Cycles in the Job Market

There is a hilarious scene in the movie, “Being There” where Chauncey Gardner (who is actually Chance the Gardener” as played by Peter Sellers as a dunce with wisdom that impresses great men and the women who love them speaks about the cycles of the year and of economic cycles.

The dialogue is:

President “Bobby” : Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
[ Long pause ]
Chance the Gardener : As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
President “Bobby” : In the garden.
Chance the Gardener : Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
President “Bobby” : Spring and summer.
Chance the Gardener : Yes.
President “Bobby” : Then fall and winter.
Chance the Gardener : Yes.
Benjamin Rand : I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we’re upset by the seasons of our economy.
Chance the Gardener : Yes! There will be growth in the spring!
Benjamin Rand : Hmm!
Chance the Gardener : Hmm!
President “Bobby” : Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I’ve heard in a very, very long time.
[ Benjamin Rand applauds ]
President “Bobby” : I admire your good, solid sense. That’s precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill.

Well, their are cycles to a job search, too.

First comes the kickoff of the year. It does not start January second but, usually a week or two later once people have returned from Christmas vacations or breaks and become re-acclimated to their work situations again.

It builds up steam until Memorial Day when temporary and consulting hiring picks up steam (we’re running behind on some things and need to augment our staff; plus, we are dealing with vacations and need some people to help tie us over). Hiring employees is slower during the summer while hiring consultants picks up until after Labor Day.

After Labor Day, hiring picks up again with temporary blips for holidays until after Thanksgiving when the first cold weather or snow fall reminds people that Christmas is approaching and that is time to shop (I confess, I don’t know how it works in warm weather areas; I do know that in environments where it gets cold, snowstorms are the best barometer).

Once the snow falls in December, often the job market disappears until after the beginning of the year.

(©) The Big Game Hunter, Inc, Asheville, NC 2010