The economy is in rough shape as most people know.  However, I give credit to the Business Journal for attempting to spin a good story out of this hot mess.  Here is the headline:

Challenger report: June job cuts hit 13-month low

Sounds positive and they lead off with this info:

Nationally, the country’s employers announced plans to slash 37,551 jobs in June, down 39 percent from May, which marks a 13-month low for planned cuts, according to a new report from human resources consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

Ah, but the truth often lies in the later paragraphs:

Still, halfway through 2012, there have been a total of 283,091 job cuts, an increase of about 15 percent from last year’s total during the same six-month period, per Challenger Gray & Christmas.

The job situation is still in shambles and we are seeing it in our business.  There are many strong candidates out there looking for opportunities that just are not materializing right now.

The doom-and-gloom economic reporting continues and as a sales manager it is important to keep a pulse on your team.  More articles are being released on the topic of employees getting skittish about their future with the company.  Bob Rosner offers some good advice for these employees in his Working Wounded blog:

Be careful to not drink the Kool-Aid with coworkers by being hyper-critical about your company’s future. Get an outside opinion. If you work for a public company, talk to a stock broker. A search in our city listed 391 brokers who offer a free consultation. If you work for a smaller company, check with vendors to see if they’re getting paid on time. Don’t stop there — also get a read on your department. Is your budget increasing? Do you work with vital customers? These are great check-ups to see if a layoff could be in your future.

Do you like, love or just plain hate your job? If you’re really unhappy, try information interviews with people on a career path that interests you. Passionate people enjoy sharing career tips with others. You could also obtain a skills and personality evaluation to determine your vital signs. Your work decision-making shouldn’t just revolve around your company or region’s vitality — it should reflect your passions too.

There will be plenty of salespeople jumping ship if they find a more secure opportunity.  Now is the time when sales managers have to secure their top talent before they drink the Kool-Aid.  Take the extra time to interact with your team and get a read of their present mindset.

The economy is slow, but this is a different economy than we have encountered before now.  I suppose this is always true since the economy is completely dynamic so no two points in time are ever the same.  Nonetheless, abcnews.com offers us this story – Job Winners and Losers in Hard Times – which has an excellent bit of information regarding this economy:

In an environment of a sluggish economy and rising unemployment, analysts said there will be some safe harbors where job demand will keep growing. First and foremost in this group will be health care, where the demographics of an aging population mean the demands for medical care will keep rising.

Also a bright spot in a generally bleak jobs picture will be education, again driven by the demographics of a rising population of school-age children and students attending colleges, community colleges and trade schools.

Outside of those areas, the falling value of the dollar against many foreign currencies is helping to power an export boom, which is benefiting farmers and some segments of manufacturing, particularly airplane makers and factories producing various types of heavy machinery where the United States enjoys a competitive edge.

Recessions, slow downs, whatever…the dynamic economy never stops.  There are always pockets to target so make the adjustments you need to make to keep closing deals.