Goodbye, Dream Job: Finding New Paths to Success in a Changing Economy

Goodbye, Dream Job: Finding New Paths to Success in a Changing Economy
From Recruiter - August 17, 2016

According to iCIMS Chief Economist Josh Wright, the story of the U.S. economy in Q1 of 2016 was underemploymentand its a story that may not endwith a new deluge of full-time jobs for all.

Underemployment has been a problem in the U.S. since the Great Recession, andwhile full-time jobs are being created, they arent being created fast enough tochange the overall composition of the job market. The proportion of available full-time jobs to part-time jobs and contingent roles hasnt changed much.

According toiCIMSs recent Q1 Hiring Trends Report, it looks likethe only way forwardfor todays job seekers is to get creative.

The Skills Gap Drives More People Toward Internships

One such way that entry-level job seekers are getting creative is by focusing even more on internships than they did in the past. The number of internships being created is on the rise, but the demand for these internships is rising even faster.

Over the last couple of years, in the first quarter, there has been a rise in the number of people applying tointernships, Wright says. This seems to indicate that people realize they need to find alternative toeholds to get into the labor market.

This fact becomes even more striking when one considers that the increasing number of internship applicants is complemented by a decreasing number of applicants for full-time positions.

Pointing to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data, Wright notes that, normally, the number of new job openings and the number of new hires track pretty closely together, as one might expect. Right now, however, theyre crossed over one another, and there are more job openings than hires.

People are askingwhywe have all these surplus vacancies, Wright says. Theres a debate about this, but a lot of people think this is a sign of a skills gap, and that would be consistent with the talent supply/demand ratio declining for full-time positions.

If todays entry-level workers arent gaining the skills and experience they need to snag full-time jobs upon graduationin the education system, then it makes sense that more of them would try to gain those skills and that experience by taking internships.

But isthe skills gap the only thing driving more workers to apply for internships? It likely plays a role, but Wright says there are also other factors at work.

The Twin Forces of Globalization and Technology

Job seekers arent more interested in internships onlybecause they need more preparation before enteringthe full-time workforce. Theyre also interested in internships because outside of the internship system, full-time jobs are harder to come by. Many of these jobs have been replaced by part-time and contract positions, thanks to a globalized economy and rapid advances in technology.

Certainly theres the twin forces of globalization and technology, so a lot of employers recognize that with their business models and the technology at their disposal, they dont need full-time workers, Wright says. They can get people on-demand.


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