Stimulus Jobs: Where They Are, How To Find Them

President Obama says the stimulus will create or save 3.5 million jobs. Career expert Laurence Shatkin talks to host Jacki Lyden about where those jobs are, and what unemployed Americans should be doing to find them.

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JACKI LYDEN, host:

There are millions of unemployed Americans hoping to use the projects in the stimulus plan to get back to work. President Obama says it will save or create more than three and a half million jobs. Others, including many of the Republicans who oppose the package, say that number is overly optimistic.

Earlier today, I spoke with Laurence Shatkin. He's a career expert, and he's written a new book called "Great Jobs in the President's Stimulus Plan." I asked him where people could find those jobs.

Mr. LAURENCE SHATKIN (Author, "Great Jobs in the President's Stimulus Plan"): There are a number of industries that are going to be affected by this and that will produce jobs. Construction is one because there's going to be a lot of emphasis on infrastructure, and that not only includes highways and bridges, but also involves retrofitting buildings with better insulation.

It's going to involve putting up solar panels and wind turbines that are going to be needed for alternate energy. All those are construction jobs. And you can imagine there'll be some manufacturing that comes out of that also.

LYDEN: So what you're talking about are a lot of the shovel-ready jobs we've been hearing so much about. But increasingly, we're becoming a white collar society. What stimulus jobs are there for people like that?

Mr. SHATKIN: Well, not all the work that gets done in response to this bill is going to be done by blue collar workers. A lot of the bill involves high tech. They want to wire the schools and hospitals and medical offices to the internet and have medical records be electronic.

Another thing that's going to be necessary is engineers who will work out the technology for some of these new projects and products. And finally, there'll be people who manage these people. It will affect all levels of the economy.

LYDEN: Clearly, some parts of the country will do better than others, yes?

Mr. SHATKIN: I think that may happen. I mean, there are some parts of the country that are well-positioned to take advantage of certain parts of this package. The Great Plains has a lot of wind power, and they may be able to take advantage of some of the money that's being put into that.

There are places where there's a lot of medical research going on. They'll be able to take advantage of those parts of the package. And then there's even some money that's going towards leisure and hospitality, and some parts of the country will benefit from that.

LYDEN: Leisure and hospitality, huh? It sounds like a great thing after all the stress of job loss. And where do you see leisure and hospitality growing?

Mr. SHATKIN: Well, simply the fact that once you put more money in people's pockets, they have more of an ability to take vacations. Plus, there's a certain amount of business travel that goes on once business activity picks up again, and they need those kinds of services.

LYDEN: And if I'm looking for a job now, how should I approach my job search differently than I might have only a few years ago?

Mr. SHATKIN: You're just going to have to look harder. I would say that the basic methods of looking for jobs haven't changed at all. It's still a good idea not to rely totally on the newspaper advertisements and the Web advertisements.

The way that most jobs get filled is because of a network connection. So do the networking. That's true during boom times; it's true now. You just have to do it a little harder now.

LYDEN: One final question. What do you think the job market is like for people writing books about finding jobs?

Mr. SHATKIN: Actually, it's pretty good right now. It's one of the ironies of what I do, that it does better when times are bad.

LYDEN: Laurence Shatkin is a career expert and the author of "Great Jobs in the President's Stimulus Plan," and he joined us from WBGO in Newark.

Thank you very much.

Mr. SHATKIN: My pleasure.

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