As a nation we have enjoyed relatively low unemployment for the last five years. At the end of 2007 the unemployment rate stood at 4.6%. By comparison, the U.S. unemployment rate peaked at 24.9% in 1933, during the darkest year of the Great Depression.
In October of this year the unemployment rate grew 0.4% to 6.5%, its highest rate in 14 years. Ten million Americans are now unemployed: 240,000 people lost their jobs in October, and 284,000 lost their jobs in September. That represents the biggest two-month loss of American jobs since 2001. Economists are predicting the unemployment rate will rise to 8.5% by the end of 2009, which means as many as three million more workers will be laid off in the U.S.
Because I'm a CEO who hires employees regularly, a few friends of mine who have recently been laid off have asked me for job-hunting advice. Some have asked me to review their resumes and offer suggestions. Unfortunately these folks are now in job recovery mode and aren't able to optimally position themselves for landing on their feet.