According to the “The Employment Situation – May 2012” report, hiring dwindled for the third consecutive month in May, as only 69,000 jobs were added to the national economy, the lowest monthly total since June 2011.
The report also found that 5.4 million Americans have now been without work for at least six months and, 8.1 million citizens were employed on a part-time basis for economic reasons, while 2.4 million Americans were marginally attached to the workforce, an increase of nearly 200,000 over the past year.
The national labor force participation rate remained lower than hoped as well, at 68.3 percent, nearly two percent lower than in June 2009 and only 0.2 percent higher than in April, a month in which the nation reported its lowest rate since the 1980s.
Despite the rise in unemployment to 8.2%, President Barack Obama continued to maintain a sense of optimism while speaking about the current state of the national economy in Minneapolis, just hours after the release of the monthly jobs report.
“The economy is growing again, but not as fast as we want it to grow,” Obama said. “We will come back stronger [though]. We do have better days ahead.”
As a sign of continued economic progress, 642,000 Americans did re-enter the labor force last month—the likely reason that the unemployment rate snuck up to 8.2% -- and 422,000 more Americans were employed in May than in April. But, unfortunately, that did not improve optimism from the stock market as the Dow Jones Industrial average fell to its lowest total in 2012 on June 1st.
Three years after the official end of the Great Recession, it appears the nation’s path towards economic recovery continues to be a drawn out process with continuous ups and downs. Based on these numbers, economists are beginning to consider the idea of a jobless recovery or a new natural unemployment rate more seriously as the country moves farther from the ‘official’ end of the great recession.
Despite ominous predictions about how cloud computing will eviscerate IT departments, 2012 is shaping up to be a great year for IT careers. Cloud computing is in fact creating new roles for IT professionals, while the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has ignited demand for software developers. The IT job market, which experienced a strong rebound in 2011 after the recession, is expected to burn even brighter in 2012, despite global economic challenges, according to IT staffing industry executives.
"I expect it to be better and not just a little bit better," says Tammy Browning, senior vice president of Yoh staffing's western region. "I would say it will be 10 to 15 percent better than 2011 in terms of hiring."
IBM says a study it did of some 1,700 Chief Executive Officers worldwide found that many indeed - or should be -- grasping social media as a key enabler of collaboration and innovation.
According to the IBM CEO study, the companies that outperform their peers are 30% more likely to identify what IBM called "openness" as a key way to influence the growth of their organization. Openess in the IBM lexicon means embracing social media and better use of collaboration. The idea is to a certain extent to "tap into the collective intelligence of an organization to devise new ideas and solutions for increased profitability and growth," IBM stated.
Next-generation CIOs will have to consider how technology affects other corporate departments as well as handle traditional IT management functions, especially those accompanying mobile device management and greater data analysis, according to panelists who spoke at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Consumer mobile devices have entered the enterprise and CIOs need to support them while considering their security risks, said speakers who participated in a Tuesday discussion on the challenges facing future CIOs.