Thinking about the national economy is, by and large, a waste of time (unless you are Ben Bernanke, or Tim Geithner, in which case, please stop reading this blog and get back to work!)
The Brookings Institute suggests we do not have some monolithic national economy, but instead really have an interconnected group of 366 metropolitan economies. It makes sense, as this is exactly how staffing actually works. At it’s core, staffing is a local business. The labor pool, the jobs, the pay, what’s considered a good job, what’s considered a good commute – all this varies widely by region. Ignore it at your peril. The national unemployment rate is irrelevant in hiring. Nurses might be in oversupply in one region and there might be a nursing shortage elsewhere. Whether you are hiring 20 construction workers in Miami or 2 Mechanical Engineers in DC, the local economic situation matters more than the national numbers. This is why we are seeing a talent migration to Washington DC, which has one of the strongest regional economies in the country.
Every day this week I talked to a local employer who had run ads to find candidates, but still had not found the ideal candidate for an open position. A strong local economy like DC, can be really irritating if you thought hiring was going to be easy.