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Friday, August 29, 2008


More Florida Jobs Lost

Florida’s unemployment rate once again increased in July, rising above the national average to 6.1 percent. This is the highest percentage of jobless residents the state has had since January 1995.

According to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, during the same month last year only 4.1 percent of those living in the state were unable to find work, which shows that Florida jobs are now harder to come by than they normally are.

Contributing to the rising unemployment rate was the fact that Florida continued to lose jobs in July. The construction industry, which has been hit hard by the failing housing market, cut many positions.

Over the last year, ending in July, employers in this industry have done away with 13.4 percent of their workforce. Of the approximately 96,800 Florida jobs lost in the last year, around 79,200 were in construction.

Other industries losing a significant number of jobs in July included manufacturing, employment services, automobile sales and several others.

Many employers have cited the rising cost of gas and its effect on the economy as part of the reason they are having to do away with jobs in order to keep profits up. Even the energy providers themselves are suffering.

Just this week utility Progress Energy Florida announced that it will eliminating around 300 positions before the end of the year. The company says that the weakening economy has caused the number of requests for new connects to drastically decrease. Although some will loss their jobs, almost half of the jobs that will be done away with are currently vacant.

“The difficult economy is taking a toll on companies all around the country and is particularly affecting our company in Florida,” said Jeff Lyash, company chief executive and president, in a recent statement.

At this time, the company provides electricity to 1.7 million Floridians. Progress Energy Florida, which is a subsidiary of Progress Energy, said that growth and energy consumption has slowed considerably. The number of vacant houses in the state is believed to be largely to blame for the company’s smaller number of customers. Only about 2,000 new customers have signed up for Progress Energy Florida’s services between June of 2007 and June 2008

The subsidiary now has 1,600 positions, but expects to have around 1,300 once finished with these layoffs. Of the 300 jobs that will be eliminated, 143 are vacant at the moment. After making this announcement, shares in the company rose by 6 cents.

Progress Energy has also mentioned that it will be looking into the staff at it’s subsidiary in the Carolinas. Despite the evaluation, the company does not plan to execute drastic layoffs because the economic slump has not been as extreme in these states.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


Positive Employment Outlook for Medical Jobs

Despite a number of highly publicized layoffs in June, the employment outlook for a variety of Medical Jobs seems to be looking brighter. In July, a career website that specializes in healthcare employment, reported a gain of 33,000 new jobs. Of the new jobs posted, 21,000 were in ambulatory health care and 10,000 were announcements for positions in various hospitals. After June’s mass layoffs, this refreshing news has many breathing as sigh of relief.

One of the areas that seemed to take a drastic hit during the middle of the summer was the pharmaceutical industry. Despite a more positive outlook for medical jobs, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Schering-Plough all announced that they still planned to reduce the number of individuals they employed.

Layoffs may not seem like good news, but in a portion of healthcare that is often riddled with job losses, the news that no company announced that they would be letting go of more than 500 employees is seen as a move in the right direction. Many experts believe this maybe a sign that the pharmaceutical industry is stabilizing.

“Last month had the smallest number of layoffs in biotech and pharmaceuticals that I’ve seen in quite some time,” said MedZilla’s director of Marketing Michele Hopps. “The numbers for June and July have been promising, the time to reach for that next great jobs is around the corner.”
With an increase in medical jobs being posted online and a decreasing number of layoffs in pharmaceuticals, those searching for employment in healthcare have better chances of finding a job in the current economy than most. New talent seemed to be in particularly high demand in hospitals.

Massachusetts, where job announcements increased by 2.6 percent, had the greatest number of positions posted online. California also saw a significant increase. Employers there posted a full percent more jobs than they had in previous months.

For the most part, jobs announced online in July were for primary care professionals. Other areas that remained strong included positions for educator and business development. There was also a 3.5 percent increase in the number of sales positions posted in the medical field, which some believe is another positive sign that the pharmaceutical industry is on its way back up.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Entry-Level Jobs Not Easy to Find

Finding an entry-level job right now may be more difficult for recent college graduates due to economic uncertainty. Trying to protect profit margins has made many employers more reluctant to hire inexperienced workers.

With many companies, entry-level positions exist to groom professionals for higher things within the infrastructure. Because many employers are distracted with trying to make it through the recession with as little as damage as possible, there isn’t as much time or money to devote towards helping tomorrow’s mid and upper-level employees get started.

Ford Motor Co., for example, recently announced that they do not expect to hire any new entry-level workers until sometime during mid-2009. The company, whose profits have taken a severe hit from the fact that high gas prices are discouraging automobile sales, has already cut its North American workforce by approximately 40,000 hourly wage positions.

Although this example maybe somewhat extreme, it helps to illustrate the problems that recent graduates are facing in the job market. Many are concerned that the declining number of entry-level jobs will cause other problems for these individuals. After all, how can one be expected to gain experience that will be valuable to their career later on if the jobs simply don’t exist?

Another problem that is making it harder for those entering the workforce now is the fact that many experienced workers are escaping joblessness by being under-employed. Given the current economic situation, some hiring mangers have found that can get more for their money by hiring mid-level workers for entry-level jobs.

Those looking for their first career-worthy position who participated in an internship program at sometime will likely have an easier time finding work. Since many entry-level job seekers have no experience at all, those who interned in the past need less training and have a better feel for the workplace.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Teaching Jobs in Florida Increasing

Teaching jobs in Florida are on the rise and are expected to continue to grow.

In July 2008, Florida's education and health services industry employed 1,038,700 people, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increase of 3.3 percent from last year.

Teaching jobs in Florida, especially for elementary school teachers, should continue to increase in the next few years, mostly because a large number of teachers are expected to retire and elementary school enrollments are expected to grow, according to an article from the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation.

"The demand for elementary school teachers will also be dependent on state and local government expenditures for education and the enactment of legislation intended to increase the quality of education," the article notes. "Several new constitutional amendments, such as reduced class size and mandatory preschool for 4-year-olds, have been passed in Florida, and will also result in a large number of openings for elementary school teachers over the next decade."

Every state requires teachers to be licensed and Florida requires teachers to have a degree corresponding with the area in which they wish to teach. Candidates also must complete an approved teacher training program and supervised practice teaching.

In Florida, public primary and secondary schools are administered by the Florida Department of Education. The state's public school revenue per student and spending per $1,000 of personal income rank in the bottom 25 percent of states and teaching salaries rank near the middle.

Elementary school teachers in Florida receive a salary of $40,192 per year, while most elementary school teachers make between $30,185 and $48,474.

In 2007, Florida's school population grew by 477 students to 2,641,598, below the projected increase of 48,376 students. This was mainly due to rising insurance and property tax costs, as well as major hurricane damage.

Teachers may be responsible for designing classroom presentations to meet student needs and abilities, working with students individually, planning, evaluating and assigning lessons, preparing, administering and grading tests, listening to oral presentations and maintaining classroom discipline.

As far as colleges, Florida is home to the State University System of Florida and the Florida Community Colleges System. There also is an association of 28 private educational institutions deemed the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, which served more than 121,000 students in fall 2006.


Thursday, August 21, 2008


More Healthcare Jobs Being Created

Although many parts of the economy are slowing down and many industries are cutting employees, more healthcare jobs are being added.

Although the national unemployment rate jumped to 5.7 percent in July, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry added 33,000 jobs. The industry added 34,000 jobs in June, while most other industries showed a decrease in employment.

Of the jobs added in July, about 10,000 were in hospitals and 21,000 were in ambulatory healthcare or outpatient medical office-based jobs. Since July 2007, the healthcare industry has added a total of 368,000 jobs nationwide.

Healthcare was the largest industry in 2006, employing 14 million people, and 7 of the 20 fastest growing occupations are healthcare related. Healthcare is expected to generate 3 million new wage and salary jobs through 2016, more than any other industry, according to an article by the BLS.

About 580,000 establishments make up the healthcare industry, varying greatly in terms of size, staffing and organizational structure. Of healthcare establishments, 77 percent are offices of physicians, dentists or other health practitioners. Although hospitals make up only 1 percent of all healthcare establishments, they employe 35 percent of all healthcare workers.

"The health care industry includes establishments ranging from small-town private practices of physicians who employ only one medical assistant to busy inner-city hospitals that provide thousands of diverse jobs," the article notes. "In 2006, almost half of non-hospital health care establishments employed fewer than five workers. By contrast, 7 out of 10 hospital employees were in establishments with more than 1,000 workers."

The healthcare industry consists of nine segments, including: hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, offices of physicians, offices of dentists, home health care services, offices of other health practitioners, outpatient care centers, other ambulatory healthcare services and medical and diagnostic laboratories.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Roche to Create More New Jersey Jobs

One medical company is expanding and creating more New Jersey jobs.

Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., based in Nutley, N.J., is the U.S. pharmaceuticals headquarters of the Roche Group, one of the world’s leading research-oriented healthcare groups with core businesses in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. The company is currently expanding its New Jersey facility, according to an article from the State of New Jersey.

For more than 100 years, Roche has been committed to developing innovative products and services that address prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases to enhance people's health and quality of life.

"New Jersey and Roche have a fruitful 80-year partnership that will continue to flourish," Governor Jon. S. Corzine said in the article. "We should be proud that this global pharmaceutical leader has reaffirmed its commitment by strengthening its R&D operations here in Nutley, which ultimately will provide good, high-paying jobs for our citizens."

The company invests more than $7 billion per year worldwide in pharmaceutical research and development, and recently relocated its commercial operations to California as a strategic business decision.

New Jersey employed 61,000 people in its medical and life-sciences companies during 2007, and the state saw a 6.4 percent increase in drug and pharmaceutical employment in 2006. New Jersey also ranks sixth in the number of people employed in testing labs with 35,900 jobs added in 2006.

"Reports of the state’s pharma industry withering on the vine couldn’t be further from the truth," Corzine added in the article. "New Jersey remains the ‘Medicine Chest of the World’ with 15 of the world’s top 25 pharmaceutical companies either having their U.S. or world headquarters, or major operations, in New Jersey and that includes Roche."

The HealthCare Institute of New Jersey recently released a study indicating the impact of the pharmaceutical industry on New Jersey's economy increased to $27 billion in 2007, up from $26 billion in 2006. The state also is home to 238 biotechnology companies, up from 226 in 2006.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Construction Industry Expected to Create More Chicago Jobs

While employment in the construction industry is currently slumping due to the state of the economy and the housing market, many Chicago jobs are expected to be created in the industry in years to come.

The Chicago area employed 176,200 people in its construction industry in July 2008, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 4.6 percent decrease from last year.

Many of Chicago's industries are booming, including the finance jobs. Employment in architecture and construction is expected to grow faster than the statewide average for all industries through 2014, according to an article by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

"Employment in nonresidential construction is expected to grow because the replacement and renovation of many industrial plants and buildings has been delayed for years and a large number of structures will have to be replaced or remodeled, particularly in urban areas where space for new buildings is becoming limited," the article notes.

"Home improvement and repair construction is expected to continue to grow faster than new home construction," the article adds. "Remodeling should be the fastest growing sector of the housing industry and also tends to be more labor intensive. Job opportunities are expected to be excellent for general maintenance and repair workers, electricians and carpenters, especially for workers with training and experience in construction occupations."

Possible careers in the architecture and construction industry throughout Illinois include:


Monday, August 18, 2008


Most Industries Losing Georgia Jobs

The labor market doesn't look very promising for those seeking jobs in Georgia.

According to the Georgia LaborMarket Explorer, the state's payroll has decreased by 21,900 jobs from last year, and from May to June Georgia saw a .5 percent employment decrease. Over the year the state has added 7,100 employees, a a growth rate of only .2 percent.

The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics notes Georgia employed a total of 4,132,600 in July 2008, a decrease of .3 percent from last year, and the state had an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent, higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.7 percent.

In June, the goods producing sector alone lost 9,400 jobs, with construction and manufacturing cutting positions and natural resources and mining staying consistent. The service providing sector lost 12,500 workers with many industries losing jobs, including government, retail trade and education and health services. The leisure and hospitality, professional and business services and other services industries added workers in June.

The government industry saw the largest decrease, losing 11,300 jobs with state and local schools closing for the summer. This is the third month in a row the government industry has lost jobs, equaling a decrease of 14,000 workers.

The educational services industry lost 1,800 jobs, while the healthcare and social assistance industry dropped 3,500 positions. The manufacturing industry lost 5,300 workers, making June the fourth consecutive month the industry has seen a decrease in employment, totaling a loss of 9,700 workers.

The leisure and hospitality industry added 2,000 jobs in June and has added 3,500 employees since June 2007. The professional and business services industry added 1,100 workers, making a total addition of 4,000 jobs since last year. This stops a two-month decrease in jobs for the industry, which lost a total of 2,000 employees. The transportation, warehousing and utilities industry added 800 jobs and the other services industry added 400 jobs.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Pfizer to Cut Hundreds of Michigan Jobs

One prominent pharmaceutical company will be cutting more jobs in Michigan.

The state of the pharmaceutical industry is a complex one at best, as big drug companies vie to compete with generic drugs, and patients have trouble paying for either. Because of this, many companies have had to resort to downsizing in an effort to save money.

In July, Pfizer announced it would restructure the staff at its Kalamazoo, Mich. plant, resulting in job cuts for 275 employees by the end of the year. This will reduce the plant's staff to 2,500 employees.

This isn't the first time the Kalamazoo plant has been hit, as Pfizer cut 1,200 jobs at that plant after it purchased Pharmacia in 2003.

In 2007, Pfizer closed its Ann Arbor, Mich. human health research and development facilities, resulting in the loss of 2,700 jobs.

At the beginning of 2007, Pfizer announced it would shut down its Ann Arbor human health research and development facilities and cut 2,410 jobs in Michigan by the end of 2008, according to an article by the Detroit News. The company decided to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide, which will save about $2 billion per year.

"While Pfizer remains profitable, its future is imperiled by the potential loss of $14 billion in revenue this year (2007) due to expiring patents on key drugs, such as Norvasc and Zyrtec," the article notes. "The company is at risk of losing 41 percent of its sales to generic competition between 2010 and 2012.

"The pressure on Pfizer intensified after safety issues forced it to halt development of the star drug in its pipeline, Torcetrapib, which was expected to replace sales of the best-selling Lipitor as it loses market exclusivity as early as 2010," the article continues.

It is expected Pfizer will relocate about 70 percent of its cut jobs in Michigan to Groton, Conn.; St. Louis, Mo.; La Jolla, Ca. and Sandwich, England.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Chicago Sales Jobs

Not surprisingly, talk of an economic recession makes American consumers nervous. As a result, many cities across the nation are seeing a decrease in retail sales. Fewer commercial properties are being purchased in hopes of creating new stores and jobs can be scarce in this industry, but those looking for Chicago sales jobs don’t have to worry.

Despite cautious consumers, the Windy City is still attracting investors looking to open new retail space and this means more jobs for the area. As up June this year, Chicago has made approximately $1.4 billion of the sale of retail property, based solely on single deals that brought in $5 million or more.

Although this figure is down significantly by 30 percent when compared to the first half of 2007, sales figures are drastically better in Chicago than anywhere else in the nation. According to a survey conducting by research firm Real Capital Analytics, Chicago has managed the highest retail deal volume during this period than any other major metropolitan market in the nation.

One of the deals that earned the city the most this year was sealed in January when California-based Macerich and Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. paid $515 million for the Shops at North Bridge. This multi-level mall, which contains high-end retailer Nordstrom, is located on Michigan Avenue where a large portion of the city’s retail related commercial real estate deals take place.

According to Ed Coppola, who is the chief investment officer for Macerich, his company was attracted to the city due in part to the center’s sales per square foot of over $800 annually for its smaller tenants. This figure is more than double the average for a typical mall in the region. This causes many retailers to be attracted to the area, despite an unstable economy, which means that Chicago has more retail jobs open than many other cities.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Pre-Employment Background Checks and Your Credit

For some, consenting to a pre-employment background check(Click here) isn’t a problem. These individuals feel secure knowing they’ve been honest on their resumes and have no criminal history, so why should they worry?

Turns out there’s now another criteria employers are using to decide if job applicants are suitable for their companies; credit reports. Because of this, paying bills late and other financial issues can cause trouble when it comes time to look for a job.

Employers are now using job candidates’ credit scores to get an idea of what kind of person they are. Hiring managers who are jumping on this trend view pro-longed, unexplainable money problems as a sign that the person in question may be irresponsible, inattentive and even dishonest.

“We’ve seen a radical shift over the last two years toward more background checks in general and credit checks in particular,” said Sherri Mitchell, who is the CEO of All About People, a Phoenix Arizona based hiring firm. “Employers seem to be asking, ‘If somebody can’t handle their own money, how can they manage ours?”

That thought process is one of the reasons that background checks that involve looking at credit scores are particularly popular for positions that will be responsible for company finances or handling a sizeable amount of money. Employers aren’t only worried about mismanagement of funds. They’re also concerned that an individual with problematic finances may be tempting to steal from the company to make their own lives a little easier.

“An employer might pull your report if you have access to a large amount of cash, access to confidential information, use expensive equipment or have access to company credit cards,” explained Kevin Kilmas, president of pre-employment screening firm Clarifacts, which is also in Phoenix.

According to Kilmas, employers usually focus on whether or not the job applicant has paid their bills on time consistently with few exception and if their actions have caused the need for collection efforts. If the last is true, then hiring managers may also look into how such issues were resolved.

With identity theft on the rise, the black marks on an applicants credit may not even be their’s. Because of this, it is important for all to keep track of their credit.

“"As a job applicant, you should be intimately familiar with what's in your credit report," said Kilmas.

He went on to suggest that job applicants should request their credit ratings from all three agencies that monitor scores. Since records and reported problems often only show up the records of one credit bureau, this is extremely important. Everyone is entitled to a free report from each of the three once a year.



Las Vegas Jobs with Echelon Hotel and Casino Will Have to Wait

Las Vegas’ economy is tied to the city’s gaming industry. The problem with this is that people’s ability to afford to lose millions in Casinos is directly tied to the economy. Because of this, instability and recession are taking a toll on the city’s most popular industry and effecting the number of Las Vegas jobs (Click here) employers are able to provide.

Recently, construction of the Echelon Hotel- Casino was put on hold due to the slow economy. Boyd Gaming does not plan on picking the project back up for at least a year, meaning that the much needed jobs Echelon would have created won’t be brought to the area fro some time.

“Cleary, as we look at it, we think in the next nine to 12 months--we think in the next three to four quarters--that we will be at a place where we can restart the project,” said Keith Smith, Boyd Gaming’s president and CEO.

According to Smith, the decision to step back from the project had nothing to do with the finances of his company. He citied issues with the smaller investors involved as the reason the Echelon has to wait.

One such partner, Morgan’s Hotel Group was unable to find an institution willing to lend them the funds necessary to build the two boutiques the company has committed to building. Another investor, General Growth Properties, which was in charge of constructing the project’s mall, was unable to get high end stores to agree to long term leases.

“It’s interesting,” said Smith. “When you turn the clock back a year, you could never guessed that we would be in this position a year later.

On August 1st the project was officially put on hold. Over 800 construction workers were told that they would not be needed again for some time now. Already the construction sector in Las Vegas has taken a hit from the housing market slump, which means these individuals will likely struggle to other employment until work on the Echelon is resumed.

The Echelon is expected to create 10,000 jobs when it opens, which Boyd originally planned for 2010. The hotel and casino’s opening is now scheduled for 2011. By then, Smith believes that the economy will have recovered and the funds to finance the rest of the project will be available to the company’s partners.

In the mean time, Encore is planned to open in December and is expected to hire 5,300 people. Project CityCenter, which is expected to open in 2009, is still on schedule and will be creating 12,000 new jobs.



Ohio Creates Plan to Bring New Jobs

The State of Ohio is doing what it can to help create new jobs, rejuvenate the economy and prepare for the future.

In April, according to a press release from the State of Ohio, Governor Ted Strickland announced a $1.57 billion jobs stimulus package that aims to create new jobs and lay the foundation for future economic prosperity. With the exception of the Clean Ohio program, the ballot will not need to be passed by voters in November.

“This bipartisan jobs stimulus plan will create jobs, make us a leader in emerging industries and establish the foundation for long-term growth and prosperity in Ohio,” Strickland said in the press release.

The package, which is expected to create thousands of new jobs, makes major investments in workforce, infrastructure and new and emerging industries that will spur job creation throughout the state.

New and emerging industries of focus include:
Infrastructures of focus include:
The Higher Education Workforce Initiative also will be given $250 million to help keep more college-educated Ohioans in the state. This will be done by linking people with good internships, cooperative education programs and jobs while they earn degrees.

The proposal's total investment of $1.57 billion will be funded through bond sales, existing revenue and other sources.


Monday, August 04, 2008


HR Software Not Just for Big Corporations Anymore

The days of large corporations being the only ones able to afford HR software are over.

While the software has long been popular with large, wealthy corporations, most of it is now affordable enough to help smaller businesses looking to save time and money. Most HR software is able to automate the work of a human resources department by keeping track of whether employees have met their goals and calculating the amount of compensation they deserve.

HR software is performance-based software that matches employee goals with business priorities, such as increased sales and better customer service.

According to a CNNMoney article by Cindy Waxer, the idea of being managed by software may make some employees wary, but paper-based performance appraisals are usually just as uncomfortable.

The article cites the case of Erin O'Leary-Rallis, CEO of Nittany Embroidery & Screenprinting, a small design company in State College, Pa. O'Leary-Rallis, like many CEOs, is not a human resources professional and prefers to focus on her business.

"I wasn't really prepared for employee evaluations, and I didn't have a hard-and-fast way of performing them," she said in the article.

O'Leary-Rallis would usually only conduct an employee evaluation when an employee asked for one, which some thought gave greedy workers the upper hand. So instead of hiring a human resources manager, O'Leary-Rallis decided to invest in HR software.

The company's use of HR software was initially met with some backlash from employees who thought setting up the software was too time consuming with data entry, reviewing peers, setting goals and tracking achievements.

At the same time, however, the software helped the company identify one lethargic employee, who was then let go, saving the company $25,000 per year. Another top performing employee also was recognized with the software, and was rewarded with a $3,000 per year raise and $2,000 bonus.

Overall, O'Leary-Rallis is able to save about $10,000 per year by using HR software. The technology also has helped her cut job coaching by about 30 percent.

"Such savings may not impress the average employee," the article adds. "But back at Nittany, at least, all workers are now onboard with the new system. Even the dissenting employee decided that her work would be more fairly compensated with the help of software rather than by human managers alone. Score one for the machines."


Sunday, August 03, 2008


New York Jobs in Finance Harder to Find, Chicago Benefits

Troubles on Wall Street have caused many financial institutions to do away with New York jobs in hopes of cutting expenses, making it more difficult to get a job in this sector. Chicago employers are now benefiting from the amount of talent available and have taken to recruiting displaced Wall Street workers

Between the credit crisis, the housing market slump and general economic instability, right now many not seem like the best time to be in finance. Instead of sitting around waiting for stock prices to rise and stabilize, smart job seekers are looking else where. Many have found that Chicago’s thriving securities and commodity industries make the city the perfect place for displaced Wall Street workers to relocate to.

Many companies in the city have begun to recruit the best talent from those that who have lost their New York jobs. Still, the number of people in this industry in Chicago remains relatively modest in comparison to the Big Apple. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, before troubles abounded in this sector, New York employers had approximately 180,000. Estimates of the number of jobs lost since then vary but are around 7,600. Despite the decrease, New York still employees four times the number of finance professionals as Chicago does.

The nature of Wall Street makes the number of jobs it provides unsteady, meaning one day a company may be firing and the next day hiring in mass. Chicago’s finance industry, however, has experienced a modest but more steady increase in employment. Over the last decade job growth in this sector has gone up 13 percent, with approximately 46,400 workers. Interestingly, this increase in employment is directly related to the fact that trading is now done mostly over computers.

Although there may be fewer jobs in Chicago for a finance professional, the positions available offer a greater level of security.

"In New York, financial firms have been hit very hard by the credit crisis, and they're trying to do all kinds of things to reduce their costs," said Ilya Talman, who is president of Roy Talman &Associates, which is an executive search firm. "In Chicago, we're not seeing it. If anything we're going to benefit from it because there is going to be more of a push into exchange activities. In other words, what ails New York may help Chicago."

This means that area employers are now of the look out for the most talented and experienced applicants effected by New York layoffs. As more professionals become aware of the opportunities in the Windy City, competition may become increasingly intense. This is why its best to act now and begin a Chicago job search today.

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HR Software for Small Businesses

Recently there has been an increase interest among HR software companies in tapping into the smaller business market. These companies have some of the same needs as their larger counterparts, but usually have a much smaller budget. On top of this, there are many features that these employers simply do not need that big business can not operate without. For the most part, the focus of HR software providers, when dealing with smaller businesses, is on efficiency and affordability.

In hopes of providing both of these qualities, has created new a user friendly time tracking program and employee portal that are now standard features of the company’s HR software. The program keeps track of the time employees clock in and out in other to help with payroll and other financial reports. To make this system more easy-to-use, has made it so that the information can be easily downloaded to a compatible standard spreadsheet format.

The employee portal allows managers to communicate company news and time sensitive information to all of those effect. Employers can access the employee portal on’s web site, which allows them access to time sheets, employee information and benefits, performance reviews, and a variety of other management tools.

Through this system employees are able to update their personal and benefits information and keep track of company property assigned to them. Each individual is given a username and password in order to protect privacy right. At the same time the program allows employers confidential online storage that complies with both state and federal regulations.

EffortlessHR’s Executive Vice President Darrell Griffiths believes small business owners will benefits from the new additions to his company’s software. “We wanted to offer an affordable, easy-to-use solution to employee time tracking needs. The system we chose can be customized to meet individual company preferences and provides added value to our small business clients,” said Griffiths.

Overall, offers more than 100 HR forms and documents along with labor law compliance posters, current information on state and federal employment laws and guides for personnel issues. These are all available on the program


Saturday, August 02, 2008


Is GM Cutting Baltimore Jobs or Not?

It’s no surprise that high gas prices have cut in to automobile manufacturer GM’s profit margin. When people feel as if they can barely afford to run their car, they aren’t likely to drop the amount of cash necessary to purchase a new one. Because of this the company has announced that it will be laying off a portion of its employees, cutting benefits for others and making various other efforts to make up for declining sales.

So far, GM’s spokespeople have been vague as to how this will effect Baltimore jobs with the plant and how many people may need to start searching for a new place to work.
“People are worried,” said Fred Swanner, who is the president of the United Auto Workers Union Local 239. “No one knows if it’ll have an effect on our plant or not.” This branch of the UAW Union represents approximately 550 individuals who work in plants in White Marsh and Hunt Valley.

A majority of these people work at GM’s White Marsh operation in Baltimore County. This facility builds transmissions for trucks and sport utility vehicles, both of which are have relatively low gas mileage. With gasoline now over $4.00 a gallon in most cities across the nation, these automobiles have had some of most dismal sales numbers. Knowing this does not help to ease the minds of GM’s Baltimore workforce.

Aside from layoffs, GM executives recently announced that they would be eliminating medical insurance for the retired who held white-collar company jobs. The employer also plans on cutting the pay of salaried workers by 20 percent and suspending the company’s annual stock dividend. There has also been talk of speeding up pre-planed plant closings in addition to decreasing the number of individuals employed at other locations.

White Marsh’s plant maybe skipped over for the harshest of the layoffs despite the fact that the facility has a had in SUV and truck parts. The plant’s saving grace could be it’s involvement in making power trains for some of GM’s hybrid vehicles. If gas continues to rise, these vehicles are expected to see an increase in popularity.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Cockeysville agrees with this. “It’s bad new to lose jobs anywhere but because Allison is such a modern, technological plant and…because they’re focusing on the hybrid, I think there’s a good chance they’ll be left alone in this situation,” said Ruppersberger.
Currently, GM is Baltimore County’s 37th largest employer. The number of individuals working at this location is less that 1,800.



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