Thursday, January 28, 2010

St Louis Job Openings Created by Small Businesses

Small businesses will account for many St Louis job openings during the near future.

A recent report from the Entrepreneurs' Organization St. Louis Chapter found that more than half of the small businesses in the area plan to add jobs during the first three months of this year.

About 46 companies were surveyed for the report. Of those, 57 percent said they expect to add employees by march, while 82 percent plan to hire skilled workers and 4 percent plan to hire administrative personnel.

"Despite the recent downturn in the economy, it's very encouraging to see how many local entrepreneurs are feeling optimistic enough about their businesses to hire new employees," Dan Curran, communications chairman for the Entrepreneurs Organization St. Louis Chapter, said.

As for how these small businesses plan to recruit new workers, 44 percent said they will post available jobs online; 25 percent plan to find new hires through networking; 11 percent plan to use a recruiter; and only 5 percent said they would place an ad in a newspaper.

The Entrepreneurs' Organization is a world-wide network of 7,300 businesses that each employ 50 or fewer workers. The St. Louis Chapter currently has about 100 members.

The new jobs those businesses will create is welcome news for the local economy. As of late, the city's unemployment rate has continued to increase and more jobs have been lost on a monthly and yearly basis.

During November 2009, the unemployment rate in St. Louis increased from 9.7 percent to 9.9 percent, following a decrease from 9.9 percent during October. That increase places the city's rate just below the national unemployment rate of 10 percent.

St. Louis had a total non-farm employment of 1,320,400 workers during December 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 1,322,100 workers during November and a 2.5 percent decrease from December 2008.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

City of Seattle Jobs Eliminated

Hundreds of City of Seattle jobs will soon be cut in an effort to save money and avoid an anticipated budget shortfall.

Newly-elected Mayor Mike McGinn recently announced that officials in Seattle will take several steps to try to close an expected budget deficit of at least $40 million in 2011. One of those steps will result in the loss of 200 city jobs.

Officials have implemented a senior-level personnel review, which will work toward the goal of cutting jobs. The review process, which will take place during Q1 of this year, will identify positions that can be eliminated or reclassified, focusing specifically on executive, manager and strategic adviser positions.

McGinn also signed four executive orders meant to reduce or limit city government spending, including:
  1. Eliminating salary increases during 2010 for executives, managers and strategic advisers instead of the previously proposed 2 percent increase. In addition, the number of furlough days offered to these employees will be reduced from 10 to seven.
  2. A hiring review requiring departments to obtain authorization before initiating any hiring process to fill open positions.
  3. A senior-level salary review requiring departments to obtain authorization for any salary offer made to an executive, manager or strategic adviser.
  4. A consulting contract review requiring departments to obtain authorization before awarding any new consulting contract or consulting contract amendment.

Despite these measures, officials have stated that it will be necessary to cut jobs, as employee payroll has grown beyond what can now be reasonably supported. The city is not left with many other options, as its "rainy day account" was already reduced from $30 million to $10 million during 2009, when it was facing a budget shortfall of $70 million.

During the last eight years, the number of senior-level employees working for the city has grown from 639 to 951, an increase of 49 percent. At the same time, the overall city workforce has only increased by 2 percent.

"Mayor McGinn recognizes the dedication of city employees, and that this process will be difficult," a city press release notes. "Fiscal reality requires that we begin the process of reducing costs in a deliberative and thoughtful manner, so that city government retains the capacity to serve Seattle residents and we avoid deeper and more disruptive cuts in the future."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Las Vegas Casino Jobs Upheld by Increased Spending

Those with Las Vegas casino jobs recently received some good news.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has announced that gaming revenue on the Las Vegas Strip increased by 8.3 percent during November 2009, accounting for the first increase in nearly two years.

Overall, proceeds on the Strip came in at $473.8 million. At the same time, revenue for all of Clark County, which includes downtown Las Vegas, came in at $750.8 million, a 6.9 percent increase.

"Consumers are feeling more confident about jobs, probably feeling a little wealthier than they had," Bill Lerner, a Las Vegas-based analyst for Union Gaming Group, told "That can translate quite quickly to Las Vegas."

While November was the first month gaming revenue in Las Vegas increased since December 2007, when it rose less than 1 percent from December 2006, not all gaming hot spots throughout the country were as lucky. For instance, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission reported that gambling proceeds in Atlantic City decreased by 9.8 percent during November.

Part of the reason for the increase in Las Vegas is that resorts there have greatly reduced room prices and increased special offers to spur demand that was lost when businesses cut convention spending. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the average daily room rate during October 2009 was $99.59, a 14 percent decrease from 2008.

In response, travel to Las Vegas increased by more than 4 percent during November when compared to the previous year, which is welcome news considering travel declined by 10 percent during all of 2009.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jobs for Ex Military through Employer Partnership Office

The Army Reserve and several well-known employers are doing their part to create jobs for ex military and those currently serving.

Last year, the U.S. Army Reserve created the Employer Partnership Office, a public-private venture that urges companies to hire current and former Reserve soldiers and facilitates the process for doing so.

The U.S. Army Reserve is a completely volunteer force, with 206,000 soldiers currently serving, and 15,000 of those soldiers deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. According to a CNBC article, written by Major General James R. Sholar, there are more than 1 million current and former Reserve soldiers throughout the nation.

More than 800 organizations in all 50 states are taking part in the Employer Partnership Office, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, retailers, local police departments and hospitals.

Some of the most prominent companies working with the Employer Partnership Office include: IBM, Microsoft, GE, Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Textron, Paychex and FMC Technologies. Current or former Reserve soldiers work in positions as accountants, attorneys, engineers, city planners, medical professionals, human resource managers and law enforcement officers.

"The Army Reserves' Employer Partnership Office is based on a highly practical rationale – that companies with soldiers on-board can operate more successfully," Sholar writes. "Most of its soldiers have already received special training – in leadership development, for example, and team-building experiences – to prepare for jobs, particularly in fields such as healthcare, construction, transportation and law enforcement. That’s why individuals with military experience often make some of the best employees."

For instance, a Reserve soldier trained as an X-ray technician or nurse can use their knowledge while working in a hospital or healthcare facility, just as a Reserve soldier in the military police would be well-equipped for a position in law enforcement.

"As our economy grows strong again – and signs of a rebound in hiring are emerging more sharply month by month – more employers should join our efforts to find jobs and build careers for Soldiers and veterans," Sholar adds. "Beyond being good business, it serves a higher purpose. It lends stability to our families and strengthens our communities. It’s a smart, patriotic investment in our country for 2010. Above all, it gives us a chance to express the gratitude we all feel."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baltimore Retail Jobs Created by Kohl's

A well-known department store is planning to create hundreds of Baltimore retail jobs.

Kohl's Department Stores recently announced its plan to add up to 280 jobs in the greater Baltimore area. This move is a result of the store's plan to open two new locations this spring, including one in Annapolis and one in Middle River.

The Annapolis store will be located in the Annapolis Towne Center, while the Middle River store will be located at the Martin Plaza Shopping Center, with both locations slated to open in March. According to an article by the Baltimore Business Journal, about 150 new positions will be needed in Annapolis and about 130 will be needed in Middle River.

Hourly positions will be available for employees in customer service, department service, cash register operation, early morning stocking, truck unloading, housekeeping and evening signage and pricing updates.

New hires can expect to receive a full Kohl's benefits package, including health insurance, a 401(k) plan, employee stock ownership and merchandise discounts. The company is planning to host job fairs during the week of January 11 to find new employees.

Interviews for the Annapolis location will take place January 10 through January 14 at the Double Tree in Annapolis. Interviews for the Middle River location will take place through January 15 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Baltimore.

Wisconsin-based Kohl's currently has eight stores throughout the greater Baltimore area and its annual sales exceed $16 billion.

The Baltimore area could certainly benefit from the additional jobs. Although the city's unemployment rate has remained relatively low, jobs have been lost on a monthly and yearly basis as of late.

During November 2009, the Baltimore-Towson area's unemployment rate remained at 7.7 percent, following an increase from 7.5 percent during October. This places the city's current rate below the national unemployment rate of 10 percent.

The area had a total non-farm employment of 1,286,700 workers during November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 1,288,300 workers during October and a 2 percent decrease from November 2008.

Monday, January 4, 2010

San Antonio Government Jobs See Biggest Yearly Gain

As overall employment in the city saw a monthly increase and yearly decrease, San Antonio government jobs saw the biggest jump when compared to last year.

Although the November unemployment rate for San Antonio has not yet been released, the city has managed to maintain a relatively low unemployment rate compared to most other cities throughout the country. The city's unemployment rate has wavered between 7 percent and 7.1 percent since July.

San Antonio had a total non-farm employment of 849,200 workers during November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is up from 846,800 workers during October and only a .7 percent decrease from last year.

Four industries saw a monthly increase in employment, including: trade, transportation and utilities by 2,100 jobs; professional and business services by 800 jobs; other services by 300 jobs; and government by 400 jobs.

Employment in the mining and logging, manufacturing, information and education and health services industries remained even at 3,500 workers, 42,100 workers, 19,800 workers and 122,800 workers, respectively.

Five industries managed to see a yearly increase in employment, with the government industry adding the most jobs. That industry employed 158,300 workers during November, up from 157,900 workers during October and a 2 percent increase from last year.

The other services industry saw the second biggest increase in employment, up 1.9 percent from last year, followed by the leisure and hospitality industry with a 1.2 percent increase, the financial activities industry with a .3 percent increase and the education and health services industry with a .1 percent increase.

The manufacturing industry took the biggest hit when compared to last year. The industry employed 42,100 workers during November, the same as during October, but a 9.1 percent decrease from last year.

Other industries that saw an over-the-year decrease in employment include:
  • mining and logging by 7.9 percent
  • construction by 2.3 percent
  • trade, transportation and utilities by 1.3 percent
  • information by 4.3 percent
  • professional and business services by 2.7 percent