Are Your Skills Good Enough for the New Economy?

The latest unemployment rate is holding at 9.1 percent. In fact, the unemployment rate has been stuck near 9 percent for more than two years! Although the Labor Department reported last week that weekly unemployment applications dropped by 9,000 to 397,000 (lowest level in five weeks) this number merely indicates that the economy is growing some but not enough to spur hiring. It’s only when applications fall below 375,000 that the economy shows real job gains.

Optimism? Not even close!

The government also reported that the economy expanded at a 2.5 percent annual pace in the July-September quarter – the best quarterly growth in a year. But to impact unemployment positively, US economic growth would have to be twice as high and consistently, so as to make a real impact in the unemployment rate, which seems unlikely to happen any time soon. In the past 5 months, there have been an average of only 72,000 jobs per month, which is less than half of the180,000 jobs per month average that occurred from January to April this year.

The wounded paradox

There is a real paradox in where we stand today. NPR reported that “The U.S. economy hit an important milestone last week: gross domestic product, the sum of all goods and services produced in the country, returned to pre-recession levels.” The concern here is the gain in GDP has come with many millions who are unemployed! Yes, technology has taken care of many jobs – and not just low skilled or physically hard jobs but also middle level jobs. Jobs like tellers (replaced by ATM’s and online banking), cashiers (replaced by self check outs & vending machines), and many, many more. While technology is eliminating middle skill jobs, the more menial jobs and high skill jobs are still human maintained. Furthermore, technology is making way for new industries, new jobs and therefore, new skills you need that you need to add to your resume.

What’s your Plan B?

It’s no surprise that everything has an expiration date. The world today is very different from the world of tomorrow and beyond. You, your college degree, your experience and intelligence get old and even useless if you stay where you are. Everything is evolving at high speed and if you’re not ahead of the curve, you will bury yourself with those who can’t or won’t. How you meet the challenge, and take advantage of opportunities has everything to do with where you end up. We have been competing in a global market for some time now, and the only way to stay competitive is by taking risks and increasing your knowledge base constantly. How do you do that? By striving to become so invaluable that hiring managers compete for your talents. So find the ways to perfect your skillset and your aptitude – the two that collectively will create a springboard of opportunities!

By Ritu Mehta
Editor, ACE Cash Express

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