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If we didn’t believe it before, there’s  no denying now that in order to get a good idea of what the job market’s doing, all one needs to do is take a look at the trends in foreclosures and late payments.  The Associated Press is reporting that ten percent of homeowners have missed at least one mortgage payment as of June 30 – and we still have four months left in the year.  This, says career coach and founder, is indicative of the continued trend of high foreclosure rates.  Employment trends and housing trends go hand in hand and the current economic environment, understanding one means understanding both.

The latest numbers in first time unemployment claims suggests things might be improving – albeit slightly.  The seasonally adjusted numbers are at 473,000.  The founder says to not focus too much on one particular detail; unemployment numbers are still high.  Further complicating matters is there appears to be a slower approach to employers bringing on new hires.

“This latest news only reiterates the fact that lower interest rates won’t automatically lead more home purchases”, says A. Harrison Barnes.  “Too many are still reeling from the recession and are reluctant to make any big changes in their financial lives, especially since the knowledge is in the back of everyone’s minds that there is no job security these days”.  Despite a steady economic growth over the past four quarters, it’s still lower than what one would find in a strong economy.  It clearly comes down to finding the balance in order to maintain perspective.

One recent major layoff occurred at Northrop Grumman’s Pascagoula shipyard.  Currently, there have been more than four hundred layoffs with another three hundred slated by the end of the year.  The naval shipyard has seen better days. At one time, and especially during the Reagan and Bush administrations, the yard employed more than 23, 000 people.  It supported much of the financial infrastructure along the northern Gulf Coast.  In recent years, however, those numbers have hovered around 12,000.  Currently, the Northrop Grumman facility in Pascagoula employs less than 11,000.  The layoffs are occurring company wide; administration, welding, pipefitting and even new business departments are suffering cutbacks.

Another factor that must be considered, says Barnes, is the newly approved programs that allow for additional weeks of emergency unemployment.  It’s important to remember that when the program was allowed to play out with no Congressional renewal in June, this put more than two million without any source of income.  Once the program was renewed, those numbers were cancelled out.  This, of course, affects the bottom line.

Wondering which fields are moving forward, regardless of the economic picture?  Some jobs you’ll find on are found in the medical field, especially nursing jobs and engineering is trending upwards in recent weeks.  Part time jobs are available, as well.  Even as some analysts say “there is little if any meaningful hiring throughout the economy”, there are jobs available.

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