Penn State Abington examines unemployment: What do we do now?

On Jan. 27, unemployment was the topic at hand for the "Penn State Abington Examines" series. Following a rocky year in the economy and job market, Abington brought in a distinguished panel of individuals who gave their insight regarding the effects of unemployment.

The panel consisted of Penn State Abington’s Lonnie Golden, professor of economics and labor studies and employment relations, and Judith Newman, associate professor of human development and family studies, who acted as moderator for the discussion. In addition, Abington was honored to welcome Nicki L. Woods from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, and Tom Brennan, director of human resources at Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT).

Topics included the status of the economy, the current unemployment rate, and projections on the future of the labor industry. Other issues focused on how potential employees can better themselves and increase their worth through creating exemplary résumés and obtaining transferable skills.

Newman discussed pressing issues on the minds of job seekers, such as "not having early experiences to build on" when it comes to showing one's worth to potential employers. These issues were met with positive solutions from the panelists. Golden advocated to "get a degree, get a certificate, and position yourself" for prospective jobs.

Regardless of the state of the job market, it was agreed that finding a job and a career will always be a difficult trial that requires patience and determination. "Good economy, bad economy, it's still a negotiation," said Brennan.

Overall, the atmosphere of the discussion was positive despite the negativity that often hovers over examinations of topics related to the current economy. Whether the job market improves or declines, many will continue to invest time and effort into searching for a suitable occupation.

"What greater person to invest in but yourself?" asked Woods.