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Archives: January 2010

Weekly Jobless Claims Hover At 450 Thou; Cali Unemployed Find Relief?

Weekly jobless claims decreased by 8,000 last week to 470,000, putting the four-week average at 456,250, an increase of 9,500.

States reported 304,000 fewer people receiving extended unemployment benefits in the week of Jan. 9, for a total of 5.3 million people on extended unemployment. This is 3.6 million more people than that week in 2009.

For the week ended Jan. 16, Pennsylvania and New York both reported decreases in claims of more than 20,000; at the same time, California reported an increase in claims of 43,000. The reason? Not more layoffs, but the state clearing off a three-week processing backlog.

The California unemployment office is notoriously difficult to deal with; we hope that this news means that people owed money can keep the lights on a bit longer. Asks For Donations As Job Board Revenues Plummet job-and-volunteer board is passing the hat to fill its budget gap.

The nonprofit site matches people with volunteer opportunities and paid jobs, but as its revenue mostly comes from the fees employers pay to list their jobs on the board, the site’s been struggling to stay afloat since October 2008.

Since the site has a pretty good number of communications, writing/editing, marketing and PR jobs (and these are all full-time, paid jobs, not volunteer or pro bono opportunities), we thought you’d like to know that the site is in jeopardy.

Here’s what founder & executive director Ami Dar sent out in an e-mail today:

You know how sometimes in life you go through a bad moment, and when your friends hear about it later, they say, “Why didn’t you say something? Why didn’t you ask?”

That’s where Idealist is now, and that’s why we are asking for your help.

Very briefly, here’s what happened. Over the past ten years, most of our funding has come from the small fees we charge organizations for posting their jobs on Idealist. By September 2008, after years of steady growth, these little drops were covering 70% of our budget.

Then, in October of that year, the financial crisis exploded, many organizations understandably froze their hiring, and from one week to the next our earned income was cut almost in half, leaving us with a hole of more than $100,000 each month.

That was 16 months ago, and since then we’ve survived on faith and fumes, by cutting expenses, and by getting a few large gifts from new and old friends. But now we are about to hit a wall, and that’s why we decided to ask.

If over the past 15 years Idealist has helped you or a friend find a job, an internship or a volunteer opportunity; connect with a person, an idea or a resource; or just feel inspired for a moment, now we need your help. Thank you!

LinkedIn Offers Premium Account Discounts

linkedin-logo.jpgLinkedIn is offering 50 percent off the subscription price of its premium (“Business”) accounts, but you’ll have to move fast: the offer ends tomorrow.

With a premium account, you can send messages directly to people not in your network (“InMails”), and search for profiles not in your network.

We hear that a premium LinkedIn is a great tool–LinkedIn itself says InMails get a 30% response rate–and there have definitely been times that we’ve wanted to send a message and have been thwarted by our freebie account.

The caveat, though, is that the thing’s still kinda pricey. With a Business account, normally $24.95 a month but $12.48 if you sign up before Friday, you can send three InMails a month. If you want to send ten messages a month, you’ll pay $50.

At a 30% response rate, that’s more than a cup of coffee’d cost but is (probably) still worth it for that first connection. But we dunno. Your thoughts?

SOTU Recap: Jobs

In case you were trapped in a TV-less cave where not even cell or wifi signals could reach (or maybe you’re just way less dorky than yours truly), you may have missed President Barack Obama‘s proposals for job growth in last night’s State of the Union address.

In short:
Obama’s proposing three things:

  • Use $30 billion of repaid TARP money to help community banks lend to small businesses.
  • Give a tax credit to small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages.
  • And eliminate capital gains taxes on small business investment.

These proposals are short on substance thanks to their context, but at first blush, what do you think of these?

Monster Vs. CareerBuilder Super Bowl Ads

Both Monster and CareerBuilder plan to advertise in the Super Bowl next Sunday.

CareerBuilder actually crowdsourced its ad, asking people to submit ad concepts; they chose their top three and have been asking visitors to its site to vote for the one they hope to see at the Big Game.

The ad you see below was actually deemed too hot for TV by the network. It’s also incredibly immature. Which is why we are posting it here.

McClatchy Results | RIP Pocono Biz Journal | More Stuff That Happened Yesterday

Jobs Of The Day: KidzBop VP, Google (Again), Meredith, More

KIDZ BOP is hiring a vice president of strategic marketing. Hopefully you’re allowed to listen to real music while you work there.

Google is hiring for a number of marketing and communications positions in both the Bay Area and New York. Still.

And a good number of jobs have popped up across all Meredith’s properties—you can find them here.

Square One has an open position: an interactive project/account manager.
The Home Depot has an open position: a manager of broadcast creative.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation seeks a brand communications manager.
Lighthouse International wants a manager of online content.
Innovation Interactive is looking for a public relations manager.
Gardening How-To Magazine is seeking an associate editor.
Warner Bros. Records is hiring a vice president of digital promotion and online marketing.
Charitybuzz needs a junior PR associate.
The Sentinel has an open position: a sports editor.
Fine Cooking Magazine has an open position: an associate editor.
WTOP is seeking a reporter.
Portland Monthly magazine has an open position: a senior editor.
The Independent Record is seeking a government reporter.
Ricochet PR is hiring a senior account executive or account supervisor in healthcare.
The Bay Area News Project wants a VP of product development and technology.
Associated Content wants an editorial chief.

Every day we scour major job boards, including, but not limited to’s listings, to find the best media jobs out there. We screen out duplicates and scams so you know you’re only receiving the top choices.

The IPad Is Already Killing Journalism was supposed to have a live chat today talking about jobs for journalists: both new job descriptions in journalism, as well as which companies outside the industry have a use for journalists’ specialized skills. The chat was scheduled for 1pm ET, which was, er, the exact same moment that the Apple iPad press conference was starting.

Guess who won?

A couple minutes later, Grimm updated the post to say: “This chat has been rescheduled. CoverItLive is at capacity at this time due to Apple’s announcement of the iPad.”

Dammit, Jobs!

And yes, yes, it’s gorgeous, phenomenal, “magical,” whatever. Now get back to work.

Our Favorite Clients From Hell

flickr: Omar Omar

New Tumblr blog we found: Clients From Hell.

The site collects quotes from designers who have oh-so-caraaaazy clients, but any freelancer should find these pretty hysterical.

Our favorites:
The hard-drinking, hard-copy lover:
“I got together 6 of my trusted friends, we each had a bottle of wine and printed out all 47 pages of the website you designed. I have written the notes out on every page – we have a lot of tweaks.”

The photoshop deviant:
“Most of our photos are all white people, but we need to show more diversity, and we don’t have the budget for another photoshoot. But I’m sure you can just change them to various races, I mean, that’s what a graphic designer does, right?”

The tightwad:
“Your hourly rate is okay, as long as you don’t need more than an hour. And you can show me how you did it so I can do it on my own next time.”

The other tightwad:
Client: “I want my website to have a forum, and a blog, and e-commerce, and photos, and videos, and podcasts, and a place where people can make their own profile and talk to other people like Twitter.”

Me: “Ok, what is your budget for this project?”

Client: “Oh, well, I mean, like $200.”

The guy who lost his logo and came up with a “brilliant” way to get it back:
A client just submitted his logo to me by sending a link to his store’s address on Google Maps… “Click on the thumbtack and it will take you to a picture of the front of my store. The logo is on the sign.”

These are probably all made up, but boy do they feel true.

State Of The Union Watch: Jobs & Spending

President Barack Obama will give his first State of the Union speech tonight. He’s expected to talk less about health care and more about government spending and job creation.

A survey by the Pew Research Center for People And The Press, released Monday, shows American’s priorities in black and white: the top two priorities this year, just as they were last year, were “strengthening the economy” and “improving the job situation.”

If you’ll be watching tonight, here’s a drinking game you can try.