“September Surge” is near.
The term refers to “a trend where hiring increases after Labor Day,” according to Fast Company.
“For those who’ve been job seeking a long time, it might shed some hope that something will arrive, and they can get back to paying their bills, finally,” Human Resources Executive Kathleen Castillo said during an interview with AFROTECH.
While the term sounds like it could be promising, not everyone has an optimistic mindset when considering the “September Surge.”
Producer and former sales lead Adrienne Mullins moved to Los Angeles, CA, in August 2022, to land documentary and unscripted television roles. Despite filling out hundreds of applications, she has only secured two interviews.
“I’ve been ghosted for a good portion of the jobs I’ve applied for,” Mullins explained to AFROTECH.
Although Mullins is aware that a hiring boom may be on the horizon, she doesn’t have a positive outlook due to the fact that Black professionals may not reap the same benefits as their white counterparts.
“Considering, I have been seeking employment for a year now, I am not going to rule out the possibility that it could potentially result in a job, but unfortunately, I do believe there is still a bias when it comes to who gets hired. So even if the ‘September Surge’ brings new opportunities, I’m curious to see how many of those opportunities will be given to Black and brown candidates,” Mullins told AFROTECH.
Freelance journalist and communications director Kenneth J. Williams Jr. was laid off unexpectedly twice within the last year. The Detroit native says he is actively interviewing with companies, hoping to secure a new communications role. For him, maintaining a 9-to-5 is important because he says it would not be possible “to survive off journalism alone.”
“We have to pay to be creative. We have to work to be creative,” Williams expressed to AFROTECH. “I would never be able to survive off journalism alone. That’s why I’ve always had to have a 9-to-5 job.”
He shows a glimmer of hope with the “September Surge” on the brink. However, similarly to Mullins, he shows hesitation that the trend will overlook Black professionals.
“I’m excited at the prospect of hopefully and finally regaining employment during this search. That possibility excites me to be out of the woods,” Williams said. “But also I’m curious, because when I see experts on LinkedIn, or just media talking about the ‘September Surge,’ a part of me wonders what part of that ‘September Surge’ is going to benefit Black people who are on the job hunt, who are looking for these jobs and who have dealt with racism, who have dealt with discrimination. I’m wondering how is this going to impact us when we see terms like the ‘September Surge’ or those overarching terms. Usually they only have positive benefits or impacts for white people.”
The disparities among Black professionals and their counterparts remains prevalent. As we look into data from Statista, 5.8 million individuals were unemployed as of July 2023. Additionally, 10.7 million people are seeking jobs, per Zety’s 2023 HR statistics.
As for the Black community, in a July 2023 Bloomberg report, “The number of unemployed African Americans has increased by 267,000 since April, meaning they account for close to 90% of the 300,000 increase in overall joblessness during that period.”
Considering the job market and barriers faced, the thought of being overlooked during the “September Surge,” is valid. However, Castillo urges job seekers to remain patient even into 2024, as many companies will be on the verge of filling job vacancies.
“The challenge arrives when the season is over and companies can’t keep everyone,” Castillo mentioned. “Next, you have companies that are finalizing their budgets and beginning to hire for 2024 new requisitions or replacements. So job seekers will have to practice patience.”
Staying prepared in the coming months and into the new year should remain a priority. Make sure your resumes are polished and that you are strengthening your interview skills. Also, continue to network and don’t neglect connecting horizontally on and offline. Lastly, don’t forget to online resources.
With that said, you can also add your resume to the AFROTECH™ network to get hired. By adding your resume, you will have the opportunity to be discovered and connect with networking and career opportunities at top companies across industries.
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