My Recruiting Blog

All things employment.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Seattle Jobs Supported by Funding

Several Seattle jobs will be positively impacted by a new round of funding.

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation recently awarded $4.6 million in grants to various organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest area. That funding is part of a $15 million investment the foundation made last year.

The Seattle-based foundation, awarded grants to 66 nonprofits, 38 of which are based in Washington. Some of that funding will be used to create new jobs and support existing positions, according to an article by the Pudget Sound Business Journal.

One organization, for instance, will use its funding to enhance the area's "green-collar" industry. The White Center Community Development Association will receive a $200,000 grant that it intends to use to develop a green jobs training program aimed at young adults.

Other organizations in the Seattle area that received grants include:

The Paul G. Allen Foundation was launched by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, in 1988.

The Seattle area could certainly use the additional jobs that the funding will support, as the unemployment rate has increased and the city has continued to lose jobs on a monthly and yearly basis.

During December 2009, the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area's unemployment rate increased from 8.4 percent to 9 percent, following a decrease from 9 percent during November. Despite the increase, the area's unemployment rate is still lower than the national rate of 10 percent.

The area had a total non-farm employment of 1,414,200 workers during December, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 1,415,400 workers during November and a 3.4 percent decrease from December 2008.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Jobs for Veterans a Focus in San Diego

Officials in San Diego are attempting to make it easier to create city government jobs for veterans (Click here).

A recent bill proposed by Councilmember Todd Gloria would amend a city charter to give hiring preference to all U.S. veterans. Under the current measure, only those who served in the armed forces when a draft was in effect are given hiring preference.

Last week, the Rules, Open Government and Intergovernmental Relations Committee put the proposed bill to the San Diego City Council, which will place the measure up for vote on the general-election ballot in June.

According to an article by The San Diego Union-Tribune, military members who return to the United States after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan are not currently eligible to receive extra credit on civil service exams, a courtesy extended to other veterans that makes it easier for them to compete for city jobs.

The new bill would require that hiring preference be given to anyone: who has served in any branch of the U.S. armed forces during any war, major military action or peacekeeping mission; who has been honorably discharged; and who receive a passing grade on exams.

This comes on the heels of Operation Welcome Home, a statewide initiative throughout California championed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. That measure will use $20 million in one-time special funds from the Employment Development Department to hire 325 combat veterans to personally connect with newly-discharged service members in need of job assistance.

As part of the new initiative, Schwarzenegger will ask for more coordination among state agencies to help organize nine regional outreach teams in an effort to more effectively connect veterans with local job offers. In addition, he will ask cities, counties and nonprofit groups to increase cooperation and communication as they serve veterans.

Even prior to the statewide initiative, however, was the Veterans Employment Initiative, a measure by President Barack Obama that requires federal agencies to increase the number of veterans they recruit for federal jobs.

That initiative leaves agencies with the responsibility of: developing a plan to promote employment opportunities to veterans; establishing a Veterans Employment Program office to help carry out the plan within 120 days of the order; and providing annual training for HR managers to ensure they are giving veterans preference and are exercising special hiring authorities for veterans.

Obama also established an inter-agency Council on Veteran's employment, which is led by the Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Office of Personnel Management.

The council will be responsible for: coordinating government-wide recruitment and training to increase the number of veterans that agencies employ; serving as a forum for promoting employment opportunities to veterans; and establishing ways to measure the effectiveness of the initiative.


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Tucson City Jobs Supported by Bioscience Industry

Those with Tucson city jobs in the bioscience industry have a lot to look forward to.

A recent study from the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice found that, despite the economic recession that slaughtered most industries during 2008 and 2009, Arizona's bioscience industry continued to rapidly grow, adding high-paying jobs and new firms.

From 2002 to 2008, bioscience jobs in Arizona increased by 31 percent, compared to the 12 percent growth rate experienced by the nation as a whole. During 2008, the average salary for a bioscience job in Arizona was $55,749, 33 percent higher than the average private-sector salary in the state.

One bright spot in the report is that 50 bioscience companies have spun off from university research since 2002. The Tucson area alone has added 38 bio firms since that year, accounting for a total of 82 firms in the area.

A previous Battelle study found that Arizona's bioscience industry has an annual revenue of about $12.5 billion, creating an additional $8.6 billion in economic activity and generating more than $765 million in state and local tax revenues.

The current study found that, during 2008, jobs in the state's bioscience industry increased by 5.8 percent, or 4,900 positions, to 89,674 jobs. At the same time, employment in Arizona's private sector decreased by 3.2 percent.

Although it's too early to guess how well Arizona's bioscience industry fared during 2009, several major bioscience employers throughout the state announced expansions, including W.L. Gore & Associates, Covance, Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. and Sanofi-aventis.

The Battelle Technology Partnership Practice has been commissioned by the Flinn Foundation to develop Arizona's Bioscience Roadmap, a comprehensive analysis and strategic plan. Of the 19 recommended action items included in the plan, progress has been made on 17, with substantial progress on 11.

Some notable recent happenings include:

During 2008, a total of $435 million was spent on academic research and development expenditures at Arizona's public universities. However, grant funding from the National Institutes of Health decreased by 10.1 percent to $157.6 million.

Fortunately, the current NIH funding outlook is encouraging, with $33 million already secured in research funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. From 2002 to 2008, NIH funding in Arizona increased by 14 percent.

However, during 2009, Arizona also saw its bioscience venture capital-investments substantially decline. Firms secured five investments during the year, totaling $16.4 million, a decrease from the $65 million received during 2008, and the lowest level of funding received since 2003.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


San Diego County Jobs Index Remains Even

The outlook for San Diego County jobs is bright.

During November 2009, San Diego's index of leading economic indicators remained even, hinting at continuing improvement in the job market as more workers were hired and the area unemployment rate declined.

The index, which is maintained by the University of San Diego's Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, has not declined for eight months.

The index is mainly based on online job postings, which increased by .08 percent during November, breaking a 38-month decline, and first-time unemployment filings, which increased by .17 percent, accounting for the lowest number of new filings since March 2008.

"It's not necessarily that things are getting better, but they're definitely getting less bad," Alan Gin, an economist with the University of San Diego, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "The indicators are showing that we're getting much closer to having actual job growth in the county."

At the same time, the local unemployment rate decreased from 10.7 percent to 10.3 percent during November, and economists predict the jobless rate could drop to 9 percent or 9.5 percent by the end of this year.

In addition, local consumer confidence increased by 30 percent from November 2008, while the number of building permits declined and local stock prices were negative for the third month in a row.

Based on recent trends, economists are predicting that local employers could hire anywhere between 3,000 and 18,000 workers this year. Any amount of growth would be welcome, however, as local employers cut between 40,000 and 50,000 jobs during 2009.

"2009 was the worst year for employment on record for San Diego," Gin said. "It's possible that a year or two in the 1930s might have been worse, but we don't have enough solid data from back then to make a good comparison."


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