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BY Joel Junker

Economy, Career Search and the JMO

Cameron-Brooks is in full preparation and finalization mode for our November 2010 Career Conference.  This past month, I transitioned from primarily working with client companies to partnering with JMO candidates.  This means I have traveled to numerous military locations to meet face-to-face with JMOs, evaluating their career options, and I have talked to over 100 of them by phone via Skype Video.  Naturally, many have questions about the economy and, unfortunately, most have inaccurate data and a negative view of the economy.  I blame most of this on the recent election (thank goodness that’s over!) where most economic information was twisted for the benefit of one political party over the other.  This specific post’s purpose is to provide relevant and accurate economic data for a JMO considering a career in business.

Macro Economy Statistics

  1. US economy is technically no longer in a recession.  The most recent recession started in December 2007 and concluded in June 2009.  Since then, the US economy’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been growing, though slowly.
  2. National Unemployment Rate is high at 9.6% with 14.8 million Americans without work.
  3. The Real Unemployment (unemployed + those unemployed not actively looking for work + those underemployed) is at 17.1% and grew in September 2010.
  4. Available jobs decreased by 95,000 in September 2010.
  5. There are 4.6 applicants per job opening.

What’s Hidden in the Data and the News Doesn’t Tell You

  1. The US Government eliminated 159,000 jobs in September.
  2. The private sector (businesses) added 64,000 jobs in September and has been averaging positive growth of 96,000 per month in 2010.
  3. The Unemployment rate for those 25 years or older with a college degree is 4.4%.  Many academics consider “full employment” to be when the unemployment rate is around 4.5%.


Yes, the overall economy and many of our fellow Americans are hurting due to the economy.  However, those older than 25 who have college degrees have a very low unemployment rate.  JMOs are older than 25 and have college degrees and many have master’s degrees.  Also, yes, jobs are decreasing, but this appears to be a good time to leave a government maxed at their budget and move to business, which is expanding and adding jobs.

What’s Happening at Cameron-Brooks:

Cameron-Brooks JMO candidates who attended the first four 2010 Conferences averaged between 11 and 12 interviews.  This weekend’s November Conference is targeting to be right within that range.  Additionally, where the national average is 4.6 applicants per opening, at a Cameron-Brooks Conference, it is 2 openings per candidate.


The US economy is growing and creating jobs.  There are business opportunities for high-potential JMOs.  Cameron-Brooks clients have numerous needs as they expand their business and develop/implement strategic initiatives.  Our clients are leaders in their industries and their standards are still very high for the development positions.  Therefore, a successful transition from the military to a development position with a leading company in business requires a well thought out strategy/plan, and diligent and focused preparation.

I recently wrote a post on great books I read in the last 6 weeks.  A Cameron-Brooks Alumnus wrote a follow-up comment with additional book recommendations.  I highly recommend reading his post for suggestions.  Go to http://blog.cameron-brooks.com/2010/10/22/book-recommendations-for-jmos-cameron-brooks-candidates-and-alum/#comments. 

Joel Junker

Data for this blog came from Economic Policy Institute website at http://www.epi.org/analysis_and_opinion/entry/job_openings_per_unemployed_worker_unchanged_in_august/, and Bureau of Labor Statistics website.