The latest employment figures are out and Wall Street is cheering the modest improvements. Meanwhile, the people on Main Street can’t stop worrying about the recession that started seven years ago and supposedly ended five years ago as evidenced by the latest Gallup poll showing that jobs and the economy are the number one and two issues for Americans.
There are a multitude of factors preventing people from getting jobs, particularly well-paying ones. One of them is the outdated material found on each of the 50 state Department of Labor (DOL) sites. Annually, the DOL gives states over $750 billion in total to educate the underemployed out of their existence using information and technology that looks like it was built in the first year of the internet. These sites fail to mention any of the newest resources such as LinkedIn, Indeed or Simply Hired, Meetups or Twitter and show a fraction of the jobs that the major job boards list. For example, the Nevada DOL site found 72 bartending jobs in Las Vegas while Simply Hired shows 1,115. This from the state with the second highest unemployment level in the country.
You might think that it doesn’t matter because people aren’t really looking on the state DOL sites for assistance, but you would be wrong. The home page for Mass.gov, the state’s main website, shows that the most requested link on their site is job listings, ahead of unemployment payments, health insurance and winning lottery numbers.
While we are at it, these sites should also have functionality to get alerts on new job listings of relevance, upload resumes and cover letters, track applications and connect with others.
It’s time to move beyond the antiquated notion that federal and state websites cannot appear to promote commercial enterprises. Disclaimers are a common means for getting around these issues. If the state of New Jersey can suggest where I should sleep, dine or have a spa treatment when in Atlantic City, shouldn’t they be able to tell me about the best job boards, networking vehicles, and other web resources—like CareerFuel—to help their citizens get jobs?
This morning’s news says that the economic recovery looks distant. Considering the financial drag that that our underemployed youth and growing retirement populations will have on our economy for decades, we cannot afford to have such inadequate job search education on our state websites.
Is this really the best the world’s supposed superpower and technology wonder kid can do?
Photo Credit:The Year of Mud via photopin cc