Perspective is the key word when it comes to unemployment numbers. The media loves to leverage this % to create anxiety, followers and increase their ratings. The federal government is asked to solve the issue. Employers are asked to raise capital and hire more people. Employees or job seekers are asked to take ownership. Higher education is asked to educate and increase the skill of the workforce.
Here are my 3 perspectives on the unemployment numbers:
1) Ignore Them: That is right. If they are high or low, it does not matter. Remember what it is that you can control. You can determine what you want, prepare each job application and be actively networking. The Bureau of Labor will publish these numbers without giving you a thought, so treat that % the same way.
2) Improve Yourself: The best thing you can do to address or punch those numbers in the gut is to take ownership of your future, career and skill by improving yourself. This includes becoming that subject matter expert (SME) in an area that you are passionate about. If you are one of the many unengaged workers, then I would start to find out why and move toward the answer.
3) Identify what you want. As I shared above, this seems to be the most challenging part of the job search. Once you have identified what it is that you are looking for, what problem you want to solve for employers or the world and your skills thereto it makes the process a bit more manageable. It then becomes about developing a plan around reaching your goals.
If you do not know how to Identify what you want check out my reading list and begin the process of gaining some clarity for yourself. Also, download the Career of Great Cause guide at the end of this post. The exercises there will help you gain some traction on the identify step.