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Archives: July 2011

Jobless Claims Fall Below 400,000

As Minnesotans returned to work after the state government shutdown and layoffs eased elsewhere, jobless claims dipped below 400,000 for the first time since April, falling 24,000 from a revised 422,000, the Labor Department announced today.

The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility, remained higher at 413,750, a decrease of 8,500.

Economists had forecast a drop of just 7,000 to 415,000 claims, Reuters says.

Meanwhile, for the week of July 4-9, a total of 7.6 million Americans (or 320,000 more than the week before) were receiving some form of unemployment benefits, including 3.1 million who had exhausted their state benefits.

Share Your Job-Winning Resume or Cover Letter and Win Perks From mediabistro.com

1006_jobpost_200x200Have you landed your dream job recently? Share your winning resume and cover letter with mediabistro.com and you could win access to one of our educational events, valued at $499.

Here’s the deal: I’m going to be appearing at mediabistro.com’s Career Circus in NYC on Aug. 4 to discuss what makes a successful resume and cover letter. I’d love to use your example on stage to examine what worked and why.

If you took a risk with your resume or letter and it paid off, or if you have an unusual story, share it with us by emailing resumedeconstructed@mediabistro.com by this Friday, July 29 at 10 a.m. Read more

Learning | Resigning | More

PR folks are learning how to keep learning with no money, a resigning WSJ editor sends an edited departure email to many laughs (we assume this is the perfect way to get a laugh at that paper—that or drawing a funny stipple caricature of your colleagues), and more stuff from yesterday….

Jobs Of The Day: Rock Out With Vevo, More

Vevo, part of the Universal Music Group, is seeking an editorial director. You’ll get to write about music, make videos about music, manage a staff and stable of freelancers that also write about music and make videos about music, and a lot more (but we bet it has to do with music). You know who’s on the UMG label? Like, everyone. (We are so uncool about music that we’re not even going to name names, lest they be hopelessly obscure or too overplayed.) But yeah. Everyone.

Clearly this isn’t the job for us, but maybe it is for you. Good luck! If not, check out one of the jobs below:

Law Bulletin Publishing Company wants an associate editor. (Chicago, IL)
Back Stage is seeking a copy editor. (Los Angeles, CA)
Arrowmac seeks a graphic designer fluent in Chinese. (Costa Mesa, CA)
Future US wants a news editor. (South San Francisco, CA)
FTI Consulting seeks a managing director of PR. (New York, NY)
United Spinal Association has an open position: a magazine production manager/graphic artist. (Horsham, PA)
WH Freeman and Company is looking for an acquisitions editor. (New York, NY)
MyCityWay seeks a freelance journalist. (New York, NY)
STA Travel has an open position: a web manager. (Lewisville, TX)
Rollingstone.com wants an online photo editor. (New York, NY)

Every day we scour major job boards, including, but not limited to Mediabistro.com’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.

As of the time of this posting, there were 1413 jobs on our board.

LAT Cuts Its Books Freelancers

The Los Angeles Times’ books section has terminated its relationship with all its freelance reviewers and columnists, says Publishers Weekly.

Susan Salter Reynolds had been with the Times for 23 years as a staffer and freelancer; she and at least two other freelancers lost their regular gigs.

A publicist for the newspaper told PW that this was a move to cut costs, but that the LAT is still dedicated to books coverage. “Staff writers from outside the book department will take over for those who left,” she said.

Salter Reynolds responded to the PW post in a comment:

“There are probably ways to cut costs without eliminating a person’s entire income after twenty three years in one phone call. I offered to continue writing for very little money until things got better.”

Hopefully Salter Reynolds and others will be able to pick up new freelance clients, though book reviewer jobs are becoming thin on the ground. Best of luck and condolences to those affected.

One Way To Rule Out Dead-End Job Postings

Dead End - mid
We already knew that a job that was posted months ago and is still mysteriously showing up online might just be a computer glitch, especially if it looks like it got aggregated from an aggregator that found it online on some other website. (In other words: that three-month old posting on the company’s own website has a better chance of being legit—but that means they really take their time about hiring, or are just seeing whether they can live without paying an extra person.)

And super-tight deadlines don’t do anyone any favors.

But the third tip presented in Ruth Mantell’s On The Job column for MarketWatch today is a good one, we think.

If you’re looking at a job ad where the desired employee characteristics sound far too specific, says Larry Katz, a labor economist at Harvard University, it might mean that the company already has an internal candidate but is required by company policy to post the opening publicly anyway.

“Sometimes when there are odd requirements, that’s a way to justify hiring the person they want. They are just generating applications to satisfy some bureaucratic process,” Katz said.

Who knew?

This post was updated at 10:43 a.m. on July 28, 2011 to correct the name of Ruth Mantell’s employer. She writes for MarketWatch, not Marketplace.

Discrimination Against The Unemployed Still Rampant

A review the New York Times conducted of job postings on Monster.com, CareerBuilder and Craigslist found that hundreds of employers are still requiring (or “strongly prefer”ring) applicants to be employed when jobhunting.

It’s not illegal (yet) to require an applicant to be employed, as it would be to require an applicant to be a specific race or gender. But New Jersey banned job ads that at least explicitly mention employment as a condition of applying and, the New York Times says, New York and Michigan are considering the idea.

There are a few good reasons to do this besides the fact that this type of discrimination feels wrong somehow: for one, the applicant pool is much smaller if hiring managers stick just to the employed. “Given that the average duration of unemployment today is nine months — a record high — limiting a search to the ‘recently employed,’ much less the currently employed, disqualifies millions,” the NYT says.

However, “there are legitimate reasons that many long-term unemployed workers may not be desirable job candidates. In some cases they may have been let go early in the recession, not just because business had slowed, but because they were incompetent. Idle workers’ skills may atrophy, particularly in dynamic industries like technology. They may lose touch with their network of contacts, which is important for people in sales. Beaten down by months of rejection and idleness, they may not interview well or easily return to a 9-to-5 schedule.”

If you are out of work, don’t become that person. While going back to school might not be an option, maybe you can volunteer, intern, freelance, or take a class or two. It’s true that unemployed workers are fighting an uphill battle, but their skills are valuable too.

IAC Reports Strong Q2

IAC more than tripled its income in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same quarter last year, the company reported today, with a net profit of $42 million compared to $13.6 million.

Nearly every segment of the company, from search (Ask.com) to online dating (Match.com and OKCupid) showed strong gains in the quarter; the media division, which now includes CollegeHumor, Vimeo, and more, increased revenues but was still unprofitable due to increased operating costs.

The Daily Beast, which became part of a joint venture with Harman Newsweek in early 2011, is now counted on a separate line; it appears that the Beast/Newsweek juggernaut lost a good deal of money in the quarter. The company didn’t make any more predictions about when the company would become profitable, but we’re still counting down to May 16, 2014.

TheWrap Goes To Court | Fast Company’s Hire | More Yesterday’s News

TheWrap has gone to small claims court against a former employee over $2500 that was, the company says, paid in error…..Fast Company hires Nancy Miller from Wired to serve as West Coast editorial director….Y&R SF cuts a few jobs….you can apply to the “Big Ad Gig” below (and make a video that’s better than their examples please)….and more stuff from yesterday…..

The Great Speedup

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If you feel like your workload has been piling up, you’re not alone: even as employment has remained dismal, GDP has rebounded to nearly pre-recession levels, Mother Jones reports in a new piece about the American workday.

That means that fewer people are doing the same amount of work. In fact, productivity has consistently risen since the 1980s— this isn’t a recent trend, it’s just coming to a head.

According to Mother Jones, a speedup comes from a time when people worked on factory lines. When a big order came in, the bosses would just crank up the speed of the conveyor belt. “Workers recognized it, unions (remember those?) watched for and negotiated over it—and, if necessary, walked out over it,” MoJo says. “But now we no longer even acknowledge it—not in blue-collar work, not in white-collar or pink-collar work, not in economics texts, and certainly not in the media (except when journalists gripe about the staff-compacted-job-expanded newsroom).”

Americans work 122 hours per year more than the British, and 378 hours more than the Germans. It’s not because companies had to tighten their belts during the recession and “make do”—corporate profits are up 22 percent since 2007, according to a new report.

The thrust: It’s not just low-paid wage slaves; it’s not just doctors and lawyers, it’s bus drivers, construction workers, teachers, air traffic controllers. It’s everyone.

The whole piece is worth a read as well as the accompanying first-person stories of overwork.

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