Rob’s Job Report: Quarterly BLS Unemployment Figures and Spring Tips

Hopefully the spring season has been pleasant for you so far. After being hit with thunderstorms while on business in Ft. Lauderdale, I arrived home in Toronto to below freezing temperatures. Will winter ever end?

The first quarter of 2014 has come to a close, and as companies gear up for upcoming projects, administrative hiring seems to be moving in a positive direction. Here are some of the latest industry trends:

Q1 BLS Unemployment Figures

The most recent specialized occupation and industry unemployment reports compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) identified some promising areas in the administrative field.

For example, below are first-quarter 2014 unemployment rates pulled from the BLS reports for select administrative and administrative healthcare positions that fall below the current national average of 6.7%:

  • Human resources (HR) workers: 2.4%
  • Dispatchers: 2.9%
  • Medical transcriptionists: 3.0%
  • Insurance claims and policy processing clerks: 3.5%
  • Medical records and health information technicians: 4.0%
  • First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers: 4.0%
  • Secretaries and administrative assistants: 4.1%
  • Office and administrative support workers – all others: 4.5%
  • Office clerks – general: 5.4%

rob's job report_quarterly unemployment figures and spring tipsThese numbers suggest there is a demand for certain administrative roles – and that employers may face challenges when recruiting for some of these positions.

We continue to hear that companies are looking for versatile executive and administrative assistants who can jump in to make an immediate impact. As organizations expand their workforces, employers are also seeking HR staff to assist with this growth.



Industries That May Be Hiring

As the second quarter of the year begins and the weather warms up, many companies experience an increase in business. Those seeking an administrative position may consider targeting organizations related to industries such as:

  • Construction
  • Real estate
  • Property management
  • Home repair/maintenance
  • Tourism/hospitality
  • Insurance

It’s also prime wedding season during the next few months, so event venues and catering services may need some extra administrative assistance. Many nonprofit organizations’ fiscal year ends on June 30, which means they could require help preparing during this timeframe. In addition, the healthcare sector continues to be a hot spot in administrative staffing.

Don’t forget to consider a temporary administrative position. You can build your skills and gain valuable experience in temporary assignments – and they can often turn into full-time opportunities!

Spring Cleaning Your Career

We’ve all heard about spring cleaning as it relates to getting your home and workspace in tip-top shape, but it’s also a great time to get your career and job search organized.

Here are four things to consider doing right now:

1. Update your resume. Even if you’re not currently looking for a job, it’s important to have an up-to-date resume ready just in case the right opportunity presents itself. In addition to adding noteworthy professional achievements or responsibilities you’ve recently taken on, delete any information that no longer has relevance to your current job or career pursuits. 

2. Revisit goals. Are you still on track to accomplish any career-related resolutions you set earlier in the year? Also, take stock of where you are in your career, where you want to be and what you need to do to get there.

3. Learn something new. It might be a good time to seek out professional development opportunities or pursue a certification, especially if it’s tied to career goals. Look into courses offered by your company, trade associations, local colleges/universities or online. You could also read books to expand your skills.

4. Update your social network profiles. For professional networking sites like LinkedIn, it’s helpful to regularly update your information and include a current photo. On sites like Facebook, you’ll want to make sure you’re not tagged in any inappropriate photos and that your privacy settings are up to par. You never know if a current or future employer might look you up.

What other tips do you have for spring cleaning your career? And what administrative trends are you seeing in your marketplace?