Job-seeker updates her resumeThough the nation's job market improved a bit last year, many Americans remain out of work, and the numbers of long-term unemployed continue to grow. So it's not surprising that more than 40% of job-seekers during a recent job-search advice call-in said they had been out of work for more than a year, according to job-services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

What is surprising is that those looking for work are more upbeat than they were a year ago even though the nation's unemployment rate remains stuck at around 10%. Despite prolonged unemployment, callers in a survey taken last week were slightly more optimistic than a year ago, Challenger said Monday. About 18% believed they would find a job in the next one to three months, while 21% said their searches would probably take three to six months.

Contrast the recent findings with those from a year ago, when just 12% of job-seekers expected to find a job within three months, while another 12% thought it would take three to six months to secure new employment.

Similar Numbers Were Out of Work a Year Ago

In a random sampling of 400 of the 1,500 people who called in last week to take advantage of job-search advice, a bit more than 80% were unemployed, Challenger said. Of those, 47.5% have been seeking employment for at least 12 months, with the next largest group of jobless callers (19%) out of work for one to three months. Eighteen percent said they had been looking for four to six months.

The percentage of callers without work was about equal to that of 2009, Challenger said, noting that In 2008, 76% of callers into the help line were unemployed, while in 2007, only 55% were out of work.

Though those polled were slightly more upbeat compared to a year ago, many said their futures remain uncertain. Nearly half (48%) said they didn't know how much longer their searches for jobs would take -- about the same as in 2009.

Among those out of work for more than a year, the uncertainty was even more widespread, Challenger said, with nearly 60% saying they weren't sure how long it would take to find employment.

Reason for Hope in the Near Future

A sense of frustration was evident in callers' voices, said Challenger Chief Executive John Challenger in a press release. "Not only were most of them out of work, many have been out of work for so long that they are losing confidence and hope." Still, he said, underlying the frustration was a sense of optimism, with many job-seekers expressing belief that 2011 would be a stronger year for the job market.

That confidence may not be misplaced, Challenger said. Planned job cuts have slowed to levels the firm hasn't seen since 2000, and private-sector employment has shown 11 consecutive months of net growth. Also, companies are sitting on mountains of cash saved through two years of dramatic cost-cutting.

Still, Challenger warned that even as his firm expects hiring by private employers to rise in 2011, the uptick may not make searching for a job any easier. In fact, it may make the job market more competitive.

As employment prospects improve, not only will those who had abandoned their job searches out of frustration reenter the labor pool, but people who are currently employed will begin looking for better jobs. Competition will be further increased by the legions of public-sector employees who have recently been cut from government payrolls across the nation.

Despite such challenges, Challenger said job-seekers shouldn't despair, noting that employers hired an average 4.3 million workers each month between May October. "There are a lot of things people can do to improve their chances of being among those 4 million new hires," he said.

Challenger advises that job-hunters not to rely on want ads, whether posted online or in newspapers, which represent only a fraction of job openings. The vast majority of available jobs -- 80% -- "can only be accessed through aggressive networking, cold-calling and persistence," Challenger said.

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Does anyone remeber back in 1970;s when a pair of Levi Jeans would go for 100.00 in the Soviet union? Does anyone know why that was? Well I think it was because that Levis were sold primarily i n North america for our own use.The world looked and seen what we were wearing and decided that they wanted to wear levis also. They demanded them,Levi strauss was only to kind to bend to their demands and was one of the biggest supporters trading with the far east.Their greed blinded their common sense and now there are bootleg levis everywhere and alot of other products like guitars, electronics,apparel, watches and jewelry and handbags. Just to name a few of the thousands of items that China,Indonesia,North and South Korea, Vietnam, Banladesh and I am sure other countries in the world produce that are bootlegged.So see with the greed of these companies they cut there marketshare of there products STUPID business practice and they deserve the situation they are in. You hear all the time how the FBI and ATF have taken down another bootlegging enterprise. My solution go back to the old days when were self sustaining.We made the best T.Vs and the world wanted them.We made the best automobiles and the world wanted them.We had every modern convienience in the house that was made right here in the USA and the world wanted them also. To achieve this repeal immediately all free trade agreements ,nice try on that expierement but it did not work. Get back to making and using products in the USA the competiton within the USA will make produsts 100 times better than they are today.For example I am writing this on a 10 year old HP desk top computer with a 600Mhz processor. Because my 4 year old Hp lap top get the Blue screen of death.Why because supposedly the chinese factory does not know the difference between good solder and exceptional solder that you must use on electronics to make them more efficient and durable to the heat the computer will encounter. Just another example of why we should shut the doors on this country and get our house in order and bring back the american dream to our people.Foreign products cannot make the american dream possible and did not make this country the richest and greatest on the face of the earth. Shut the doors and lets get busy and no more free trade.

January 05 2011 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ICBM's it's like an eight ball in the side pocket

January 05 2011 at 8:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Offsite data recovery will allow these companies to bring the blue prints, schemtics,andn other drawings for their manufacturing back to the USA to create jobs after vthe ICBMS do their job.

January 05 2011 at 8:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ICBMs will solve the trade problem in just minutes

January 05 2011 at 7:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Today there are so many undocumented and visa workers ect the unemployment situation is really bad because their filling the jobs.

January 05 2011 at 7:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Upbeat? Huh? * * * The need for human labor just keeps dwindling. * The workloads are covered. Mail delivered - check. Food in stores - check. Gas available at pumps - check. Latest electronic toys & gadgets on shelves - check. Etcetera, etcetera...With the workplace so automated and computer programs sitting where people used to sit...people are becoming obsolete. Or am I wrong? * Illegal labor and outsourced, slave jobs are a red herring (diversionary sound bytes) The politicians and corporate execs have adapted this..."wait & see what happens" attitude. They OBVIOUSLY don't care. THEY are safe in their "hard-working: (Yeah right) bubbles. * * * WE are contained by Big Brother and a hi-tech police force backed by the no revolution will happen...just WORDS - like MINE. We can do nothing but die or apply for more jobs that are long gone. God Bless America...wherever it went!!!

January 05 2011 at 6:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

After 20 months I've given up.
With 19 years of automotive engineering and sending hundreds upon hundreds of resumes without positive returns, the illusion of the American Dream is dead to me and the family. We have lost every thing, our savings, home foreclosure, and now bankruptcy. How much more can the victims of NAFTA and GLOBAL (CEO GREED) sell out of jobs, technology, and manufacturing capability last? It really starting to look like a treason plot in weakening the USA.
Let's face it folks, this is a royal depression and not a great recession. If this fact was solidified, the ball game would change as opposed to just floundering and drowning for air months and now years. It's time the belly up to the bar and get serious.

January 05 2011 at 5:17 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I think it is a sad day when articles like this are written and we are so far from solving this employment problem. It takes this country to hire 350,000 people a month for 12 consecutive months to reduce unemployment by 1%. On top of that job hiring is primarily taking place outside the country in American owned firms. Additionally, Mr. Obama has made a deal with the Hispanic lobby to veto any bills negatively impacting on ILLEGAL immigrants. Illegals over American Citizens is his priority not job creation. Lets see what the December unemployment percentage is before we start making any claims about improved employment.

January 05 2011 at 1:20 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Have no fear the Retards er the Republicans are back. Now employers will enjoy tax cuts that will allow them to hire employees, give them health benefits and milk and honey will flow. Just like when Ronald Regan and Georges Bush were in power. But things were just so terrible when Clinton was president. We ran up such a big deficiet under the Democratic regime. NOT. I hate these whining Conservatives who did nothing but drive the country down for cheap to nonexistant labor. They are Greedy pigs not happy to have had a lion's share of the wealth, they want it all and the country be damned because they aren't happy with ninety nine percent of the wealth either.

January 05 2011 at 1:00 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bcheerful3's comment

Considering the dems have been in control of Congress since 2007 and things have gotten progressively worse since then and we fired a good many of them in the last election, there are apparently alot of people in this country who don't share your opinion.

January 05 2011 at 1:22 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

bcheerful3, Drop the Republicans versus the Democrats routine. Republicans have been far from Conservative for a long time and Democrats are not always Liberals. Clinton was most successful once he got trounced in the mid-terms (like Obama) and then wisely saw the error of his ways and triangulated towards the right. George W. Bush is no conservative. I know it gets confusing, but you would be wise to abandon your hatred of Republicans because you falsely believe they have followed conservative doctrine. I find it odd that you show concern about this country's big deficit, yet fail to mention the fact that our Congress has been controlled by the Democrats for the last 4 years and they continue to spend us into financial oblivion. The conservatives have been powerless to stop them until now (hopefully).

January 05 2011 at 1:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As long as illegal aliens keep pouring into America every single day and stealing American taxpayers jobs, unemployment will never get better. Its just a smokescreen Obamas PR people tell you to make it look like the trillions he spent so far ween't a complete waste that accomplished nothing.

January 04 2011 at 11:22 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to larazasux's comment

Good post. You might also add that Mr President made a deal with the Hispanic Lobby to veto any bills negatively impacting ILLEGALS. How does that make you feel. Illegals over American Citizens and then everyone wonders why this guy has been such a failure. He says he is for the American People but his actions don't match his words. Nothing has happened in the four years since the dems took control of Congress in 2007 except to increase the National Debt astronomically.

January 05 2011 at 1:25 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply