Following months of heated debate in Washington, D.C. over the nation's ballooning budget deficit, elected officials have shifted their attentions to job creation. The president is working to convince lawmakers to pass his proposed job creation bill in its entirety, but he has been met with stiff opposition from both Republicans and Democrats.
The president's bill is comprised of roughly $250 billion in tax cuts, and some $200 billion to be used to finance infrastructure projects. The bill's effect on the economic recovery could be substantial, an independent analysis concluded, fueling GDP growth next year to around two percent.
Nevertheless, the recession had far-reaching effects on the U.S. job economy, as businesses have increasingly moved to hire skilled workers. Those without a college education – and in many instances, advanced degrees – have been incongruously affected by the labor contraction.
This shift in the nation's labor market has resulted in an uptick in the poverty rate, according to newly released government data. The U.S. Census Bureau announced this week that in 2010, the median household income in the U.S. fell by 20.3 percent from the prior year. The poverty rate also jumped in 2010, rising to 15.1 percent, a statistically significant increase compared to the 14.3 percent level logged in 2009.
With nearly 14 million Americans unable to find work, however, and lawmakers continuing to jostle over how, exactly, to stimulate the labor economy, there are certain companies that have stepped up their hiring, even amid an overall weak economic climate.
Those seeking customer service jobs
were greeted with good news this week. Humana Inc., a Louisville, Kentucky-based healthcare company, has experienced a precipitous uptick in demand for its services over the past few years. This trend mirrors that of the overall sector, as Baby Boomers increasingly enter retirement age, and millions of formerly uninsured Americans are set to enter the healthcare systems, as a result of the historical legislation passed by Obama in 2010.
The company has set out to fill a number of positions as it expands its payroll. Humana is seeking to fill some 200 jobs at its offices in Kentucky
, the company said Wednesday. The company is hoping to fill vacant customer service jobs, representing a vast majority of the 200 new positions.
What's more, Humana has roughly 100 high-tech jobs
it is looking to fill. Many businesses across the U.S. are similarly seeking to expand their information technology departments, and Humana officials affirmed there are more than 100 open information technology jobs listed on the Careers section of its website.
"Our Medicare business continues to grow and the expansion at our Louisville Medicare operations center ensures that our Medicare members and health care provider partners will continue to receive the best possible service we can deliver," Humana Medicare services vice president John Brown said. "Our aim is to provide perfect service, for every member every day."
While many companies over the past decade shifted customer services jobs
offshore to countries where labor costs are significantly lower, a recent trend among businesses suggests such jobs could be moving back to the U.S.
Humana's expansion in Louisville underscores the strength of the city's healthcare sector, according to a report from WAVE News, Louisville's local NBC affiliate. The city is home to a number of healthcare providers, and the employee expansion at Humana could spur other companies to add workers, a University of Louisville business professor told the news provider.
The company began the year with roughly 9,200 associates, but thanks to its aggressive push to increase its workforce, that figure is projected to reach 10,800 by the end of this year.