How to be helpful to your friend or colleague looking for work, practical tips

How to be helpful to your friend or colleague looking for work, practical tips

September 30 2012

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate has exceeded 8% since early 2009. The unemployment figure dropped from 8.3% in July to 8.1 % in August.
The United States population is approximately 315 million and adjusted based on the definition of the BLS civilian workforce and the latest August unemployed figures is around 8.1% nationwide down from July. “The unemployment rate edged down in August to 8.1 percent. Since the beginning of this year, the rate has held in a narrow range of 8.1 to 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.5 million, was little changed in August. (See table A-1.)”

“ The Employment Situation for September is scheduled to be released on Friday, October 5, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).” Read more: &

Why are these figures so important to understand? The why is to help us understand the population of unemployed workers and the growth to support employment in the economy. However, there are workers who still are in transition and need our support, so how do we help? In reading an article entitled “Simplify your life Sept 2012 – When Some is unemployed, (September 2012) the article explains what we can do to assist these folks during this transition and provides a “Simplify-tip” on several points and provides much timely advice.

Above all: Understand what it means to be unemployed

For many, the loss of a job not only translates to loss of income, but also to a loss of relationships. Sometimes, it can even lead to an erosion of life’s overall meaning. If you can no longer call yourself “mechanic at an airplane manufacturer” or “advertising manager,” you are forced to redefine yourself.

Simplify-tip: Dare to say the word “unemployed” or “laid off” or even “fired” and thus show your friend that there is no reason to be embarrassed by this fact. Rather than skirting around the subject, ask specific questions: “How are you dealing with unemployment? “ or “Do you have any job leads?” And don’t refrain from talking about your own job. It is exactly that type of information-stories about bad bosses, challenges at work-that your friend may be missing. (See article from Simplify your life, A simpler and happier life, September Edition, page 3).

During these work transitions, the times have been more than difficult for many individuals with the unemployment rate in the country being over 8% in the past several years. Employers are still laying off, contracts are being terminated, and yes, firings continue. Yes and all of these methods are used whether termination of the job is just or not, the fact is that the loss has occurred. And in some circles what can be termed as the churn and burn method of companies known for bringing in employees, contractors, etc., and churning them rapidly and leaving these workers with yet another loss which often times can be turned into a mountain of losses and adds to the individual’s fear for their future.

In summary, we all have our stories, and harboring these small losses can be like warts and these feelings make it so difficult for everyone to understand and sometimes not knowing how to help, especially as the article goes on to say that the ‘time-home alone’ and the allowing the mind to wander and wonder why people don’t call us back or return emails becomes real. So how can we help each other?

For every story we hold near and dear to our hearts, there are usually many versions of the same story we tell ourselves—so “being mindful of what we can do to help each other during these stressful times might be to simply trust our guts’ instinct and helping each other out goes a long way to build-up moral, self-esteem and self-confidence.” ~Linda Savanauskas

Further Research
See the definition of the civilian labor force as defined by the BLS:
Civilian non-institutional population: Included are persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, who are not residing in institutions (e.g., prison and mental facilities, homes for the elderly), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.

Definition of ‘Civilian Labor Force’
A term used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to describe the subset of Americans who have jobs or are seeking a job, are at least 16 years old, are not serving in the military and are not institutionalized. In other words, all Americans who are eligible to work in the everyday U.S. economy.
The ‘Civilian Labor Force’ defined

The civilian labor force, which is recalculated monthly, is a key component of two commonly used employment calculations created by the BLS: the labor force participation rate and the unemployment rate. According to the BLS, from 1999 through 2009, the number of people in the U.S. civilian labor force ranged from about 138 million to 155 million.
Read more:

Veterans Month of August 2012 – population and breakdown of unemployed is: 6.6% of unemployed (this equates to 825 thousand of 12.5 million are veterans)
Seasonally Adjusted
Unemployment Rate:

8.1% in Aug 2012
Change in Unemployment Level:
-250,000 in Aug 2012
Change in Employment Level:
-119,000 in Aug 2012
Change in Civilian Labor Force Level:
-368,000 in Aug 2012
Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate:
63.5% in Aug 2012
Employment-Population Ratio:
58.3% in Aug 2012

Population of U.S.

___ (2012). Simplify your life, A simpler and happier life. Simplify Your Life, September 2012, (3). Interbox Media Americas, LLC

Hewitt, B. (2012). Medal of Honor Winner Dakota Meyer Is a Man on a Mission‏. Available from: Accessed 9/30/2012.

Mitchell, J. and Ensign, R. (2012). Student-Loan Defaults Mount Again. Available from: WSJ online. Accessed 9/30/2012.

Simplify your life Sept 2012 – When Some is unemployed

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About Linda Savanauskas

An accomplished talent management professional with experience in curriculum design, development of learning strategies, and professional skills development training programs for the workplace. Collaboration in training programs includes small and medium size businesses (SMB) to larger organizations from Raleigh to Charlotte, North Carolina. Virtual instructor led training can be offered to any location.