On March 16, the stock market’s gain streak reached 10 days and it approached its record high of October 2007. Last week, the number of people filing for unemployment nationwide was the lowest in five years. Here in Phoenix, the number of bankruptcies filed in Phoenix in February 2013 dropped 35% from the year before, far exceeding the national decrease of 21%. The home bidding wars in the East Valley have heated up again. But there are still some challenges for the average Phoenician.
Ironically, most of the people, who could afford to file bankruptcy, have already done so. That still leaves people, who cannot afford attorney or bankruptcy office services, who now just walk away. Charities with declining resources are stressed to provide for all the needs.
While it has decreased from its high points the past few years, Arizona’s unemployment rate was still 8% in January 2013. The biggest job losses are in government, especially in education. Many formerly high-paid professionals, like teachers, are “underemployed” in Arizona. Underemployment afflicts people who are working part-time or those who are employed at an education, salary or skill level lower than those for which they are qualified. Arizona is one of over 20 states, which pay underemployment benefits.
So despite the good news filling the airwaves, organizations, like Localwork.com remain critical to the Phoenix recovery. LocalWork.com is a job site that was launched by Ryan Naylor, the CEO and owner of Local Work Marketing, an Internet marketing firm, a little over a year ago. It has evolved during the last year, and includes such innovations as video resumes, local map searches and a resume rating system. It is only $50 for employers and free for aspiring employees.
The improving Phoenix economy will be reflected in the increase in the number of job openings and more diverse industries, which are going to be represented at LocalWork.com’s next Greater Phoenix Job Fair at the Phoenix Airport Marriott on Monday, March 18 from 10 AM to 2 PM. Interested people can register online in advance.
“We are pleased to see this increase in new jobs. It helps us achieve our mission of helping lower Arizona’s unemployment rate,” says Naylor.
So while the future looks brighter, it is important to remember those that are still struggling to recover, and what the long-term impacts of underemployment, as well as unemployment, will be on the Phoenix economy.