On Feb. 18, the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, Mich. was packed with smiling faces scrambling to beat their neighbors in a race to join the job market.
But just what sort of an environment are they fighting to get into? Let’s have a look at the current state of the nation.
What’s wrong, exactly? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the national unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in January, up 2.7 percentage points from January 2008. That’s 4.1 million more people unemployed than there were in January 2008–approximately half the population of New York City in 2006. What’s worse is that in March the Department of Labor upped the rate to 8.5%.
Back in February, a stimulus package to the tune of $787 billion, with $18 billion marked for Michigan alone, was pumped out by the federal government with hopes that it would help. These numbers mean that, at least in the short-run, it hasn’t–at least in the job market.
A little competition becomes understandable in such an environment. For more, though, on both the Kellogg Center’s Summer Job Fair and the work environment in Michigan, consult my article, “The Battle for Work.”