Occasionally, I’ll offer a post at this site about the stability of the job market… knowing that household incomes have a direct correlation to consumer confidence (click here to see the “Employment” category). This morning, a release from the Washington Post indicates that companies in the U.S. added roughly 18,000 new jobs last month, a hiring pace that most pundits are referring to as very disappointing. Click here to see the story. The number equates to a 9.2% unemployment rate, an increase of 0.1% over the previous quarter.
Implications: We are thus reminded that there are two different realities. The mathematical reality is that the recession officially ended nearly two years ago. The street-level reality is that the recession is over when your consumer says it is over, and when your revenue line makes it feel like a rebound is underway.
Of course, job availability and household incomes vary widely by region and career category. How is employment looking in your region? Are some sectors of the workforce recovering more quickly than others? Should you be thinking about adjusting your targeting, slightly, to cater to a part of the workforce which is more likely to enjoy a stable income? Does your messaging focus on things like dollar-for-dollar value, long-lasting quality, or the fulfilling benefit that people are often looking for during times like these?
Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.