In previous posts I have written about where the jobs are and how to find and use good labour market information to help you with career planning and job search. The importance of this is highlighted even further by the scarcity of jobs and the difficulty of many, particularly youth, to even get a start in the labour market. According to academic Veronica Sheen in today’s Conversation:

[In Australia] overall unemployment rate is now 6%, and 13.5% for 15-24 year olds. In May there were 146,000 job vacancies with 720,000 people unemployed. Another 920,000 were underemployed and wanting more hours of work. … Altogether, these figures mean 1.64 million people who have no work or not enough work are potentially competing for available job vacancies.

Source: 10 Jobs per every job vacancy, The Conversation, 29 July 2014

This situation is exacerbated by harsh measures now being imposed upon job seekers to apply for jobs that are in many cases non-existent and for which they have little chance of succeeding. One wonders when the emphasis will shift to re-training workers made redundant by industry changes and creating entry level jobs for young people. The reality of looking for a job is difficult at the best of times, even for those who have had ongoing work and really solid careers. And yet even in tough times, new jobs are created and people move on to new opportunities.

Recently I was re-acquainted with a friend of my son – a young man who has just completed the first year of his carpentry apprenticeship. When we met, Alex’s news was not good – the small company he had been working for since leaving school was being wound down and he would be laid off. Alex wanted to continue his apprenticeship and although his boss offered to speak to his contacts in the industry to take Alex on the general economic downturn and the tightening of the job market was not looking promising.


Alex’s determination to find a new employer was admirable – he updated his resume; visited potential employers; sought the assistance of apprenticeship placement services; and contacted his friends, relatives and anyone else he could think of.  Nothing     came up quickly and his confidence and energy started to take a battering. Taking the view that any work is better than no work, he jumped at the chance to take a few hours’ helping out as a kitchen hand at a mate’s café. As it turns out, a regular at the café is a builder who has a reasonably large project in the pipeline. He has got to know Alex and has offered to take him on in a couple of months.

There are many things you can do to find a pathway through a tight job market and although they will not necessarily lead to immediate success, it can be surprising how opportunities can present themselves. In the case of Alex his positive energy, can-do attitude and ability and willingness to give other things a go, have held him in good stead through some bumpy times. You can read more job search tips in my article Job Search for Uncertain Times and The 12 Essentials of Job Search. I hope you find them helpful. And as always, if you have a question about your career or job search please feel free to contact me. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

until next time ….