How would you describe your company's placement trends in the previous few months, and what are your expectations for the coming months?

District Voices

Published May 1, 2002  | May 2002 issue

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I have started to notice there are more people applying [for jobs] now than six months ago. A lot of that is because people are looking to make a change, not necessarily because they're unemployed. Our unemployment rate is at 2 percent. Eight months ago it was tough to get applicants. That's not the case anymore. We haven't been affected by the recession as much here. I do see the strength continuing but I don't think it's going to be nuts—like having 100 applicants for one position. We're probably going to be steady. ... We're trying to get businesses in, but my worry is that we won't have enough people to fill the jobs.
Randy Anfinson, Business Services Team Leader
Job Service North Dakota—Devils Lake, North Dakota

We specialize in the retail and supermarket industry at the executive level. I have about three jobs to fill right now, and normally I would have eight to 10 at any given time, in a good economy. ... It's been slow for the past year and a half, down about 50 percent. I'm hoping it picks up, but that's a hope not a reality. I don't think a day goes by when I don't have to delete several applicants from our Web site, especially IT people from California, because we don't even advertise for IT positions.

Donald Spahr, Owner
Roth Young Executive Search—Edina, Minnesota

We specialize in office-type positions, mostly permanent. We've had quite a few of both [temporary and permanent positions] in the past couple of months [February and March]. We're a little busier than this time last year. We're usually pretty steady year-round except during December and January. I think we're going to continue to do well, hopefully up 'til December.
Linda Stanford, Owner
Montana Staffing Services—Missoula, Montana

Most of our contracts are with the state to help place people with disabilities. ... It's pretty tight; there aren't a whole lot of jobs to be had out there right now. We have 40 applicants and no jobs for them. ... It's always tight during the winter months. This past winter was unusually slow. We're guessing it has a lot to do with the economy. Spring and summer tend to be very good because this is a tourist town and a college town, so jobs should open up. We're optimistic for improvement.
Julie Hart Schutte, Director
Career Connections—Mitchell, South Dakota

Lately placement has been way down. The number of people looking for jobs has been the highest ever, and we've had the lowest number of jobs available since 1997. We expect it to pick up a little this summer with more seasonal positions. We don't see it picking up as far as full-time jobs. It looks grim. We receive about five applications and 15 phone calls every day, and at this point there may be three [open] positions a week. Five years ago we began to pay new hires $50 to bring in a friend to employ. Now we can't do that. We used to have to advertise in the paper for positions, but not now.
Rebecca Schaefer, Office Administrator
Nicolet Staffing—Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Things are kind of gloom and doom here for right now. There are plenty of employees but not enough jobs. Lots of people are waiting for the construction and tourism season to begin. I figure it won't be a great year, but an okay year for construction-maybe even below average because of the federal and state reduction of grant assistance for commercial buildings. We seem to feel a recession earlier than anyone else, and it lasts longer [here] because we don't have the big industries. We rely on the tourist dollar.
Gerald Michaelson, Employment Services Interviewer
Western U.P. Michigan Works—Houghton, Michigan