While Utah's unemployment numbers continue to hover around six percent, well below the national average, The Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS) is taking a closer look at whether they are making a difference.
In the May/June edition of their publication "Trendlines," WFS executive director Kristen Cox addresses this very question and with the data to back it up, concludes with a resounding yes.
For example, DWS served more than 31,000 veterans last year and ranked 15th in the nation in helping veterans find and retain employment.
Utah also has the 5th best (shortest) duration rate for unemployment insurance customers nationally.
One of the key elements that lends to the success of DWS is their job matching system. This no-cost web-based system allows employers to recruit for new workers through an online service at http://jobs.utah.gov. The system then searches registered applicants and presents to the employer a list of job seekers matching their criteria.
For the quarter ending December 31, 2011, Utah's labor market included 22,465 hiring employers with 169,984 new hires. The job matching system represented 16.1 percent of the total number of hiring employers and an even more significant 32.4 percent of the new hires. The system is working.
Job seekers can access DWS's employer/job opening database whether you are receiving unemployment benefits or not, as well having full access to a myriad of other job search services. While the job matching system obviously works well, job seekers should search for their own leads and be proactive in their job search; don't wait for the job matching system to do this work for you.
Remember, posted job openings are like ice cubes in the hot desert sun, they melt very quickly. If you find a job opening at http://jobs.utah.gov, you must act quickly, knowing that many others are competing for this same job. If you network to get the name of the hiring manager, you can move ahead of the pack and hopefully to the top of the list, especially if you can get someone to recommend you to that hiring manager.
While most jobs are not advertised, and networking to find jobs in the hidden job market will always be wise, there is nothing like an actual job opening to apply for. The emotional boost can be significant. The key is to balance your job search efforts; spending time searching for posted job openings and applying for them, and even more time networking to find jobs in the hidden job market.
When you consider the mission of the Utah Department of Workforce Services--"We strengthen Utah's economy by supporting economic stability and quality of our workforce"--it is clear that not only employers and job seekers benefit from this valuable service, but so does the entire community.
For job seekers that may still be looking for that elusive job, there are almost 18,000 job openings posted on DWS website, and you just need one of them.
For employers looking for the perfect match for your newest job opening, the job matching system may be just right for you.
For Utah citizens looking for effective government programs that actually make a difference, the Utah Department of Workforce Services does just that.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.