While the Top of Utah economy is improving, it still has a long way to go to return to normal growth rates, and some areas continue to struggle.
Davis County, which added more than 3,500 new jobs in 2011, continues to do better than Weber County, while Morgan County is barely holding its own.
Box Elder County, affected mostly by the loss of the space shuttle program work at ATK, suffered the reduction of nearly 1,000 manufacturing jobs in 2011, which then negatively affected other businesses in the county. As an obvious ripple-effect of the job loss, Box Elder County also had an 11.2 percent drop in consumer spending.
Cache County fared fairly well, with an employment growth rate of 1.4 percent (710 jobs). Rich County remains stable with a 4.1 percent unemployment rate, well below the state unemployment rate of 6 percent and the national unemployment rate of 8.3 percent.
Davis and Morgan counties both have current unemployment rates of 5.7 percent and Weber County is at a typically higher unemployment rate of 6.9 percent.
With a few exceptions noted above, the economy is slowly going in the right direction and will likely continue to do so into the foreseeable future. This results in a slow road to a full recovery that will take a lot more time to achieve.
In the meantime, jobs do exist and employers hire every day. If you are waiting for a full recovery before you take your job search seriously, don’t. Those who continue their job search, in spite of numerous dead ends they may face along the way, will eventually find work, and they will obviously find that work sooner than those who wait. Don’t wait.
If you are hitting a lot of dead ends in your search, ensure you are not just chasing job openings. Find ways to meet with employers that hire your skills and get them to know you. While most of those employers will not have a job opening today, they may in the near future. In fact, most of them will.
Employers hire those who they like and believe can do the job. If a job opening is advertised, that employer will likely get hundreds of applicants, and the competition can be very tough. This results in a lot of dead ends for many job seekers. If 100 applicants apply for one job, there will be one who gets the job and 99 applicants who will reach a dead end.
If, on the other hand, an employer knows you, and knows your skills and hopefully likes you, before they advertise a job opening, they may chose not to advertise and simply hire you. In fact, most higher paying jobs are never advertised.
Meeting with employers that hire your skills is easier than you may think. Most employers are willing to meet with someone who wants to learn more about their company. Many employers will also be willing to meet with someone who would like advice on their career or to learn more about working in their industry. These information-type interviews can yield a lot of good results as you get employers to know you and, hopefully, like you.
The economy is heading in the right direction but a full recovery is a long way down the road. The key is to keep your job search active and don’t wait for that full economic recovery to arrive to reignite your job search.
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.