Job options narrow as U.S. recession bites

Wed Aug 5, 2009 3:31pm EDT
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By Tim Gaynor and Ed Stoddard

PHOENIX/DALLAS (Reuters) - Former corporate executive Don Yows took an entry-level job that set his career in information technology back by two decades.

Rick Cumins is selling off his gun collection to make ends meet as his real estate business falters.

Options are dwindling in the United States -- even for those with experience, skills and education as the world's largest economy sheds jobs in the face of recession.

A loss of 467,000 more jobs in June pushed the unemployment rate to 9.5 percent. Economists expect official data coming out on Friday to show another 320,000 jobs lost in July.

The numbers add pressure on U.S. President Barack Obama. His promise to create or save up to 4 million jobs looks likely to go unmet despite a $787 billion stimulus package.

Some executives are abandoning big cities for the wide-open spaces of Montana or Washington state and the corn fields of Iowa where salary expectations are 20 percent to 30 percent lower.

"We are seeing people more willing to consider opportunities in places traditionally they wouldn't locate to," said John Flanigan, vice president of recruiting at Aerotek, a branch of Allegis Group, the largest U.S. staffing company.

Whether they have to move to new areas or just into new jobs, many workers have had to cope with making less money.   Continued...

<p>Former autoworker Matthew Derra, 41, stands in front of his house in Chesterfield Township, Michigan July 28, 2009. Derra, who lost his job with struggling auto supplier American Axle &amp; Manufacturing Holding Inc in July 2008, is now earning an associate degree in renewable energy and wants to find a job manufacturing wind turbines. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook</p>