If you have been sitting on the sidelines of the job market, now is the time to re-enter the game. Consider the numbers: job growth rose steadily in 2018, unemployment was below 4 percent for most of the year and employers increased wages substantially for the first time in a decade. The tight job market had employers offering better perks as well.
Even as employment opportunities remained high over the past several years, the number of people looking for work has not changed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 375,000 potential workers told the bureau they had stopped looking for work because they did not believe there were any jobs available for them. Other experts say that number is much higher.
But the robust job market isn’t the only reason long-term unemployed workers should consider re-entering the job market now. Some economists believe workers who have been affected by long-term unemployment need to get back to work to prevent a slowdown. That is, employers may curtail hiring and reign in expansion plans if they are unable to find qualified workers to fill positions.
Reporting for the Economic Policy Institute, economist Elise Gould explains that the percentage of prime-age workers (those 25-54 years old) in the labor force is lower than during past recoveries. Some, but not enough, of those workers are beginning to leave the sidelines and enter the labor force. In addition, uncertainties about trade and the current length of the recovery — nine years and still counting — mean that a slowdown may be right around the corner. If there was ever a time to jump back into the job market, now is it.
That said, re-entering the labor market after a long break can be daunting. The following steps can help you get started.
Come off the unemployment sideline with LiveCareer. In addition to our free resume builder, we also offer a cover letter builder to help you construct that other crucial job application document (in no time at all). You can also peruse our collections of free resume templates and cover letter templates, all of which are organized by industry or job title (or both).
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