Economic recovery, inflation, unemployment statistics - you've heard the numbers mentioned on the news, and listened to economists try to make sense of them. Unemployment is still hovering close to 10%, and you probably know some people that are part of this statistic. What does it all mean to you, though? Here are some effects unemployment statistics have on your employment situation. (For related reading, also take a look at Mass Layoffs: The Hardest-Hit States.)

IN PICTURES: 6 Millionaire Traits That You Can Adopt

Job Security
You watched those pink slips being handed out, and you wonder: Am I next? Mass layoffs - when companies shed 50 or more people from their workforce - were down compared to previous months in December of 2010, which is good news. However, the layoffs are not over yet, with food service and manufacturing employees being hit hard by job losses at the end of last year.

What does this mean to you? If you are in manufacturing, food service or seasonal employment sectors, expect your job security to continue to be shaky. With high unemployment comes fierce competition for jobs, and this is often accompanied by lower wages and tougher work conditions. Don't consider your job secure if you're in a cubicle - now is the time to pay attention to how your company's bottom line looks in this still-rough economy. Look at balance sheets, and pay attention to warning signs that business may be slowing.

Length of Unemployment
Are you one of those close to 10% of people struggling with unemployment, wondering how long you'll be between jobs? The average length of unemployment is 34.2 weeks - that's about eight months - and this stretch is not easy to weather for even the most financially stable among us. Are you financially prepared for being out of a job this long? If you're still employed, but feel the chill of layoffs down your neck, you may want to sock away some money to cover expenses. Keep in touch with friends and former coworkers who might be able to help you in your job search, and keep your resume updated. You can beat those lengthy unemployment statistics by being prepared for sudden unemployment.

IN PICTURES: Dealing With 9 Coworker Personality Conflicts

Level of Pay
Groceries are getting more expensive every week it seems, and household bills like power and heat are steadily rising. You could really use a pay raise to help pay for the necessities of life - so what are your chances of getting a hike in pay? National statistics don't look good: Private industry workers saw a rise in pay of just 2% over the past year, which just about covers the rise in the Consumer Price Index. The short of it is that pay is stagnant and will likely stay that way until there's a more significant economic recovery. Still need that pay hike? Look for ways to increase your skills or education, and keep a close eye on internal promotion chances. Don't slack off on the job, show up early, and take on those projects everyone avoids. Build your resume, so you're ready when opportunity knocks. (Learn more about the CPI in Why The Consumer Price Index Is Controversial.)

Seasonal Employment
If you think that nine to 10% national unemployment rate is bad, consider this: Unemployment among teenagers is a whopping 25.4% across the country. How does this affect you? If you're working in seasonal employment fields, or hourly-paid jobs that are popular with teens, you'll be facing some fierce competition. That summer job for extra money will be very hard to come by with this high level of unemployed young people. If you're one of these teens and/or college students, try to look sharp, practice your interviewing skills and have a resume polished when you're ready to apply. Apply early, and check in periodically to show you're serious and ready to work.

The Bottom Line
Unemployment statistics mean the same thing to all of us, employed or not. We have to be sharp on the job, put in the effort and be ready to be the best employee we can be. If you find yourself laid off, prepare for your job search to take a while. Keeping abreast of unemployment statistics, your industry's job market and your company's health is a must for any employee during trying economic times. (For additional reading, also see Your Employer's Stock: Should You Buy In?)

For the latest financial news, check out .

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    4 Key Indicators That Move The Markets

    Educated investors need to keep their finger on the pulse of the economy, and watching certain indicators is a good way to do that.
  2. Investing

    10 Tips for Creating a Strong Digital Brand When Job Hunting

    A polished resume and cover letter are no longer enough. Companies want candidates with a strong digital brand.
  3. Personal Finance

    How to Manage Corporate Change in the Modern Economy

    Change can make employees uncomfortable, but these keys can help ease the transition and increase morale.
  4. Personal Finance

    How Smart Companies Are Keeping Employees Engaged

    Engaged employees are essential to your company's success. Learn what's important to your employees and make those things a priority.
  5. Personal Finance

    How Top Employers Attract and Retain Workers

    While a lucrative salary is a good start, companies must do more to attract and retain the new generation of workers.
  6. Investing

    Most Valuable Career Skills in 2016

    Evaluating the mixture of technical skills and traditional "soft skills" that render career applicants competitive in the 2016 job market.
  7. Economics

    How The Unemployment Rate Affects Everybody

    Depending on how it's measured, the unemployment rate is open to interpretation. Learn how to find the real rate.
  8. Professionals

    10 Phrases You Should Ban From Your Resume

    It may be time to update your resume, and not just with your work experience. Check for clichés that sound tired in today’s job market.
  9. Investing

    Is the Number of Workers in the U.S. Declining?

    The number of workers in the U.S. labor force is declining. What caused it and what is the solution?
  10. Personal Finance

    5 Techniques to Help You Land Your Dream Job

    These little-known tips will give you a major advantage over other applicants no matter where you hope to work.
  1. How do you financially prepare yourself for unemployment?

    One of the biggest fears of working class adults is finding out that they no longer have a job. However, you can protect ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the best free online calculators for calculating my taxable income?

    Free online calculators for determining your taxable income are located at, and Determining ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What economic indicators are important to consider when investing in the retail sector?

    The unemployment rate and Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rank as two of the most important economic indicators to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does comprehensive income get reported on my 1040?

    As of 2015, on the standard IRS Form 1040, your comprehensive or total income is calculated through lines 7-22. This is different ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why is the employment figure important to a "dove"

    The employment figure is important to doves, because they are primarily concerned with the health of the labor market. Doves ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculate the unemployment rate published ...

    The unemployment rate is one of the most closely followed indicators, used by businesses, investors and private citizens ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  2. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  3. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  4. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  5. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
  6. Indemnity

    Indemnity is compensation for damages or loss. Indemnity in the legal sense may also refer to an exemption from liability ...
Trading Center