Friday, December 4, 2009

TURNING A CORNER. National Jobs Report Much Better than Expected for November

The November jobs report was released this morning with expectations of another 120,000 to 130,000 jobs lost (the fewest since March 2008). The report is creating a major buzz in the recruitment industry as only 11,000 jobs were lost and the unemployment rate, expected to remain at 10.2% or tick up to 10.3%, actually dropped to 10%.

September and October figures were revised lowered by a combined 159,000 jobs. Temporary jobs, considered a leading indicator of future hiring activity, rose by 59,000. Manufacturing shed another 69,000 jobs while service industries expanded by 58,000, seasonally adjusted.

How this affects our local Pittsburgh market has yet to be seen, with Pittsburgh’s October report showing an uptick to 8.3% from 8.1% in October. While certainly not a “mission accomplished” moment, this portends and much faster healing of the worst jobs market in a generation. It will be interesting to see how this affects consumer attitudes in the coming months and if it is sustainable.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pittsburgh Metro Unemployment Rate Rises to 8.3% for October 2009

While still almost 2% below the national figure of 10.2%, Pittsburgh’s area unemployment rose to 8.3% from 8.1% in September. While the metro labor force decreased by a seasonally adjusted 21,000 job seekers over October 2008, there are over 57,000 fewer jobs.

Month to month seasonally adjusted comparisons show 900 fewer job seekers from September to October with 3,000 fewer total jobs. Fayette County faired the worst with unemployment at 10.6% while Allegheny County came in at 7.7%.

For more details follow these links:

Monday, November 2, 2009 is redesigned to integrate healthcare job board with medical professional network

Healthcare recruiters and job seekers can now more easily interact with blogs, groups, forums, photos and videos

NORFOLK, Va., Nov. 2, 2009 –, a full service healthcare job site and a division of Dominion Enterprises, has been redesigned to seamlessly integrate its online job board with its medical professional network.

“We’ve redesigned with the user in mind. Healthcare recruiters and job seekers can now more easily engage with one another through our professional networking environment. And the best part is—it’s all free!” said Denise Tanner, business development manager of

The redesigned site
encourages visitors to create a user profile. Similar to other professional networking sites, once a user profile is created, the visitor can then add friends, create or join groups, post blogs, participate in forum discussions and post photos and videos.’s forums offer an informal place where medical professionals can post questions and articles about careers in healthcare and work-related issues.

The new also allows job seekers to apply for positions directly from their
profile and to save jobs in one central location. The next time the user logins in, he or she can view uncompleted job applications. This new streamlined application process makes applying for a medical job even easier.

For healthcare companies, provides the perfect setting to showcase the organization’s offerings. Free of charge, healthcare organizations may create their own
user profiles to post videos and other useful information to the healthcare Web site. Companies may also apply to become a Certified Healthcare Recruiter which allows the organization to post a special emblem to its profile page.

The new will be showcased at the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) 45th Annual Conference and Exposition, Nov. 1 – 3, in Chicago. Show attendees should visit Booth #129 for a live demonstration of the professional networking healthcare Web site and to register to win a Wii Fit.

“The ASHHRA conference is a great opportunity for to unveil our new features and products. The 2008 event in Austin was pivotal in our conceptual redesign and we are now prepared to unveil the new site to our customers and to the industry,” said Chris Baker, director of business development.

Thursday, October 22, 2009 and The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh To Hold Final Big Job Fair of the Year at Mellon Arena October 27th

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and partner again to sponsor “Putting America Back to Work” Job Fair Series in Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA, 10/15/2009– In response to the current economic crisis and a tightening labor market, The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and have combined efforts for the third time this year to bring together jobseekers with companies who seek their talents. On Tuesday, October 27th from 10:00AM to 3:00PM at Mellon Arena more than 30 Pittsburgh area employers and schools will meet and interview hundreds of job seekers at the 2009 Pittsburgh Diversity Employment and Career Education Expo.
Attendance is expected to exceed 1,000 Pittsburgh area residents seeking a new career. The March and August events attracted 1,500 job seekers each and have resulted in over 300 job offers combined, giving those job seekers a 1 in 10 chance of finding employment or retraining. Job Seekers will enter through gate 10. Attendance for job seekers is free and no pre-registration is required.Co-sponsored by The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and, the 2009 Pittsburgh Employment and Career Education Expo is part of the “Putting Americans Back to Work” Job Fair Series, taking place in more than 50 cities across the country throughout 2009. The job fair series allows jobseekers to have personal contact with perspective employers.Participating employers will seek to fill hourly up to mid-level skilled positions ranging from and they represent industries such as health care, customer service, hospitality, banking/finance, sales and more.Adding to the success of this job fair series is support from associations interested in supporting their members including: the AARP Foundation WorkSearch, the National Urban League, and the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
A partial List of employers includes:
Academy of Court Reporting
American Eagle
Mellon Arena
Army National Guard
CardWorks Servicing
CCAC North Campus
City of Pittsburgh
CVS Caremark
First Niagara Financial Group
Geneva College
Giant Eagle Market District
H & R Block
Kaplan Career Institute
Liberty USA Inc
Life Pittsburgh
Lifesteps, Inc.
Mainstay Life Services
HCR Manorcare
OK Grocery Co
Pittsburgh Job Corp
Pittsburgh Tech. Institute-PTI
Quest Diagnostics
SMG Management
Southwestern Pa Commission CommuteInfo
Transitional Service Inc
Verizon Wireless
Waddell & Reed

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pittsburgh Job Market in August Still Flat From Spring

Having been directly involved with the recruitment industry in Pittsburgh for the past dozen years or so, speaking with literally thousands of human resource professionals, business owners and department heads across the region, we are seeing this year shaping up to be the most unusual in trending that we have encountered.

After having maintained a relatively healthy level of recruitment activity through most of 2008 (until 4th quarter) we, along with the rest of the country, plummeted in ad count during first quarter of 2009. Beginning just after our job fair at Mellon Arena in late March, however, the precipitous drop in activity leveled out in April giving hope that May and June might see a reversal and show some improvement.

Seasonally, spring and fall are the biggest hiring periods (and thus, highest ad counts) of the year. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) recruitment activity remained flat through April. May came and went and then June and July. Mid summer and mid winter have always trended as the weakest recruitment periods in the past but recruitment activity this summer did not rise or fall to any significant amount. August is now about over and levels still remain flat from July. Hiring managers appear to be holding their collective breaths waiting to see what the near term economy will bring.

As has been widely publicized over the past year, healthcare and education related fields show the greatest strengths in terms of activity in the Pittsburgh region. Other areas that have shown some strength are food prep/hospitality, social services, protective services and technician/maintenance (including automotive technicians).

Nationally the job market is projected to remain in decline through at least mid 2010. While Pittsburgh has enjoyed one of the strongest job markets in the country through the past year and a half, the best we can hope for going into September is that we are “less worse” than August. If seasonal hiring trends once again begin to approach typical form, we could see a fall hiring season that shows some job growth in our region. That is a big “if”.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

April Unemployment Rate for Pittsburgh Metro Rises to 7.3%, Up 1/10th Point

HARRISBURG (JUNE 2) – The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) rose one-tenth of a percentage point in April to 7.3 percent.

The rate was below those of Pennsylvania (7.8 percent) and the United States (8.9 percent). The civilian labor force decreased for the third consecutive month due to a drop in resident employment. The unemployment count has been increasing for a full year, and has reached its highest point since October 1986 at 88,900. This has been the longest run of increases in resident unemployment on record (current data set back to 1970). The Pittsburgh MSA’s unemployment rate was 2.6 percentage points above the April 2008 rate.

Among Pennsylvania’s 14 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, the Pittsburgh MSA held the sixth lowest unemployment rate. Rates in the Pittsburgh MSA ranged from 6.5 percent in Allegheny County to 9.8 percent in Armstrong County. Allegheny and Beaver counties experienced unemployment rate declines, the first drops in the MSA since September 2008.

In April, the Pittsburgh MSA’s seasonally adjusted jobs count declined 3,200 to 1,123,500. This was the eighth consecutive monthly loss. Over the year, jobs were down 2.4 percent in the Pittsburgh MSA, a smaller percentage drop than Pennsylvania, down 2.8 percent from April 2008.

Industry Detail (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Goods-producing jobs in the Pittsburgh MSA increased 2,500 in April due mostly to a seasonal construction gain. Manufacturers inched down to a record low of 90,900 jobs with both durable and nondurable goods manufacturers at their lowest levels on record (current data set back to 1990). Over the year, goods producers shed 11,600 jobs with losses in construction and manufacturing.

Service-providing jobs increased 5,200, the smallest April gain since 2002. The majority of increases were within leisure & hospitality and professional & business services, both of which showed less April gain than usual. Information dipped 300 to a record low of 19,900 jobs.

Service-providing companies dropped 16,000 jobs from April 2008. This was the largest over-the-year decline on record (current data set back to 1990). Aside from education & health services, all supersectors posted declines from last April.

See the full report from the PA State Department of Labor and Industry here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Have Pittsburgh Job Seekers and Recruiters Jumped on the Social Media Band Wagon?

Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. These and literally hundreds of other networking sites on the Internet, with new ones popping up everyday, have seen dramatic increases this year in both traffic and news headlines. Pittsburgh area jobseekers and recruiters are just now realizing the advantage of using these newer tools in their recruitment and search mix (along with the rest of the country).

LinkedIn, considered to be populated by a more professional networking audience, allows users to build out an online resume showing career history, awards, group memberships and education background. Users can communicate both publically and in private. Due to the popularity of employment networking on LinkedIn the site has been actively pursuing this as a revenue stream.

Facebook is more family and friends oriented. Once you create a profile on Facebook the site helps you locate people you might know by looking for similar school histories, hometowns and more. You can allow the site access to your email contact list and it will tell you if any of those emails are registered with the site. The biggest advantage Facebook offers jobseekers and recruiters are “Groups” established on the site specifically set up to help them find one another. These are usually uncovered by doing searches on the site or from “Friends” passing along information (called viral).

Then there is
Twitter. Everyone it seems is still trying to figure out what to do with Twitter. How to use it and NOT use it has become the topic of hundreds of news articles, blog posts and even “Tweets” (postings on Twitter). Twitter is a “micro blogging” site that lets you tell, in 140 characters or less, what you are doing. Pick any topic, hobby, political view, or quest and you will find “Tweeps” (people who use twitter) that specialize in what you are looking for. This allows you to “Follow” any and all whom you find interesting and eventually build a list of hundreds or even thousands of “Tweeples” (also people who use Twitter). If you are so inclined, you also have the ability to build your own following depending on how public you wish to be. As a job seeker or recruiter this gives you the ability to find one another, or those with similar interests, and communicate on regular, even daily, bases.

How the social networking phenomena will change the recruitisphere is so far unknown. Some consider most of it a fad that will fade over time. Many believe it is only in its infancy and will eventually transform how jobs are filled even more than the advent of the big job board. If any of you who are reading this are not at least putting your toe in the water, you are missing out on a very important tool for your toolbox. Pittsburgh, it seems, is embracing this new way of communicating as well as most areas of the country. Local communities of people who otherwise have never met are forming bonds and taking advantage of this new ability to “get their story out”.

If you have read this with familiarity because you use these resources then you can feel good that you are ahead of the curve. If you have resisted taking the social networking plunge we ask “what are you waiting for”? Since it can take a few months to get up and running on these sites, and build a network that can be of value, starting now can mean the difference between a three month job search and a six month job search! But remember, these are additional tools in your toolbox. No successful carpenter uses only one tool!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lionsgate Studios Looking for Extras for Filming April 22nd and 23rd

We received this email from the Producers of “WARRIOR”:

Warrior Extras Casting is looking to book people for 4/22 and 4/23. Please respond if you are over 21 and available to work.

WARRIOR, a Lionsgate Studios feature film shooting in Pittsburgh, is seeking extras to participate in the filming of a staged "smoker" - an unlicensed mixed martial arts fight- as fans. Background actors age 21 and up of all types are needed.

There is a special need for bikers- as in Harleys, not Ducatis- both male and female for this location. Shooting will take place in Clairton on Wednesday, April 22nd, and Thursday, April 23rd, beginning in late afternoon. Background will be required to stay for the entire day of shooting, usually around twelve hours but often going longer.

Pay is $100/12 hours, with overtime as needed. Actors will be required to provide their own wardrobe and transportation, and may be asked to use their vehicles in the film for an additional $25. If available for this date, please send an e-mail to with "SMOKER" in the subject line to be considered.

Include your name, e-mail address, phone number, photo of yourself, and photo of your vehicle. Please only respond if available for the specified dates and location. The shoot day may start late and end late.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

As Expected, Pittsburgh Region Continues to Shed Jobs in February

With about 1,500 job seekers coming to our job fair at Mellon Arena on March 24th, the 45 companies and schools in attendance are reporting one of the best qualified groups of job seekers seen in years. We knew this was the largest attendance we have had since 2003. This also coincides with the last time Pittsburgh had seen year over year job losses that approach the levels reported for February. The Pittsburgh Metro unemployment rate rose to 6.9%, up from 6.5% in January. The last time Pittsburgh had a rate this high was 1994. The state unemployment rate was 7.5 % in February and the national rate was 8.1%.

With a diversified economy, the Pittsburgh region has been better off than in past decades when steel and manufacturing accounted for a much higher percentage of jobs. Healthcare and education in particular have helped mitigate the effects of this recession buffering our area from the brunt of job losses like those seen in southern and western states. Also contributing to the relative strength of our economy is a housing industry that, because it was never part of the national housing bubble, has not seen the kinds of declines in housing values seen elsewhere.

Pittsburgh area recruiters that we speak with, though not as pessimistic as over the past three to six months, are still showing extreme caution in their hiring plans going into spring. Until they see a sustained improvement in economic news, job losses in our area will continue to mount (though not as severely as over the past six months). On the plus side, we are starting to see a slight uptick in the search for sales people in various industries.For more details on the February Pittsburgh job market see the Pittsburgh Tribune Review article here.

Monday, March 9, 2009 and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Help Pittsburgh’s Unemployed Workers

2009 Pittsburgh Diversity Employment and Career Education Expo at Mellon Arena

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and® partner to sponsor “Putting Americans Back to Work” Job Fair Series in Pittsburgh.

2009 Pittsburgh Diversity Employment and Career Education Expo at Mellon ArenaThe Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and® partner to sponsor “Putting America Back to Work” Job Fair Series in Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA, 3/12/2009– In response to the current economic crisis and a tightening labor market, The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and have combined efforts to bring together jobseekers with companies who seek their talents.

On Tuesday, March 24th, from 10:00AM to 2:00PM at Mellon Arena more than 40 Pittsburgh area employers and schools will meet and interview hundreds of job seekers.

Companies and schools attending include:

Army National Guard
Burns & Scalo Roofing
Community College of Allegheny County
H&R Block
CCAC/ Modern Office Systems Training

Life Pittsburgh
Mainstay Life Services
New Century Careers
Transitional Services
Waddell & Reed Financial Services
All-State Career School
Greenery Care Center
Cardworks Servicing
PIA Truck Driving School
U.S. Navy
Parkvale Bank
Giant Eagle
Market District
Giant Eagle Express

Building and Construction Trade Industry Partnership
Brightside Academy
City of Pittsburgh
CEP / Clayton Academy
CVS Pharmacy
Academy of Court Reporting
Verizon Wireless
Allegheny Answering Service
Reliance First Capital
Kaplan School
Gallagher Home Healthcare
Baptist omes
Futurity First Insurance Company
CynaMed Healthcare

And more

Co-sponsored by The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and, the 2009 Pittsburgh Employment and Career Education Expo is part of the “Putting America Back to Work” Job Fair Series, taking place in more than 50 cities across the country throughout 2009. The job fair series allows jobseekers to have personal contact with perspective employers.

Participating employers will seek to fill hourly to mid level positions ranging from entry-level to management and they represent industries such as health care, customer service, hospitality, finance, sales, insurance, skilled trades, transportation, security and more.

Adding to the success of this new job fair series is support from associations interested in helping their members including: the AARP Foundation, the National Urban League, and the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pittsburgh Job Market on a Slippery Slope

As the recession begins to deepen in the Pittsburgh region we are seeing an inability of local employers to make decisions about their recruitment plans. We continue to speak with hundreds of Pittsburgh area recruiters each week and are hearing from many of them that they have open positions they need to fill but either are not allowed, at least for the short term, to spend money in the effort, or are fearful of filling a position only to be told within weeks or months that they have to lay the new employee off.

Pittsburgh recruiters are currently just holding their breath. Many of our postings have communicated how we in Pittsburgh are fairing better than most areas around the country. The next month or two should really set the tone of how hard we are ultimately hit for all of 2009.

Most of the layoff announcements that have been publically made over the past month or two that affect Pittsburgh workers have been primarily companies with a national presence (Target, Ericsson, Home Depot, Circuit City) or large financial institutions (PNC Bank, BNY Mellon).

Healthcare and education continue to be the strength of our current job market condition. By keeping, and even continuing to increase, overall jobs in these areas of strength, other area support industries (retail, hospitality and other service industries) have been able to maintain more strength (jobs) than they would otherwise. This is different than in 2001-2002 when we lost 10,000 jobs from US Air.

The most optimistic forecasts predict the recession will continue to deepen until at least June. We will continue to report on strengths and weaknesses for our local job market as we see them.

To try and leave with at least one piece of good news, Single Source Roofing will be adding 50 jobs soon as they move into their new corporate headquarters in the Southpoint Business Park (see announcement from the
Pittsburgh Business Times) and Yellow cab will be expanding as they add new service to the south hills area (see Pittsburgh Post gazette article).