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Job Market Picking Up Speed for 2006 - #3
John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an outplacement and research firm, sees more job openings, as well.
"A new wave of development is in process," Challenger said. "A lot of businesses have been careful about their investments, but spending has been picking up. There are two years of corporate profitability and that could make it back into business spending, including in technology."
Challenger also sees continued tough times for the automotive industry.
"GM and Ford and Delphi (Corp.) were hard hit in 2005. It was a rough year and a lot of that will hit even more in 2006," Challenger said.
In addition, Challenger sees various positions in the health care field and international business emerging with opportunities in 2006.
"I don't think it will be just in low-end jobs, but all types of positions," Challenger said.
A Naperville-based manufacturing association said it's getting mixed signals from its 867 manufacturing members, said Mary Rose Hennessy, executive director of the Business and Industry Services Coalition for Manufacturers.
"Companies who continue to innovate and export their products are doing very well, and are predicting a very strong quarter," Hennessy said. "Those who have not, are closing or moving to China."
Hennessy said the most significant threat to manufacturing would be the lack of skilled employees. However, technicians, maintenance engineers, mechanical and electrical engineers are in strong demand, she said.
Regardless of how the new year unfolds, Ed Coleman remains optimistic.
After all, he recently landed a part-time job doing phone surveys for the National Opinion Research Center. While it wasn't in his previous field, the new opportunity gets him back into the of talking with different people and looking at management positions with call centers.
"I've been seeing more positions opening up and really believe companies have gotten past that freeze," Coleman said.