Hiring, that is, and it appears that it is going to be an even rougher road over the back half of 2009.  If you are in the recruiting, hiring, assessing business you are aware of this fact.  9.4% unemployment is remarkable.  From abcnews.com:

The percentage of people without jobs in this country is now at the highest point in nearly 26 years. Every month since January 2008 we have seen jobs disappear.

So far the economy has shed 6 million jobs since the recession started push (sic) employers to start handing out pink slips.

I’m still looking for the report that lists the number of jobs “saved” by the stimulus package.  I suspect I will have to wait a bit longer for that information.  But fear not, the bleeding does seem to be slowing down:

The Labor Department this morning announced that another 345,000 Americans lost their jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate up from 8.9 percent in April. Economists had expected a loss of 550,000 jobs and the news that significantly less were lost initially shot the stock market up.

Again, more economists with an inaccurate prediction.  I dare say the economy is too dynamic, too multi-faceted for any one person to accurately predict…much like the weather.  Yet, here is a development for which I was unaware (emphasis mine):

The (EEOC) commission received an unprecedented 95,402 complaints during a 12-month period ending in October. That’s up 15 percent from the prior year. Of those, 24,582 are charges of age discrimination, a massive 29 percent increase.

I think most of us know that companies often use down markets to purge employees whether deserving or not.  A recessionary economy provides cover for companies to layoff workers from a protected class with less liability.  I’m not condoning the practice, just being brutally honest.

This uptick in complaints seems to support this unwritten business practice.  I think an aspect that the reporter did not address is the overall aging of the workforce.  If the Boomers are the majority of the workforce, there stands to reason that there will be a continued increase in age discrimination charges simply based on the numbers.  That data would have provided a needed context to the article.

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