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Summer 2005 Vol. 49, Number 2


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A look at June job openings

Preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that there were roughly 3.5 million job openings on the last business day of June 2005. And the job openings rate—the number of job openings divided by total jobs, both filled and unfilled—was 2.6 percent.
This rate has generally increased since September 2003, which means that there has been a rise in the percent of jobs that are open at a given time.

The table shows the job openings rate in major industry sectors. According to BLS, the rate of openings was highest in professional and business services. The professional and business services industry includes establishments that specialize in a variety of activities, such as computer, consulting, and advertising services.

Throughout the month of June, about 3.3 million people were hired and about 2.6 million left or lost their jobs.

These data come from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. This survey also collects data on employee hires and separations. For more information, write to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, OEUS/JOLTS,
2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Room 4840, Washington, DC 20212-0001; call (202) 691-5870; or visit online at www.bls.gov/jlt.

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Surveys describe disastrous employment interviews

So, your job interview didn’t go well? It probably wasn’t as bad as you think, comparatively speaking.

Recent surveys by the National Association of Colleges and Employers reveal interview fiascos endured by both jobseekers and employers. Imagine, for example, being called the wrong name during your interview, or hearing all about the person who was interviewed before you, or being interviewed by someone trying to intimidate you. These were among the worst interview experiences reported by college students who participated in the association’s 2005 Graduating Student and Alumni Survey.

Employers responding to the association’s Job Outlook 2005 survey also had tales to tell. One employer described a prospective employee who talked on a cell phone for all but 7 minutes of a 45-minute interview. Another employer was disenchanted by a jobseeker who fell asleep halfway through the interview. And the need to define professional attire became apparent when one interviewee, heeding advice to "dress nicely," showed up in the nicest thing she owned: a prom gown.

Compared to these mishaps, your interview probably went well. Even if you did commit an interview gaffe, one bad experience won’t ruin your career. And on the bright side, a bad experience makes for a good story.

For more information about the association or its surveys, write to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 62 Highland Avenue, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18017; call toll-free, 1 (800) 544-5272; or visit its Web site, www.naceweb.org.

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Art scholarships offered

The search is on for the next great U.S. artists. High school students who have talent in the performing, literary, or visual arts can gain recognition and win cash prizes—as well as scholarship money to fund their education—through the annual Arts Recognition and Talent Search (ARTS) program.

Administered by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, a nonprofit organization that encourages professional and emerging artists, the ARTS program is open to all students who will be high school seniors during the 2005-06 academic year. After these budding artists submit portfolios of their work, selected students are invited to attend a week of classes, interviews, and other arts-related activities.

Top student artists are chosen, and winners receive cash awards ranging from $100 to $10,000 and become eligible for more than $3 million in scholarships. Additionally, up to 50 finalists are nominated to the Presidential Scholars Program, sponsored by the White House, from which 20 students are named Presidential Scholars in the Arts. These students have the opportunity to perform or have their artwork exhibited in Washington, D.C.

The final registration deadline is October 1. There is an application fee, but it is lower if students apply online; also, fee reductions may be available for students who have limited financial resources.

For more information, write to the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, Arts Recognition and Talent Search, 444 Brickell Avenue, P-14, Miami, FL 33131; or visit the foundation’s Web site, www.artsawards.org. For details about registering for the ARTS program online, visit www.nfaa.org/application/apply.htm.

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O*Net 8.0 available

The newest version of O*Net, the Occupational Information Network, was released recently. O*Net is a database of occupations that is designed to help people learn about occupational characteristics and explore careers. Because occupations change over time, O*Net updates its database on a rotational basis about once every 6 months. The goal is to update the entire database within a 5-year period.

O*Net 8.0 has 100 newly revised occupations. Also included are new and revised task statements and data on work styles, training, work experience, and education requirements.

The database, available from O*Net’s Developer’s Corner, is used primarily by systems analysts, developers, and researchers who create other products, software, or systems applications. But anyone with Internet access can download from the O*Net Web site in Zip format or, upon request, in other formats.

Soon, O*Net 8.0 will be used to update O*Net
OnLine, which provides occupational data in an easy-to-use, searchable format.

O*Net’s development database is available at
www.onetcenter.org/dev_db.html. Visit O*Net OnLine at www.onetcenter.org.

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: November 18, 2005