What does the economic stimulus package mean for job hunters?
The good news is that a broad range of employment opportunities are expected to open up nationwide, says Joanie Ruge, senior vice president at Adecco North America, a staffing company based in Melville, N.Y. The bad news: It's likely that they won't start opening up until the second half of this year. "Unfortunately, it's going to take some time for us to see the trickle effect," she says. "It's not instant."
The Wall Street Journal spoke to Ms. Ruge about the kinds of new jobs on the horizon and what unemployed professionals can do in the meantime. Edited excerpts follow.
WSJ: Which industries are likely to offer the best career prospects as a result of the stimulus?
Ms. Ruge: The package is going to create jobs in not only manufacturing and construction but also engineering, information technology and health care, so it's going to be pretty widespread. They're probably going to be evenly distributed throughout these industries for workers at all skill levels. Even the infrastructure jobs will create opportunities for all skill sets. For example, in construction, workers will be needed to build bridges, but engineers will also be needed to design them and project managers to oversee those projects.
WSJ: Just how many jobs do you expect to open up?
Ms. Ruge: We estimate about 3.5 million jobs will created but it will be over a period of one to two years.
WSJ: What kinds of career opportunities are currently available?
Ms. Ruge: There are still plenty of jobs out there but most are for the college educated worker. Right now, Adecco has 1,500 positions in the mortgage field that are open. Many are entry-level mortgage processing jobs and some companies provide training. What's happening is interest rates are so low right now that the banks and other loan providers are starting to have a lot of requests for refinancing. We also have over 1,400 positions in engineering and IT, and about 1,000 openings today for finance and accounting jobs, most midlevel positions. Demand is especially strong for IT professionals with government security clearances.
WSJ: Do you have any tips for people who aren't qualified in those areas?
Ms. Ruge: Be flexible and open-minded with industries, location and even compensation. Look for temporary, project-based work by contacting an employment agency like Adecco. These jobs offer excellent opportunities to network and learn a new skill or industry, plus you can still interview for permanent jobs. The stigma used to be that temp work was for administrative assistants and that's not really the case today. Contract employment is for really all people with skill sets and at all career levels, and there are opportunities in all industries and professions.
By Sarah E. Needleman
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