April 30, 2009: One of the world’s largest executive search and HR consulting firms, Cornerstone International Group, reports a significant increase in unsolicited resumes. Compared to the previous economic downturn (2001 to 2005) Cornerstone has been contacted by far more job seekersâ€”approximately 290% more resumes overall and 360% times more resumes from middle-level white collar and supervisory blue collar job seekers.
Likewise, compared to the recession of 1991 to 1993, Cornerstone has received 320% more unsolicited resumes from job seekers overall and 390% more resumes from middle-level white collar workers. The current number of inquiries from job seekers is even more dramatic when compared to 2007, just prior to the current economic downturn.
According to Cornerstone’s Founder and CEO, William Guy, “Prior to December 2007, Cornerstone was averaging 1/10th the number of unsolicited resumes from job seekers, as compared to current levels. For obvious reasons, this 10-fold increase is even more dramatic in terms of certain industries such as financial services, where the number of “pink slipsâ€ has been gigantic.”
Other industries seem to be hard hit. Again as no surprise, automotive and related industries have shown a sharp increase in the number of job seekers. This trend may continue for some time, because Washington seems to be fighting a losing battle.
American Redeployment Project, a Practical Solution
Ironically, Cornerstone has been trying to gain the attention of the new Obama administration in proposing a practical solution to help mitigate the tsunami of newly unemployed. Several years back, Cornerstone was asked by another country to act as project manager for a redeployment project that entailed a combination of job counseling and job placement for millions of unemployed workers.
“We have met with senior-level advisors in Washington, but they seem to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off,” explained William Guy. “Financial advisors on the Obama team are trying to claim they have all the answers, but they appear naive when it comes to the impact of the 20 million to 30 million total unemployment in the U.S.
After Obama won the election last November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate continued to increase in November and December of 2008. In December 2008 alone, the number of unemployed persons increased from 10.3 million to 11.1 million (800,000 newly unemployed) and the unemployment rate rose from 6.7% to 7.2 % (increase of .5% in just one month).
In December 2008, the number of persons who worked part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) continued to increase, reaching 8.0 million. The number of such workers rose by 3.4 million over the past 12 months. This category includes persons who would like to work full time but were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time jobs. These numbers do NOT include any military personnel expected to return from duty in the near future.
If you add the 11.1 million to the 8.0 million, that totals 19.1 million. Unfortunately these numbers fail to include the millions of job seekers who are no longer counted among the officially “unemployed” because they no longer are eligible for unemployment benefits. This hidden number could easily bring the November total to 25 million unemployed
Adding Insult to Injury
Since last November, the newly unemployed have increased by staggering numbers. In November, December, January, February, and March (April figures will likely be consistent), the unemployment numbers have increased by well over 500,000 each and every month. Conservatively, that means another 2.5 million to 3.0 million added to the above numbers.
This is a dangerous snow ball. For instance, if General Motors lays off 100,000 workers, the suppliers to GM will also lay off 100,000. The combined 200,000 laid off workers will purchase less goods and services, so retailers will also be forced to lay off their workers. This tsunami of unemployment can be slowed, but Washington is not listening.