to be made moving forward with unemployment in 2013. These changes mean not only policies or tax cuts, but also new hiring and job search strategies and ways for job seekers to acquire new skills.

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As we move forward into a new presidential term and a new year, let’s dissect what we should be expecting for unemployment in 2013.

Impact of Hurricane Sandy and the Holiday Season

According to the Labor Department, the jobs snapshot for October was based on surveys conducted prior to the chaos and destruction brought by Hurricane Sandy. Economists are projecting that the storm won’t influence November’s numbers, but the East Coast did take a hit.

In addition, the seasonal hiring season is upon us. Surveys project that this will be the best hiring environment documented in the past five years. In addition, 36 percent of retailers are hiring extra seasonal help this year, up from 29 percent in 2011, with 39 percent planning to hire some seasonal workers permanently after the holidays. If job seekers are smart, they will start moving toward shipping companies, retailers, restaurants, and resorts for holiday help.

These events will both be something to consider moving forward into 2013.

Obama’s Plan

Now that Obama has been re-elected, what should we expect from him in 2013?

Obama will continue to push Congress to enact parts of the American Jobs Act, which included a one-year extension of the payroll tax holiday and an extension of unemployment benefits. Obama says he will continue to focus on improving infrastructure, rebuilding schools, and cutting taxes on firms that hire. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Obama’s plan would create 1.1 million jobs in 2013, primarily coming from the American Jobs Act.

At the end of the day, focusing on the issues at hand and strategies to fix these issues will get us further than focusing on any single person or entity.

How do you plan to tackle unemployment in the new year?

Sudy Bharadwaj is a co-founder and the CEO of Jackalope Jobs, a platform that helps job seekers find a job via their social networks. Learn how Sudy and Jackalope Jobs obsess over job seekers by connecting with them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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