Look in unlikely places

* The best job opportunities can be found in the most unlikely places

When you read about a big corporate layoff, that company is probably one you scratch off your list of target employers. Sounds sensible, but that would be a mistake, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The best job opportunities may exist in the unlikeliest of places - among the nation’s biggest job cutters where there are thousands of openings. The outplacement firm conducted a survey of job listings posted on popular recruiting sites such as Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com and HotJobs.com. The search turned up an estimated 71,700 job openings among the 10 industries that have suffered the highest number of job cuts over the last two and a half years.

Here are the results of the research, which focused on job cuts between 2001 and June 20, 2003, and estimated job openings based on posted listings.

* Telecom: 622,659 cuts; 4,300 openings.

* Computer: 326,944 cuts; 11,000+ openings.

* Transportation: 297,459 cuts; 6,300 openings.

* Industrial goods: 289,972 cuts; 1,900 openings.

* Automotive: 271,270 cuts; 10,000+ openings.

* Retail: 256,245 cuts; 10,000+ openings.

* Electronics: 249,575 cuts; 9,100 openings.

* Government/non-profit: 242,564 cuts; 6,200 openings.

* Financial: 236,489 cuts; 10,000+ openings.

* Consumer goods: 205,454 cuts; 2,900 openings.

“The chances of finding a job in these struggling areas are greatly improved by the fact that so many other job seekers avoid them,” says John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

He also advises job seekers to target the industries that will be in high demand in a rebound. For example, temporary help firms, financial services and real estate may be among the first to hire during a recovery.

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Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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