Unemployment and economic crisis in the UK and US have birthed worrisome problems for the workforce and has inflated the cost of living. While the crisis might appear insurmountable, you can use well-honed skills to stay on top of the situation and actualize career progression and financial independence.
Unemployment in the UK
No doubt, the United Kingdom ( UK) is a wonderful place to earn a living, attain career progress, and live a fulfilling lifestyle. This is evidenced by the influx of international students into the country seeking to pursue higher education and career advancement in a supportive and motivating environment.
Despite the promising prospects, the UK is also suffering from debilitating unemployment like most countries in the world. The unemployment rates vary across towns and cities in the UK — with some having lower rates and severity than others.
The overall unemployment rate for people aged 16 and above is 3.7% from December 2021 to February 2022. The figure remains unchanged from November 2022 to January 2023. There is also a slight increase in the number of people unemployed for over 12 months in the latest three month period.
In the three months leading to January 2023, London and the West Midlands had the highest unemployment statistics in the UK. London has a staggering (4.5%), followed closely by the North East region (4.1%). The East and South East averaged (3.8%) while the North West has a (3.7%) rate.
Cities in the East Midlands and Wales averaged (3.5%) and Yorkshire has a (3.2%) rate. Scotland has an estimated (3.1%) rate. The lowest unemployment margins were recorded in Northern Ireland (2.4%) and South West (2.3%).
The UK Economic Crisis
In recent times, the UK has confronted massive industrial strike actions from numerous sectors in the country. The strikes have worsened the labor shortage crisis and soaring inflation rates that already have the UK in a chokehold.
Given the latest trends and developments, economists have forewarned that the country might be headed for the worst economic-destructive recession and the slowest recovery among developed countries in 2023.
According to results from a Financial Times poll of analysts, there is a 1% decline in the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP). The country is hamstrung by high inflation aggravated by rising energy prices and labor shortages. The situation is further aggravated by the endless strikes and protests across the country.
Unemployment in the US
The United States (US) has undoubtedly enjoyed a stable economy and a robust workforce which has earned it a spot among the most developed countries in the world. However, the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the dynamics.
The unemployment rate in the US rose to 3.6% in February 2023 from 3.4% in January. The number of unemployed people in the country increased from 242,000 to 5.94 million while employment levels increased from 177,000 to 160.32 million.
The famed U-6 unemployment rate which includes people that are willing to work but have given up the search and those working part-time because of a shortage of full-time jobs also rose from 6.6% in January to 6.8% in February.
The US labor market is stealthily recovering from the impact of the pandemic in 2020. Layoffs have occurred, labor participation has decreased, and the job market is more competitive than ever. Though the country has recorded significant improvements since the pandemic, the unemployment rate is still unhealthy for a developed economy.
The US Economy
Politicians, economists, and market professionals have debated about the recession in the US since 2022. Some argued for while others argued against the motion. Whether the Us economy is headed for recession or not boils down to the definition of the word itself. But apparently, there are two definitions.
The general definition of a recession states an economy must experience two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP). Going by this definition, The US experienced a recession in the summer of 2022.
However, the US National Bureau of Economic Research ( NBER) has a different perspective. According to the NBER, a recession occurs when there is a significant decline in economic activities across all sectors that spans more than a couple of months. Given this definition, the US did not experience a recession in the summer of 2022.
Generally, the US believes that its economy is well-armed against a recession or economic crisis owing to the strong labor market and corporate financial growth. While the recession may be a topic for another day, inflation and the cost of living pose a significant problem.
Although inflation rates in the US dropped from 9.1% in June 2022 to 6.5% in December, the rate is still above the Federal reserve’s targeted 2% to 3% rate. Thus, inflation still has a substantial effect on the purchasing power of average Americans. The bottom line is, the cost of living in the US is rising at worrisome levels despite lower inflation rates.
How to use your Skills to Tackle Unemployment and Economic Crisis
Unemployment and economic crises are significant issues negatively impacting the lives of people globally. Lack of job opportunities can impair self-esteem, cause financial distress, and may result in mental health challenges.
The good news is, you can tackle this hurdle by acquiring new and useful skills. With well-developed skills, you can increase your odds of landing a good job with good pay or becoming self-employed without relying on the Government or the corporate industry.
However, gaining and mastering skills requires commitment, dedication, and hard work. But if you are determined and prepared to do whatever it takes, success will come knocking on your door. Here is how to use skills to broaden your career and financial prospects.
1. Identify in-demand Skills
Not all skills have a competitive advantage in the market. Some skills have higher earning potential and market value than others. So you have to identify those skills that are in demand within your community, region, or workspace. Research the skills that employers have their eyes peeled for in job ads. You can glean this information from recruiting agencies, professionals in the industry, or job postings. Once you have identified these skills, you can start the learning process.
In-demand skills are not limited to the corporate workspace. The market is constantly in need of certain skill sets to solve various consumer pain points. For instance, plumbers are currently in high demand in the UK. So you can channel your energy towards acquiring plumbing skills and become a freelance or home service plumber.
2. Evaluate your Current Skill Set
After you’ve researched the skills that are in high demand, evaluate your current skill set and determine if you are a right fit for the job required. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and highlight areas where you need to improve. Sometimes the skills you already possess may already be in demand. Other times, you have to learn these skills from scratch. If you find that you have the skills that are topping the market, focus on sharpening those skills to improve your prospects.
If you need to learn from scratch, ascertain if the skills align with your current interests or strong points. For example, writing may be an in-demand skill but it isn’t your strong suit. In this case, find other skills that align with your interest or hone your current skills and make the most of them. The last thing you want is to waste time learning a skill that you don’t want to learn.
3. Evaluate Gaps in your Skill Set
Your current skill set may be all you need to excel in your career. However, you will likely find gaps that need filling to maximize your competitive advantage in the job market. Identifying these gaps is crucial to determining the skills you need to improve or acquire. Some gaps may need thorough refurbishing or formal education while others can be corrected through online workshops, courses, or training.
If for instance, you are good with figures and data and have an accounting degree, a career in data analytics or science will be a good fit for you. You only need to take online courses or workshops to brush up on your skills and enter the market.
4. Acquire New Skills
You have to acquire new skills or upgrade your current skills to overcome unemployment. There are myriad ways you can acquire new skills. You can enroll for online classes, register for workshops or take on mentorship, internship, or volunteering. Again, new skills aren’t limited to the corporate space. You can learn to bake, cook or make hair.
Hairdressers, bakers, interior decorators, companion caregivers, fashion stylists, gardeners, seamstresses, and other non-corporate professionals are also in high demand. If you are good at cooking or love to bake, you can turn your passion into an income-earning skill. Don’t limit yourself, explore as best as you can.
You can also gain new skills by shadowing your friends or learning from them. This is called “observational learning”. If you have a friend that works remotely or can take you along to their jobs, seize the opportunity. Watch them work and learn from the exposure. Just like an apprentice, you will gain first-hand experience and learn things you might not find in a course book!
Having a professional network can help you tackle unemployment and all the cons that come with it. By networking, you will meet and interact with professionals in your field which will pave way for better opportunities and growth. A recommendation from a professional in your industry can land you a good job or opportunity. You can pick brains and share ideas with other professionals in your job realm which will help broaden your knowledge and expertise.
Attend networking events, join professional organizations, and be active. Do not be that person who joins organizations and barely partakes in any activity or discourse. Connect with people of like minds on social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook. It is through networking that you can make a name for yourself in your chosen field be it web development or baking!
6. Create a Tailored Resume and Build a Portfolio
Once you have identified and mastered a skill. Create a resume that is tailored to your acquired skills. Highlight the skills that are relevant to the job you are seeking and demonstrate your expertise for the position. Filter your resume and cover letter for errors and ensure they are written per grammatical and literal rules. You need to make a good impression on potential employers so you must pay attention to all the details.
If you are not applying for a formal position, build a portfolio showing samples of your work and testimonials or feedback from clients. If your chosen skill is photography, create a portfolio with your most stunning pictures to show to clients. You can also build a website that potential clients can refer to when considering hiring you. Ultimately, you need to pull all the stops to maximize your value.
Finally, Take your Talents and Skills to House Service App
The House Service App is a well-rounded and developed on-demand hub that connects service providers to hirers/clients. It is a great platform for finding work. Given the dog-eat-dog competition in the job market, an app like the House Service app is a welcome development and a refreshing change of pace.
From babysitters to companion caregivers to cleaners to nursing assistants to gardeners to pet sitters to event planners and you name it — there is a job waiting for every house service professional looking to earn substantial income on a stress-free platform. So if you have the skills and talents, register on the home service app and wait to hear from your dream clients. All it takes is a click of a few buttons and you will get good jobs all week long. Plus, the process is secure and transparent, so the risk of running into bad clients or scammers is zero to nil.
House Service App is the hub of home services that helps you get your life together!
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