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Monday, December 31, 2007

Pittsburgh Construction Job Prospects for 2008 Near Best in USA

On a subject that we have written about numerous times over the past few months, an excellent article appeared over the past weekend by Joe Grata of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette summarizing many of the large commercial/industrial projects currently underway or slated for a 2008 start. The jobs provided by these projects, as well as the number of current workers slated for retirement over the next 5 years means for the first time in a decade, Pittsburgh may have to import workers from other areas of the country.

Add to this the two billion plus dollars in road construction to be spent in southwest Pennsylvania and the opportunity for those seeking jobs in this area will be unmatched anywhere around the United States.

We will watch with interest what affect this has on the overall job numbers in the Pittsburgh Metro. Although 2007 has been the best year for job seekers since 2001, actual job growth has been anemic compared to both Pennsylvania as a whole and the country.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pittsburgh Employment Picture Still Good For 1st Quarter 2008

According to the quarterly Manpower Survey on hiring manager’s recruitment expectations, Pittsburgh is about even with last year, with 23% of hiring managers expecting to increase staff levels, While 15% expect to decrease. One year ago the numbers were 23% and 13%.
However, this reflects a large decrease in hiring plans from the 4th quarter survey where 36% expected to increase staff.

How have the surveys actually reflected reality? This has varied quite a bit but generally has proven useful in predicting overall increases or decreases in activity.

We at The Employment Guide are seeing recruitment levels in the hourly arena slightly slower than last year for fourth quarter but still remaining historically strong.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What will Pittsburgh’s New Casino Mean to Job Seekers?

With the groundbreaking for Pittsburgh’s new Casino slated for next Tuesday December 11th there has been a lot of talk about how many jobs the Casino will bring to Pittsburgh.

Early estimates have hovered around 1,000 new jobs for what eventually will be a 5,000 slot facility. Also part of the Majestic Star Casino will be five restaurants, four bars, outdoor terraces and an amphitheater. .

Although these jobs will be one of the best things to hit Pittsburgh in years, the overall net effect needs to be seen. The Casino will attract many out of town visitors to our area and with them millions of dollars. However, these visitors will have a tendency to remain at the Casino and not travel to surrounding businesses and restaurants (see Atlantic City).

The Casino will also attract many local residents. With only so many “discretionary dollars” to go around, the local patrons will spend these dollars at the Casino instead of other area businesses and restaurants. What this will do to the levels of employment outside the Casino is open to debate. You can be sure that it will have a negative effect causing the net increase in jobs to be somewhat less than 1,000. How much less only time will tell.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pittsburgh Unemployment Rate Flat for October

The unemployment rate, as reported by the Pennsylvania State Center for Workforce Information and Analysis, held steady in October at 4.6% for the third consecutive month. This compares to a state rate of 4.5% and a national rate of 4.7%. Pittsburgh’s rate was down one tenth of a point from a year ago. The service sector accounted for the largest gain (up 5,200 jobs) lead by the education sector as schools reached full employment. However, leisure and hospitality lost 2,800 jobs, which is considered typical as seasonal businesses wound down and students went back to school.

Education and health services reached record highs in October. Overall, the Pittsburgh metro area added 3,000 jobs from one year ago.

How does this relate to employment OPPORTUNITY in Pittsburgh?

Overall job growth in Pittsburgh has been anemic compared to both statewide and national growth figures over the past year. However, with population out migration and having one of the oldest median ages of any metro in the country, more residents are reaching retirement age than are entering the job market. This has kept opportunities for hourly and entry level jobs at high levels. We are seeing continued strong demand for mechanics, sales, nursing and allied health and unusually high demand for factory and warehouse jobs. Below is a map of unemployment rates from across the state for SEPTEMBER. Click on the image to increase size.




Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What? Internet Recruiting is like Internet dating?

We have read a number of good articles and blog posts recently regarding the difficulty recruiters are having in not only hiring qualified workers for open positions, but just getting them to show up for a scheduled interview. Because we deal primarily with hourly recruitment this is a complaint we are hearing more about even right here in Pittsburgh. Although this phenomenon is occurring at all levels of recruitment, it is most prevalent with hourly and entry level positions.

The primary reason is not just the “millennial mentality” or increased lack of common courtesy anyone over 30 proclaims to be experiencing with those under 30. It could be due to the fact that because so much recruiting has shifted to large online job boards, the effort in applying to an advertised position has become so small that job seekers are able to spray their resumes to literally hundreds of listed jobs, agree to interviews with anyone who bothers to email them, and only then decide which interview they would rather go to, or whether their social life will permit investing the time required to go.

Internet based recruitment has become virtually anonymous (pardon the pun) with very little “sweat equity” involved in its use by either job seekers or recruiters. The old fashioned print ads required much more work on both parties. Job seekers had to actually print a resume, sign a cover letter, lick a stamp and put it in a mail box or, heaven forbid, actually walk in and fill out an application. That’s not easy to do 100 times in a week. Here come Internet job boards and a job seeker has almost unlimited ability to send their information out.

Conversely, recruiters can write a job description one time and easily post it on enough job boards to reach literally millions of job seekers within a week.

Of course this leads us to the title of this posting. Whether you are a job seeker or a recruiter this approach can result in response overload. Just like a consumer utilizing a dating site and putting embellished information about who they are and responding only to those who appear to meet their needs (which is also embellished). How many “dates” set up through anonymous dating sites have resulted in no-shows? The recruiter will be confronted by hundreds of resumes that he or she could not possibly have time to view, let alone respond to, with a high percentage of them unqualified due to the sender not having to expend energy in applying (throw it against enough walls and see what sticks). Job seekers who complain about recruiters who do not acknowledge the receipt of their response are also victims of this development.

Perhaps this will cause the Internet recruitment backlash that newspapers have been praying for since their classifieds began losing dollars to the web six years ago. Print will offer the potential of better prequalification of applicants for recruiters while making serious job seekers more likely to know whether their response has been received.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What Workers Want

We recently read an interesting article posted on MarketWatch that dealt with the reasons workers leave a company to work somewhere else. The article was based on a survey conducted by Kenexa, a recruitment and retention consulting firm. After surveying 10,000 U.S. workers and 1,000 workers from five other countries each, the survey found that direct managers have the biggest influence on their department’s turnover. Simply treating workers with dignity and respect is the biggest concern. However, it was noted that managers aren't the only reason workers opt to stay or go. The five key drivers of retention are, according to Kenexa:

A sense that the job holds a promising future for the worker, which includes a feeling that the company will be successful and that the individual worker plays a key part in that success.

The company's involvement in corporate social responsibility initiatives. "This came as a surprise to us,"

Recognition of the worker. That's often a simple "thanks for doing a good job".

Getting paid fairly.

Deriving a sense of accomplishment from the job.

If you are a manager of other people, consider your own management style and how it affects turnover. It’s not about being friends with your employees. Good management includes the ability to reward and recognize as much as it does discipline.

Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pittsburgh Area Unemployment Rate Holds Steady in September

With the Pittsburgh area jobless rate holding steady at 4.6% for September actual opportunity for job seekers still appears to remain robust compared to the past 5 years. Although this does not tie in to actual strong job growth for our area (job growth still remains stagnant in southwest Pennsylvania) demand for qualified workers in most hourly categories continues to outpace last year due primarily to the number of retirements and population outflow.

This sets up a dichotomy in Pittsburgh’s job market of at least temporarily increasing opportunity for those searching for jobs while not creating new positions that increase overall economic growth and stems the tide of population outflow, especially among young professionals.

Without getting into political debate about what could or should be done to turn the tide and create a spark that stimulates actual job growth (which is not the purpose of this blog) we are certainly at a juncture where decisive action has the potential of reaping greater rewards than at any time in the past decade.

Previous postings have touched on the causes of our long term job growth problems as reported by local media and experts. An excellent blog to follow is Harold Miller’s Pittsburgh’s Future blog. As Pittsburgh enters a long period of demand for the building trades and other opportunities, it is up to state and local government to take action and build on the momentum.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pittsburgh Region Second Highest Job Growth Area for Online Recruitment in September


According to the Monster Local Employment Index Pittsburgh has become the second fastest growth market in the country for online recruitment. Particular strength was cited for the blue collar, hourly jobs arena including food prep, transportation and skilled technical jobs (mechanics, maintenance, repair).

This is inline with what we have seen, as well as healthcare, hospitality and sales. Although this does not directly translate into improved job growth overall, it does show a strengthening of opportunity for job seekers in our area.

Employers are telling us in Pittsburgh it has become noticeably more difficult to recruit qualified workers, while post secondary career schools are seeing a comprehensive slowdown in applications from job seekers seeking re-training. Both are symptoms of job supply and demand transitioning from a buyers market to a sellers market. Below is an excerpt from the actual report:

Online Job Demand in Pittsburgh Jumps in September, According to the Monster Local Employment Index

PITTSBURGH, October 18, 2007 – The Monster Local Employment Index for Pittsburgh notched a solid four-point gain in September as online recruitment activity and related job opportunities reached a new historical Index high. The 16-point, or 15-percent, over-the-year rise establishes Pittsburgh as the Index’s second-fastest growing major online recruitment market in the country, reflecting tight labor market conditions and sustained print-to-online migration of help-wanted advertising. Results for Pittsburgh over the past 13 months are as follows:





The food preparation and serving category registered the highest rate of increase in online job availability during September, and is the top growth category for Pittsburgh year-over-year. Pittsburgh remains the top growth market among the 28 tracked by the Index for this category, indicating high demand in the local accommodation and food services industry. Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media also posted a significant gain last month. During September, online job availability also continued to increase for major blue-collar occupations such as installation, maintenance, and repair; production; and transportation and material moving. In contrast, both protective services; and community and social services reported sharply fewer opportunities than last month. In the white-collar segment, the business and financial operations and legal categories both edged higher and remained moderately improved from a year ago. The only category showing reduced online job availability compared to a year ago is life, physical, and social science, which dipped two points, or two percent. In all, 15 occupational categories rose in September, while three declined one was flat.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pittsburgh Job News for Hourly Job Seekers


On the job news front over the past month it has been a mixed bag for Pittsburgh job seekers. The announced decision by US Air to cut yet another forty plus flights a day and the resulting loss of another 450 Pittsburgh area jobs was bad news.

The good news out weighs the bad if measured on a job creation scale. Giant Eagle is purchasing Le Natures bottling plant in Latrobe. This will result in an immediate 75 jobs recreated, and the possibility of many more over the next two years. Also in the grocery business, Aldi’s Foods is in the process of adding 7 more locations around the southwest Pennsylvania area. No official job count has been released, but based on current per store staffing this should add more than 175 jobs over the next year. BONY / Mellon Bank has announced it will increase Pittsburgh area employment by at least 150 new jobs over the next year. Columbia Gas has announced it will be replacing more than 2,400 miles of aging gas lines over the next 20 year and create about 400 new jobs in southwest Pennsylvania.

Totaling up these headline reports, we have 450 jobs leaving town (all from US Air) but over 800 jobs coming in.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Diversity Job Fair At Mellon Arena Coming October 9th

The Employment Guide and The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh will host The 2007 Pittsburgh Diversity Employment and Career Education Expo at the Mellon Arena on Tuesday October 9th from 10:30AM to 3:00PM. The job fair is free for all job seekers and no prior registration is required. Geared toward hourly entry level to mid level skilled positions, approximately 30 companies are expected to be on hand looking for qualified and motivated job seekers in multiple categories. Categories such as healthcare, nursing, skilled trades, office / clerical, retail, drivers, law enforcement, customer service and more, with career training opportunities as well. Some of the companies attending include Manpower, Boscov's, Giant Eagle / Market District, SMG, CareerLink, Maronda Homes, Transitional Services, First Student, Leeds, Lenzner Coach Lines, Mainstay Life Services, Pennsylvania State Police, Best Buy, New Century Careers, Student Transportation of America, Inc., Kaplan Career institute, United States Post Office, Army National Guard, Sunrise Assisted Living, Academy of Court Reporting, All State Career School, Verizon Wireless and more. Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to the event.

Monday, September 17, 2007

City County Career Day Set to Get Underway Tuesday September 18th.


In what is being billed as the largest job fair event in Pittsburgh history, City County Career Day, or C3, will be held tomorrow at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. Approximately 250 companies, including over 50 social service organizations, will be on hand offering employment, information and advice to what could be over 4,000 job seekers. Although centered on the building trades due to the large number of Pittsburgh area building projects slated to get underway over the next year, employment opportunities from all categories and skill levels will be available.

The event is a partnership between the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board, PA CareerLink, the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, the Pittsburgh Partnership and the Western Pennsylvania Builders Guild. Hours will be 10AM until 3PM with free admission to all jobseekers. Services that will be offered include tips on resume writing, interviewing skills, finding community resources and even how to get the most out of a job fair.

If you plan on attending try to get there early and make it a point to smile and shake hands. This is an opportunity to make a good first impression.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mary Serves Up a Lesson to Pittsburgh Recruiters, Very Well Done With a Side of Reproach

We were reading other Pittsburgh related Blogs last night when we saw Pittsblog had endorsed the reading of a frustrated job seeker's blog outlining her search for a higher level position in the Pittsburgh area with nothing but frustration and unprofessionalism from the Pittsburgh recruitisphere to show for it. Our biggest interest came from Mary’s post concerning the attendance of a job fair that was held at PNC Park last June. We also decided to publicize her travail, because her experience relates to all job seekers and recruiters, whether entry level hourly jobs or highly experienced professional positions.

As an organization that also produces multiple large job fairs each year, we hear most often from the “other side”, that is, recruiters who have attended our job fairs. Though many successes have occurred for employers and job seekers at these events, we have seen a common thread running among the recruiters who complain the most about not finding qualified job candidates for the positions they have open. Mary makes the point very well from the job seekers standpoint.

Many recruiters, though with the best of intentions, simply are not people persons. That is, whether they are in Human Resources or head a department for their organization, they are not trained and are not good at engaging people in a public forum. We suppose most people who do this well are currently in Sales or Public Relations or Politics.


Unfortunately for Mary her disappointment in the behavior of recruiters came from expectations that were too high for what a job fair is all about (or of most value to job seekers). Job Fairs, especially for higher end positions, are more of a research mechanism than an actual interview opportunity. Also, she is correct that going to a job fair during the last hour of an event is less likely to get her quality time with the companies that remain (another bad habit of local recruiters is leaving before an event is over)

This does not offer to excuse the behavior of recruiters, only to explain them. Blog postings like Mary’s should go a long way in educating company decision makers about how much they are missing out on available Pittsburgh talent because they are so enthralled with their systems that they forget what their purpose is. Rude or belittling behavior is unprofessional. Period.

As for any other advice for Mary in her job search, please leave your comments and suggestions on her blog. It will be a shame for yet another intelligent professional job seeker to leave Pittsburgh for lack of opportunity (which are actually out there but unaccesable to those without connections). We suggest she contact The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, as they offer job search assistance for professionals as well as hourly.

To read Mary’s postings and blog, here is the link.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Will the Pittsburgh Region See It’s Best Quarter of the Year Yet to Come?

With the advent of multiple very large construction projects set to get under way within the next 4 months, southwestern Pennsylvania’s job market is poised to see its best quarter in over 5 years. This year to date has seen the first bit of growth for this market since 2001. Year to year growth (July to July) was just over 4,600 jobs created (only .4%).

The upcoming September to December time period should see that and more. Although paltry from a total percentage standpoint, it is the beginning of what should be decent economic news for at least the next 2 years, barring a major unforeseen shock to the economy.

In the hourly Pittsburgh jobs arena, we are seeing very strong demand in the hospitality market, retail, security and sales, along with the always growing plea for healthcare workers. Manufacturing, though anemic by historical standards, has stabilized in the region.

Another symptom of the improving job climate is the continued reduction in applicants for career training schools. As jobseekers gain employment they are less likely to seek retraining. We’re not talking about 4 year college degree programs but the 1 and 2 year programs favored by job seekers seeking retraining. This is something we have seen very strongly in the south and west as those job markets heated up in 2005 and 2006. Look for an announcement coming within the next 3 months of a major Pittsburgh career school closing it’s doors.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Top 10 Most Difficult Jobs to Fill Include Many in the Hourly Realm

The one glaring fact that stands out most when looking at this year’s Manpower index of most difficult jobs to fill is that the majority of them are hourly positions and most do not require a 4 year college degree. Sales people lead off the list for the second year in a row. From what we hear in Pittsburgh this runs in all sales categories from entry level retail up to sales Engineers and Pharmaceuticals. Also mirroring what we see in Pittsburgh are the dire need for qualified auto mechanics. Many dealers are in a position to limit their service hours because they cannot find enough mechanics to handle the workload they are seeing in their shops.
A large part of the reason for this national phenomena is the same as we are seeing here as well. The start of the Baby Boomers reaching retirement age. Too many of our young workers have been brought up in a go to college or you’ll die mentality. Not enough have given thought to a career in what used to be considered either dirty or menial work that didn’t pay well. All of those old perceptions are long gone.

Here is the article from Manpower as posted on MarketWatch:

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Sales representatives, teachers and mechanics are the top three jobs for which employers are struggling to find workers, according to a survey released Thursday by Manpower Inc.

Overall, 41% of firms surveyed said they're struggling to find qualified workers for
at least one position, according to the survey of 2,400 U.S. firms.
The survey asked each company, "Are you having difficulty filling jobs due to
lack of available talent?" If they said yes, the survey asked, "What is the one job you are having the most difficulty filling?"

Sales representatives topped the list. That category includes retail sales and
business-to-business sales, but not telemarketers, said Melanie Holmes, vice
president of corporate affairs at Manpower, in a telephone interview.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics "projects that an additional 736,000 retail
sales people and an additional 187,000 sales representatives are going to be
required by 2014," she said.
Teachers, the No. 2 job most in need of filling in the survey, includes elementary
and post-secondary teachers, she said, noting the BLS projects an additional
need for 524,000 post-secondary teachers and 265,000 elementary-school
teachers by 2014.
Third on the list, mechanics, including automotive service technicians, diesel
service technicians, small engine mechanics, aircraft and avionics equipment
mechanics and industrial machinery repair. Overall, among mechanics, "more people are retiring than replacement workers are coming in and doing apprenticeships and doing the training they need," she said.


Demand driven partly by lack of skills

Changes in the labor pool are affecting firms' ability to find workers, Holmes said.
"Demographics are not in employers' favor," she said. "Because of retiring baby
boomers and the fact that birth rates are not keeping up with those that are
retiring."

Another reason: Job seekers lack sought-after skills. "There might be people, but
they don't have the skills that are necessary," Holmes said.
"As with many things these days, the world of work changes so quickly and so
dramatically. If we're not very careful to keep our skills up-to-date as an individual, and as an employer if I'm not working to keep my workforce's skills up-to-date, people can become redundant," she said.

"The message is not just for people looking for jobs, but for all of us: We need to
keep our skills up-to-date [and] pay attention to the changing world of work,"
Holmes said. "We need to be very careful to take charge of our own careers and
not expect somebody else to hand-feed us what we need. We need to look
around and get the training or experience that we need to keep up."

Nurses drop off Top 10 list

Sales representatives topped the list of hardest-to-fill jobs for the second year in
a row, while teachers and mechanics replaced engineers and nurses/health-care
workers in the second- and third-place positions this year, according to the
survey. But "even though some jobs fell off the top 10 list, demand for these positions still exists," said Jonas Prising, president of Manpower North America, in a press release.

Here's the Top 10 list:
1. Sales representative
2. Teacher
3. Mechanic
4. Technician
5. Management/executive
6. Truck driver
7. Driver/delivery
8. Accountant
9. Laborer
10. Machine operator

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Monster Online Ad Index for Pittsburgh Declines First Time Since January

Monster’s monthly index of online recruitment demand declined slightly for the first time since January for the Pittsburgh region. The index is used as a measure of recruitment activity and is leading indicator of job demand in a market. Declines this time of year are noted to be normal as retail and many other industries have not yet begun their fall recruitment campaigns and schools are still out for the summer. Year over year demand is up strongly, however, as our the Pittsburgh job market recovers from the heavy job losses by major employers like US Airways between 2002 and 2005. Here is the report:

Online Job Demand in Pittsburgh Eases Slightly in
July, According to the Monster Local Employment Index


PITTSBURGH, August 16, 2007 – The Monster Local Employment Index for
Pittsburgh dipped two points to a level of 115 in July, as gains in healthcare demand
were not enough to stem a general summer slowdown in online recruitment activity.
Nevertheless, Pittsburgh remains one of the strongest growth markets in the nation
when comparing year-over-year online recruitment trends, reflecting historically tight
labor market conditions and sustained print-to-online migration of the help-wanted
advertising market.

The latest Index findings demonstrate soaring recruitment demand in the healthcare
sector, which is struggling with supply shortages in certain key occupations such as
nursing. Both the healthcare practitioners and technical; and healthcare support
categories edged up last month, defying seasonal expectations. It is likely that these
recent upward trends in the healthcare categories reflect employer efforts to expand
the online visibility of long-standing, as opposed to newly created, specialized healthcare
openings in an already tight job market.
The business and professional service segment also maintained a generally strong
growth pace when accounting for seasonality. The market’s largest occupational
categories such as management; and business and financial operations edged down only
slightly from historical highs. Meanwhile, the computer and mathematical category
continued growing at a double digit annual pace, indicating high demand for IT
professionals. Still, food preparation and serving related remained the fastest growth
category year-over-year while military specific declined the most.
In all, two occupational categories rose in July, while 15 declined and two were
unchanged.

Friday, August 17, 2007

City County Career Day Looming Large For September

With the job market in Pittsburgh turning a corner this year, what is being billed as the largest job fair in Pittsburgh history is taking shape for September 18th at the convention center in downtown Pittsburgh from 10AM to 3PM. Over 250 companies are expected to attend. The event is a partnership between the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA CareerLink, the Builder’s Guild, the Pittsburgh Partnership, the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board and the Sports and Exhibition Authority. The attendance goal is over 4,000 job seekers. This event is focusing on the building trades with multiple large construction projects slated to be under way in the next 2 years. There is now worry that the number of current workers available for these projects may not meet the demand. The Employment Guide is partnering to produce the event guide that will be distributed in The Employment Guide the full week before the event as well as at the event itself. This event guide will list many of the companies attending as well as the types of positions they are looking to fill.

If you are a potential company that would like to attend this event, please contact the PA CareerLink Pittsburgh office for more information. The cost for companies to attend has been kept to a minimum due to funding from the various partners and special cooperation by the Sports and Exhibition Authority. For job seekers, attendance is free with no pre-registration needed.

Seminars on many topics will be held throughout the day, including apprenticeship programs for all of the local building trade unions.

Although the focus of the event is on the building trades, it is by no means limited to that area. Companies from all walks of life will be found eagerly looking for a chance to speak with qualified job seekers. Many interviews will be held on the spot. Never have so many resources been available under one roof before. Stay tuned for more information as the event draws closer.

Friday, August 10, 2007

July sees a record Employment Index for the Pittsburgh Region

For the 5th straight month the demand for workers in Pittsburgh has increased, according to the July Monster Index that measures online activity for recruitment by employers by category. Blue collar occupations again lead the way in strength, with a rebound seen in white collar occupations as well. With the major building projects looming in the Pittsburgh region over the next two years the labor market could become the brightest we have seen since before September 11th. Here is the report:

Online Job Demand in Pittsburgh Edges Higher in June, According to the Monster Local Employment Index

PITTSBURGH, July 19, 2007 – The Monster Local Employment Index for Pittsburgh
climbed one point in June, extending a five-month upward growth trend in online job
availability. The up-tick last month came in defiance of seasonal expectations and pushed
the Index for Pittsburgh’s annual growth rate up to 15 percent, the highest since its
inception, reflecting further tightening in local job market conditions and solid demand
for labor.
Results for Pittsburgh over the past 13 months are as follows:




The healthcare and blue-collar work segments continue to drive the overall Index for
Pittsburgh. Installation, maintenance, and repair registered the sharpest rate of increase
in June, suggesting greater demand for workers in assorted trades. Although more
moderate, the growth trends in other blue-collar categories such as transportation and
material moving; production; and construction are similarly positive, despite reports of
continued layoffs in the goods producing sector.
Meanwhile, the white-collar segment rebounded from softer recruitment activity
recorded in May. The healthcare practitioners and technical category rose sharply,
leading all categories in the segment. Computer and mathematical (IT); architecture and
engineering; and life, physical, and social science, the segment’s weakest categories in
May, all experienced increases in online job demand and are once again at elevated
levels. In contrast, the legal category was the Index’s weakest from an over-the-year
perspective, with fewer opportunities now than in June 2006.
In total, 12 occupational categories rose in June, while six declined and one was
unchanged.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Pittsburgh’s Hottest Employer for the Week of 8/6/2007

This week’s hottest employer, based on severity of need or number of needs is AT Systems, a Garda Company. AT Systems, one of America’s largest and fastest growing cash logistics companies, is looking for armored driver / messenger applicants and also a cash vault processing teller (teller experience is required). Extensive background checks and pre-employment drug screens are required. For details on these positions and infoermation on how you can apply, pick up this week’s edition of The Employment Guide, or visit www.pittsburgh.employmentguide.com.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pittsburgh Employers Shoot and Score at Mellon Arena Job Fair

At the close of yesterday’s 2007 Pittsburgh Employment and Career Education Expo, almost 1,000 Pittsburgh area job seekers had skated around the floor of Mellon Arena speaking to 40 different companies and schools about job and career training opportunities. The companies reported they were quite pleased with the quality of many candidates that came to see them.

We wish to give particular thanks to the management team from the arena (SMG) and from Aramark for the amazing job they did in helping this event run smoothly from start to finish. The real winners should be the job seekers. We have already heard of some offers being made and many more candidates moving on to the next step in the interview process.

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh was there to let job seekers know about the services available to them and put on seminars throughout the day on topics like resume writing, interviewing skills and making a good first impression.

If you missed this opportunity to be a part of the first job fair to be held at Mellon Arena, we will be back on October 3rd for our Fall event.

Monday, July 23, 2007

2007 Pittsburgh Diversity Employment and Career Education Expo Draws Near

The next big job fair in Pittsburgh will be held July 25th at Mellon Arena. You'll get to come right down onto the floor where the Penguins play. We expect about 35 companies and schools to be in attendance.

This includes Achieva, Cintas, Presbyterian Senior Care, Advance Auto Parts, Community College of Allegheny County, All-State Career School (CDL Driver Training), Maronda Homes, Army National Guard, Best Buy, Sunrise Senior Care, Sheet Metal Worker Training, PNC Bank, Pennsylvania State Police, The New AT&T (formerly Cingular), The City of Pittsburgh, Transitional Services, Echostar, Equitable Resources, New Century Careers (Machinist Training), FBI, First Student (School Bus Drivers and more), Mainstay Life Services, Lenzner Tours, Giant Eagle Market District, Goodwill, Home Depot, Medco, SMG/Mellon Arena, Yellow Cab, Pharma Care, Cardworks Servicing, Holy Family Institute, Carniegie Mellon University, East End Employment Services, Leed’s Business Accessories and more.

Access is easy by either public transportation or direct parking in one of the arena lots (parking will range from $5.95 to $7.00 depending on which lot is used). All job seekers enter through gate one (by the will call windows). It is strongly suggested that you bring plenty of resumes. Proper attire is required (remember, you are trying to make a good first impression!). Admission is FREE and there is no pre-registration required.

Just come on in, meet with company or school representatives, smile, shake hands, ask questions and make a good impression! For more details on what positions are available pick up the latest issue of The Employment Guide. Job Fairs are a great place to research companies and the opportunities they offer. Hey, you never know who else may be hanging around the arena!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

City County Career Day Planned for September 18th


In what is being billed as the largest general public job fair in Pittsburgh’s history, an announcement will be made soon about a tremendous opportunity for hourly workers in the Pittsburgh region. Under the coordination of the PA Careerlink and endorsed by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, City County Career Day (or C3) is projected to have over 250 companies in attendance offering thousands of job opportunities. The main focus is on the building trades with participation from most major unions offering information on apprenticeship programs and direct employment. The event will not be limited to only building trades and will include career opportunities in most job categories. C3 will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center from 10AM to 3PM and also offer multiple seminars on resume writing, interviewing skills, career training advice and much more. We will post more information in the weeks to come so be sure to check back.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hottest Employer of the Week for July 16th!

Each week we chose our Hottest Employer of the Week based on number of positions available or difficulty in filling available positions. Either way it means a good opportunity for jobseekers. This week our hottest employer is SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) International.

SAE International has more than 90,000 members - engineers, business executives, educators, and students from more than 97 countries - who share information and exchange ideas for advancing the engineering of mobility systems. SAE is your one-stop resource for standards development, events, and technical information and expertise used in designing, building, maintaining, and operating self-propelled vehicles for use on land or sea, in air or space.

Their international headquarters in Pittsburgh’s north hills is looking for Telesales Representatives for full time long term careers. For more information and to apply go to their website or pick up a copy of this week’s The Employment Guide.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

2007 Pittsburgh Diversity Employment and Career Education Expo Draws Near

The next big job fair in Pittsburgh will be held July 25th at Mellon Arena. You'll get to come right down onto the floor where the Penguins play. We expect about 35 companies and schools to be in attendance.

This includes Achieva, Cintas, Presbyterian Senior Care, Advance Auto Parts, Community College of Allegheny County, All-State Career School (CDL Driver Training), Maronda Homes, Army National Guard, Best Buy, Sunrise Senior Care, Sheet Metal Worker Training, PNC Bank, Pennsylvania State Police, AT&T Wireless (formerly Cingular), The City of Pittsburgh, Transitional Services, Echostar, Equitable Resources, New Century Careers (Machinist Training), FBI, First Student (School Bus Drivers and more), Mainstay Life Services, Lenzner Tours, Giant Eagle Market District, Goodwill, Home Depot, Medco, SMG/Mellon Arena, Yellow Cab, Pharma Care, Cardworks Servicing, Holy Family Institute, Leed’s Business Accessories and more.

Access is easy by either public transportation or direct parking in one of the arena lots (parking will range from $5.95 to $7.00 depending on which lot is used). It is strongly suggested you bring plenty of resumes. Proper attire is required (remember, you are trying to make a good first impression!). Admission is FREE and there is no pre-registration required. Just come on in, meet with company or school representatives, smile, shake hands, ask questions and make a good impression! For more details on what positions are available pick up the latest issue of The Employment Guide. Job Fairs are a great place to research companies and the opportunities they offer. Hey, you never know who else may be hanging around the arena!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Employment Guide Partners With Comcast Cable in Pittsburgh

Recently Comcast Cable in Pittsburgh started a new service for their subscribers called Classifieds On Demand. If you have their digital package, you are probably familiar with ON DEMAND for movies and other programming. This allows you to watch at your convenience and even pause, fast forward and rewind.

Now you have the ability to view classifieds ON DEMAND as well. The main categories include automotive, real estate and employment (help wanted) ads. The Employment Guide will be sharing content from our weekly print and Internet job board to help increase visibility for Pittsburgh area recruiters and help job seekers find a better local job.

Over the next few months you will see more content presented in an easy to scroll format in video. If you see something of interest you can pause or rewind to write down the “Job Snippet” number on the ad and jump on the Internet at
www.pittsburgh.employmentguide.com. When you input the snippet number from the Comcast Classifieds ON DEMAND ad it will take you directly to that employers text posting for more details and how to apply.

We at The Employment Guide are very proud of this partnership and look forward to the added value that will be given to both recruiters and job seekers.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Pittsburgh’s Hottest Employer for the Week of 7/2/2007

This week’s hottest employer, based on severity of need or number of needs is the New AT&T (formerly Cingular Wireless). No doubt with the rollout of the latest ├╝ber-phone, the Iphone, The New AT&T is ramping up sales and needs Retail Sales Consultants in multiple Pittsburgh area stores. For details on the position, pick up this week’s edition of The Employment Guide, or visit http://www.pittsburgh.employmentguide.com/.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pittsburgh Region Job Growth Verified in May

What we have been extolling for the past 4 months is being born out by actual figures from the state. The Pittsburgh region added 9,200 jobs in May. We have been reporting that, as a job’s publication and Internet job board, we are seeing the increased demand for workers first hand, not only in our media but most others locally as well. We will still wait to celebrate because to truly affect the long term health of our area economy this trend will need to continue throughout this year and next. Fortunately, at this writing, we have not seen it reverse. In fact, this is shaping up to be the best summer season for recruitment since 2001 here in Pittsburgh.

If you are a job seeker, the most in demand categories we are seeing right now are nursing (it is as tight as we have EVER seen it), sales people for most categories of products (including retail), truck drivers and anybody who knows how to work a socket wrench (mechanics). These seem to be where the the most demand is, but opportunities are becoming widespread across most job categories. We will continue to touch on the trends that we see from month to month. Our hope is that a year from now we will be able to look back and say early 2007 is when Pittsburgh finally turned the corner on job creation.

New Data Center Will Create 200 New Jobs Near Pittsburgh

Mellon Financial Corp has announced the expansion plans for their data center located in the Northpointe Industrial Park near Ford City, Armstrong County. The site was originally completed a year ago but will now more than double in size. These positions will offer higher paying jobs in an area that badly needs them. The 200 new jobs will be added over the next 2 years. See article

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hourly Job Growth in Pittsburgh Region Becoming a Trend

Hourly job growth led the way for total growth in Pittsburgh during May, according to the monthly jobs index from Monster. This index actually measures employer’s level of activity in recruiting new workers and is a precursor to job growth itself. This is a continuation of a trend that we saw begin in January of this year for the what could be the best hourly job market Pittsburgh has seen in 7 years. Here is an excerpt from the press release:

Online Job Demand in Pittsburgh Rises in May,
According to the Monster Local Employment Index

PITTSBURGH, June 18, 2007 – The Monster Local Employment Index for
Pittsburgh gained two points in May, extending a four-month upward growth trend
despite a general seasonal slowdown in online recruitment activity among several whitecollar
occupations. Strong demand for workers in education, manufacturing and
construction helped the Index for Pittsburgh achieve a three percent annual growth
pace for the month, the highest on record.
Results for Pittsburgh over the past 13 months are as follows:






Public sector specific occupations such as education, training, and library; and military
specific led the Index in terms of growth during the month of May. Both categories
have recorded extended growth streaks in 2007. The transportation and material
moving; and production categories also registered sharp gains, suggesting improved local
demand for manufacturing workers.
Online opportunities in the leisure and hospitality sector also increased last month.
Food preparation and serving related occupations noted the steepest year-over-year
improvement in the Index as Pittsburgh maintained its number one position for the
category among the 28 markets monitored. Sales occupations also reached a new peak
after five months of escalating online recruitment activity.
Meanwhile, the white-collar segment edged downward during May, marking an end to
the spring recruitment season for entry-level professionals. Architecture and
engineering occupations registered the most substantial downturn from the previous
month, followed closely by computer and mathematical (IT); and management. Legal
again proved to be the most atypical of the white-collar categories, following a muted
recruitment month in April with a sharp May increase.
In total, 12 occupational categories rose in May, while five declined and two were
unchanged.

Monday, June 25, 2007

For young workers, job market can be tough

We read an interesting article on MSNBC that we need to share. There is a lot of debate as to the validity on both sides of the argument, that is, the difficulty for young people to find decent jobs in their chosen fields compared to past generations and the reasons why this may be so.

This article was written by Eve Tahmincioglu for MSNBC:

Are many young adults today just not trying hard enough to launch their careers and gain financial independence?

My June 4 column addressed how many parents were struggling to help get their adult sons and daughters on the right career path. I suggested their kids needed a little bit of tough love. Mom and Dad can’t keep the gravy train going forever, right?

Well, I got a bunch of letters from folks who thought I was being too hard on recent graduates who couldn’t find jobs in their chosen professions.

Some readers pointed to a lack of economic opportunities for U.S. workers thanks to globalization and a growing chasm between the rich and poor. It’s harder today for young people trying to make it in the world than past generations, many of you wrote.

Click here for the rest of the article.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Musings on the Pittsburgh Hourly Job Front

SMG and the Pittsburgh Penguin organization are going above and beyond to help the Urban League and The Employment Guide organize and hold our next big diversity job fair at the Mellon Arena in July. The intent of the Penguins is to have an informational booth at the event to begin communicating with the community about their future needs for employees and integrating with their neighbors to make the development as Pittsburgh centric as possible. This shows their statements about concern for their neighbors are more than just words.

Hopefully, as completion of the new arena draws near and with it the development of land in the vicinity, informational booths will transition to become actual interviewing opportunities for hundreds of future hourly workers. The Penguins need to be commended for their pro-activity. As we draw closer to the event we will publicize the companies who will be in attendance. We expect 30 to 40 Pittsburgh area employers to be there.

We hate to be doom and gloom but the Port Authority cuts that might come down the road, let alone the one’s we just experienced, are going to severely impact hourly workers across Allegheny County. Some workers will simply lose their job. If you make $10.00 per hour and cannot afford $3.00 per gallon gas, let alone a car with parking, how else are you going to get to a job that is no longer going to be serviced by Pat? We have an organization in Pittsburgh that is trying to help. Commute Info will be at our upcoming job fair. Please seek them out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pittsburgh May Monster Job Index Continues Record Upward Trend!

The May Monster Jobs Index for Pittsburgh was released this week verifying the continuation of the Pittsburgh job market improvement. Pittsburgh hourly jobs were reported to be stronger than higher end positions, but this was mainly attributed to seasonality. Contrary to many other areas of the country, one of the strongest sub categories was construction hiring. Here is a partial quote from the findings:

PITTSBURGH, June 18, 2007 – The Monster Local Employment Index for Pittsburgh gained two points in May, extending a four-month upward growth trend despite a general seasonal slowdown in online recruitment activity among several white-collar occupations. Strong demand for workers in education, manufacturing and construction helped the Index for Pittsburgh achieve a three percent annual growth pace for the month, the highest on record.

Public sector specific occupations such as education, training, and library; and military specific led the Index in terms of growth during the month of May. Both categories have recorded extended growth streaks in 2007. The transportation and material moving; and production categories also registered sharp gains, suggesting improved local demand for manufacturing workers.

Online opportunities in the leisure and hospitality sector also increased last month. Food preparation and serving related occupations noted the steepest year-over-year improvement in the Index as Pittsburgh maintained its number one position for the category among the 28 markets monitored. Sales occupations also reached a new peak after five months of escalating online recruitment activity.

Meanwhile, the white-collar segment edged downward during May, marking an end to the spring recruitment season for entry-level professionals. Architecture and engineering occupations registered the most substantial downturn from the previous month, followed closely by computer and mathematical (IT); and management. Legal again proved to be the most atypical of the white-collar categories, following a muted recruitment month in April with a sharp May increase.

In total, 12 occupational categories rose in May, while five declined and two were unchanged.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hottest Employer of the Week for June 18th!

Each week we chose our Hottest Employer of the Week based on number of positions available or difficulty in filling available positions. Either way it means a good opportunity for jobseekers. This week our hottest employer is South Hills Movers looking for a number of Driver and Associate Mover positions. They are one of the largest moving companies in the nation and have been in Pittsburgh since 1925, offering competitive benefits packages to all employees with competitive pay rates, paid training and uniforms. For more details pick up this week’s The Employment Guide or visit the web site at www.pittsburgh.employmentguide.com.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pennsylvania State Police Unveil New Cadet Recruitment Website

We were notified recently that the State Police have unveiled a new cadet recruitment site at www.patrooper.com. The intent of the website is to make it easier to obtain information on becoming a Trooper as well as testing schedules and what current requirements are in effect. We found the new site very easy to navigate and well designed from a graphics standpoint. Information was easy to find and the overall effect is very web 2.0 (audio and video). State Police recruiters will be in attendance at our next big job fair on July 25th at Mellon Arena.

Friday, June 15, 2007

2007 Pittsburgh Diversity Employment and Career Education Expo Moves to the Mellon Arena!



Our summer job fair event, the next big job fair in Pittsburgh, will be held Wednesday, July 25th, from 10:30AM to 3:00PM. We expect 30 to 40 companies to be in attendance looking for hundreds of job seekers to fill positions from a variety of needs. Banking/Finance, Customer Service, Retail, Sales, Hospitality, Skilled Trades and Transportation are just some of the job categories that will be available. As we get closer to the event we will post more details here as well as The Employment Guide weekly print publication.

Monday, June 11, 2007

This Week’s Hottest Employer for June 11th, 2007

This week’s hottest employer, based on either number of needs or severity of needs is the Wyndham Hotel University Place. Located in Oakland near the University of Pittsburgh campus, they are looking for all categories of hourly positions. For more details on positions and how to apply, pick up this week's Employment Guide.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Friday Musings on the Pittsburgh Hourly Job Front

The hourly jobs environment in Pittsburgh appears to still be growing. We are seeing ad counts in many different recruitment media continue to grow. The outlook for the summer in Pittsburgh is as strong as we have seen since 2001.

Over 600 part time hourly workers have been hired directly for the US Open that starts this weekend at Oakmont Country Club.

We have been informed this morning the venue for our big job fair in July may not be available due to a possible new lease for the auditorium space we use on the concourse level. Stay tuned. If this turns out to be the case we have contingency plans for another venue.

The most difficult entry level to mid level skilled positions to hire for in Pittsburgh right now are nurses, sales people, truck drivers, mechanics and machinists. These seem to be the jobs where demand is currently far outstripping supply.

Stay tuned for an announcement soon on a new partnership between Comcast Cable in southwest Pennsylvania and the Employment Guide.
Comcast is rolling out some new products for their viewers that will add even more value not just for job seekers but also local consumers in general.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Hottest Employer of the Week for June 4th, 2007


This week’s hottest employer, based on either number of needs or severity of needs is Consulate Health Care of Cheswick, PA., a 121 bed long term care facility located at 3876 Saxonburg Blvd, Cheswick, PA 15024. They are looking for multiple nursing positions including RN’s, LPN’s and CNA’s. For details on the positions and how to apply, pick up this week’s Employment Guide.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pennsylvania Minimum Wage to Increase on July 1st

With the federal government having just passed a minimum wage bill that will increase the standard minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour over the next 2 years, Pennsylvania will reach a new level of $7.15 per hour beginning July 1st this year. This will raise the annual income of a minimum wage earner working 40 hours per week to $14,872, still below the federal poverty level for a family of four, but much better than the $10,712 under the old rate. For informational purposes we have attached the standard collateral from the state government. Click here to see the full document from the PA Dept of Labor and Industry (you must have Adobe Reader to view).

Critics of the increase say it will cost jobs, maybe thousands of jobs. In our opinion, if Pennsylvania's minimum was substantially higher than all other states, especially those near by, this may have been the case as incentive to move a business to a cheaper venue would build. With most states around us and a majority of states around the country also raising theirs we do not see many jobs being lost. This will add inflationary pressure from businesses heavily dependent on minimum wage positions like some restaurants and retail. The benefit in Pennsylvania alone will be tremendous. With 440,000 workers estimated by the state to be at minimum wage, this increase from $5.15 per hour will put over one billion dollars of extra revenue annually into the hands of people who need it most and will raise their standard of living. As economists know, money makes money. This added revenue injected into the state economy will help increase demand for more consumer goods and housing. History shows that responsibly raising minimum
wages has only helped economies over all.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

This Week’s Hottest Employer for May 29th, 2007

This week’s hottest employer, based on either number of needs or severity of needs is the United States Post Office looking for casual temporary workers in multiple facilities and locations including the Northside, Warrendale and multiple post office locations in the 152 zip code area. They offer pay rates of $9.00 to $12.00 per hour. To apply call their job information line at 412-359-7515 or go online at www.usps.com/employment. Details of the positions can be found when calling and also information on application processes. Or pick up this week's edition of The Employment Guide. They are looking for dozens of positions to fill, making them our Hottest Employer for the Week.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Monster Index Says Pittsburgh Strong, Confirms Pittsburgh 2007 Job Growth Underway

The job board Monster came out recently with their monthly jobs index, a measure of advertised jobs during the month compared with a baseline year. As we have opined many times over the past 3 months that the Pittsburgh metro job market is finally starting to show real growth, the Monster Index backs us up! And we quote:

PITTSBURGH, May 17, 2007 – The Monster Local Employment Index for Pittsburgh
rose two points in April due to a general expansion in online recruitment activity. Over the year, the Index for Pittsburgh is up 11 points, a sharp increase from last month and the highest annual growth pace on record, suggesting strengthened local employer demand.

Categories in the blue-collar segment have shown signs of added momentum in recent
months. Growth in online job availability during April was most pronounced for
installation, maintenance, and repair occupations, but the construction and extraction;
transportation and material moving; and production categories also rose sharply on the
month, while also accelerating on a year-over-year basis.

End Quote.

We are still seeing unusual strength at the end of May, a period when recruitment typically slows down somewhat in anticipation of the holiday and vacation time coming with the end of the local school year. Of particular note are allied healthcare and commercial driver positions. But strength is mostly across the board. In speaking with a particular Human Resource Manager from a major employer in Pittsburgh (sorry, source does not want to be disclosed), an increase (though slight) in the number of recent immigrants applying is starting to be seen here, yet another symptom of increased opportunity.




Monday, May 21, 2007

Hottest Employer of the Week for May 21st!

Each week we chose our Hottest Employer of the Week based on number of positions available or difficulty in filling available positions. Either way it means a good opportunity of jobseekers. The week our hottest employer is Crystal Spring Water looking for a number of different types of positions including Sales representatives, Route Sales Reps and Warehouse Personnel. Based out of Carnegie, this company has been in Pittsburgh since 1921 and offers competitive benefit packages to all employees with competitive pay rates. For more details pick up this week’s The Employment Guide or visit the web site at www.pittsburgh.employmentguide.com.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

McDonald's tries to keep workers from flipping jobs

This morning we read with interest an article published Tuesday in the Chicago tribune pertaining to our topic from yesterday, hospitality jobs and the opportunity they will offer. Very interesting figures here that also mirror the Pittsburgh job market. Here is the article in it's entirety:

McDonald's tries to keep workers from flipping jobs

By John SchmeltzerTribune staff reporterPublished May 15, 2007

A high employee-turnover rate has been a perennial problem for fast-food restaurants. Last year the rate rose to 130 percent. Despite rising wages, flexible schedules and even health insurance, the revolving door is turning faster than ever."People know what needs to be done, but it is an investment," said Sherri Daye Scott, who has observed the ups and downs of the sector for more than a decade as editor of QSR magazine, a trade magazine that covers the industry.McDonald's Corp. believes it has found an answer: Make it a McCareer, not a McJob.

On Monday, Oak Brook-based McDonald's announced a nationwide campaign promoting careers at the world's largest restaurant chain. The campaign was released two weeks ago in the Chicago market. "We think working at McDonald's is a tremendous opportunity, that this is a great place to work. You can start as a crew person like I did," said Karen King, 50, East Division president of McDonald's USA. More than 600,000 people work at McDonald's USA's 13,700 restaurants. King's division contains 5,000 restaurants.The hamburger giant tried promoting careers two years ago with mixed results by shining the spotlight on famous individuals who once worked at McDonald's, such as singer Macy Gray, 10-time Olympic track and field medalist Carl Lewis and professional speedskater Derek Parra.Now the firm intends to turn the spotlight on its employees.

Even cutting the turnover rate, which matches the industry average, by a few percentage points would reduce the millions of dollars the restaurant chain spends annually on training. McDonald's declined to divulge how much it spends on training new hires.But King, in a dubious claim of distinction considering the high turnover rate, said, "We train more people than the U.S. Army." Jonah Kaufman, chairman of the national advertising committee for owner-operators and the owner of 12 McDonald's in the New York area, said the campaign using King; Ofelia Melendez, vice president of quality service and cleanliness in McDonald's Greater Southwest region; and other employees is aimed at raising the profile of jobs at the chain. "The world identifies who we are, and many times they don't do it correctly," Kaufman said. "This is our attempt to let people know the opportunities that are here."We're frustrated because the opportunities are so great and the people who stay at McDonald's many times have moved up and feel good about themselves," he said, adding that he knows at least 10 owner-operators in the New York area who started as crew members.

Crew member is McDonald's terminology for a person whose first job is taking and filling customer orders.Restaurant operators, whether they are operators of fast-food outlets or fine-dining restaurants, say the biggest task they face is the recruitment and retention of employees. "Many are becoming proactive at retaining the staff they already have so they don't have to go fishing in the shallow labor pool, as well as develop new tactics to reach out to new employees," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association. "The industry's need for employees will remain unabated for the next decade," he said, noting that the industry is expected to create an additional 2 million positions over the next 10 years. Currently, there are 12.8 million people working in the restaurant industry.Jared Bernstein, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, said McDonald's should have no trouble using the career program to recruit a higher level of employee."I can tell you that there is robust supply of smart people stuck in low-wage jobs champing at the bit to get into a career ladder," he said.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

But What About Hospitality Jobs In Pittsburgh?

We are speaking about hourly positions in hotels and restaurants. You know, the positions that most people seem to think of as stop gap employment opportunities until they find a “real” job. Wait staff, night auditors, short order cook, housekeeper and so forth. We had the opportunity to speak with Marc Gordon a couple of months ago at a national meeting we attended. Marc is the president of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association. What he spoke about had mostly to do with tourist type destinations like Chicago and Indianapolis. They have found that the fastest track to a lucrative long term career actually lies in Hospitality! So many people view the industry as not one they wish to spend the rest of their careers in that those that do are able to move up much more quickly than any other job category. By the time a college graduate reaches 30, they could be managing their own restaurant or hotel for a single owner or national chain. Work ethic and drive is all it takes.

We bring this up because the landscape is starting to change in Pittsburgh and timing would be excellent for any hourly job seeker to consider a long term career in Hospitality. If you love working with the public this is an opportunity not seen in decades. With two major casinos slated to open over the next year or two, a new arena for the Penguins about to break ground (with extensive retail and restaurant development going up with it) as well as numerous new hotels under construction or being planned the need in this area will be one of the bright spots for our job market for many years to come. Starting out at a lower wage now while gaining experience in the industry will pay fast dividends to any motivated individual willing to work hard and stay in the industry. Hotel and restaurant operators in Pittsburgh are beginning to see the effects of the improving job market. It is not as easy to fill positions as it was last year or the year before. Educating prospective future employees, especially those entering the job market for the first time, on the long term benefits of working in hospitality will create a win-win for themselves and hundreds of Pittsburgh area residents!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hottest Employer of the Week for May 14th, 2007

Pittsburgh Virtual Job Fair on www.pittsburgh.employmentguide.com

This is a really neat concept in job fairs. All hourly job seekers are encouraged to go to
www.pittsburgh.employmentguide.com. You will see a banner for the Pittsburgh Virtual Job Fair. This will run for two weeks, May 14th through May 28th. When you click on the banner ad your browser will be taken to a webpage with company logos. Click on any of the logos you are interested in and you will see their entire job postings on one page. Each job posting will explain how to apply for that job. Some are apply online, while others are apply in person. It’s that easy! There are 12 companies and hundreds of jobs in areas like production workers, retail, sales, customer service, amusement park, banking finance, healthcare and the City of Pittsburgh with various positions.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Another Symptom of a Strengthening Pittsburgh Job Market

There is still some debate about whether Pittsburgh is finally breaking out of a 6 year down trend in the creation of new jobs. We at the Employment Guide's Pittsburgh office, based on our business climate, are in the camp of optimism. Another symptom pointing us in this direction is what we are seeing with Pittsburgh area career training schools. We are not speaking of four year programs, but specifically those schools who offer one to two year programs and associate degrees. These are schools most likely to be used by an unemployed or underemployed job seeker to retrain themselves in order to pursue a different career. For the first time in 6 years, as a generality, we are seeing response rates to ads go down, that is, leads generated for the schools. Adding to this dilemma is we are hearing consistently Pittsburgh area schools are not converting as high a percentage of leads into students regardless of the lead source.

This is a direct symptom of more jobseekers in the Pittsburgh metro being gainfully employed. It is mirroring what we have seen in southern and western areas of the country over the past 2 years as the job markets in those areas tightened. The business of running a school can be cyclical opposite to the strength of the job market. When the job market turns for the worse, more people are unemployed and when new job opportunities do not materialize, jobseekers wisely turn to new career paths and seek retraining. It is simple supply and demand.

What is a school to do? The only advice that could come from any media is changing the message they want to deliver. It is no longer OK to only line list programs and wait for leads to call. The message must be turned to creating dissatisfaction in those currently employed to wanting something better. Schools need to start asking if you are making as much as you are worth. Are you in the career you want to be for the rest of your life? Other areas to look at (which we are beginning to see) are shaping new programs to better fit this market. With two major casinos opening over the next year or so, what training could be offered now to better afford an underemployed jobseeker a better chance of landing a higher paying job?

The job market is certainly improving in Pittsburgh. The outlook for the next five years is good. The career schools that survive and even continue to grow are going to be those who can adapt their message and programs the best.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Hottest Employer of the Week for May 7th, 2007

Employment for Adults 55+

This is more of a concept than a company that is the Hot Topic for the week. The Pittsburgh area, as you know, is one of the oldest metros in the country. Because of this, we find ourselves in a situation where more residents are beginning to retire than we have young people coming in to replace them. This is good news for young people because it will make them more in demand by employers, but it also creates opportunities for all residents 55+ who wish to continue working, or pick up an extra income to help with retirement expenses.

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh has put together a tremendous program geared for adults 55+ to help with job placement, resume assistance, employment counseling and even in putting together an individual Employment Plan. They also offer opportunities for paid on the job training.

Employers are discovering the advantages of hiring adults 55+ including the life experience they bring, dependability, work ethic and responsibility. If you would like more information from The Urban League on their 55+ Employment, Training and Economic Empowerment Program, please call Angelique at 412-227-4177.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Friday Musings on the hourly job front for May 4th, 2007

Local unemployment rate plummets over past year. This is the headline for an article in today’s Pittsburgh Business Times and confirms what we have opined for the past 2 months. Pittsburgh is finally growing jobs again. The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh dropped to 3.6% in March. Harold Miller, CEO of Future Strategies LLC rightfully cautions not to get too overly joyous just yet. Part of the Pittsburgh area tightening can be attributed to a decline in the number of people seeking jobs, normally a sign of a weakening job market causing more jobseekers to get frustrated and stop looking. However, Pittsburgh could well be different in this area. We are losing overall population due to a higher death rate than birth rate. The seven county Pittsburgh metro is the second oldest in the country, due mostly to the outflow caused by the collapse of the steel industry in the 1980’s. What does this mean to the average hourly jobseeker? It means more opportunity. There are not enough new jobseekers coming into the market than are retiring. This is already beginning to cause business owners and recruiters much more of a challenge to attract not only qualified candidates, but ANY candidates for many of their positions. Especially their entry level skilled positions. In a previous writing we noted the local concerns of our young people coming out of high school without enough basic skills to compete for many of these jobs. Perhaps this will be the catalyst for foreign immigrants once again viewing Pittsburgh as a place where opportunity abounds. Hopefully this unnatural tightening will not have a detrimental effect of keeping businesses from opening or expanding in our area.

We had an interesting long conversation with a friend who is a shop steward for the Sheet Metal Workers in Pittsburgh. He has been a sheet metal worker for 17 years and has worked through both good and bad times. The biggest concern for his union right now, with multiple large construction projects on the horizon, isn’t just finding enough qualified workers to fill positions, but finding enough who are dependable and responsible. They have bigger problems than in the past with no-shows, absenteeism and tardiness primarily among their apprentices.

We both felt that this is the type of problem we wish we had to deal with in the past. He agreed the next 3 to 5 years look very good for job creation in southwest Pennsylvania. We will need to see positive job numbers become a trend over time before any celebration.

Truly a 'Burgh Thing!

Truly a 'Burgh Thing!
by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Job News and Information for Job Seekers and Recruiters

Job News and Information for Job Seekers and Recruiters