To retain and attract top employees, U.S. companies are turning to perks such as subsidized training and flexible work conditions rather than raises. These incentives are finding a welcome among employees, too, especially educational benefits.
As wages and benefits shrink, state workers are retiring in droves. On top of all the layoffs, these retirements amount to a huge brain drain, and the problem will only get worse given the yawning budget gaps of states from coast to coast.
North Dakota topped Gallup's list of best places to find jobs last year, followed by other states rich in natural resources, such as South Dakota and Alaska. Meanwhile, Nevada, New Jersey and California were the worst states for job hunters.
Whether it was a fresh startup or a fresh start, fewer Americans seemed willing to take career risks last year, according to a new report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The percentage of job-seekers starting their own businesses or relocating for new positions fell to historic lows in 2010.
The latest data from the government show that employers added 36,000 jobs January, sending the unemployment rate sharply lower to 9% -- the lowest level since April 2009. But the numbers already have some scratching their heads.
New forecasts show that the worst may be over for the construction industry, which was hit harder by the Great Recession than any other sector, as construction projects slowly resume. Some 27% of construction firms say they plan to add staff this year, while only 20% plan to cut jobs.
Tech layoffs came to just under 47,000 last year, according to employment-services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Better still, during the next 10 years, the sector is forecast to have one of the fastest paces of job creation of any industry.
After increases during 2007 and 2008 in the number of unionized workers, 2010 is following 2009 in showing a big drop. Governments now employ more union labor than the private sector does, but both categories showed declines in 2010. It's a far cry from labor's glory years.
Fresh data show that the number of promotions given to American workers has dwindled, suggesting that even those with jobs are having a tough time getting ahead. Fewer promotions are "a sign of the lingering impacts of the recession," one expert says.
A new survey by job-services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found the number of unemployed seeking work similar to what it found in 2009. Now, though, people are more optimistic that they'll land a job. Challenger agrees, but it notes the path is still long and difficult.