Staffing & Employment News

Gloom and confidence, contradictory predictions on hiring and profits


Gloomy employment report numbers a surprise

The Employment Report for June has been called “moribund” and “abysmal”. On the eve of the report however, ADP predicted month-to-month strength in private payroll data, estimating a 157,000 gain. Other analysts also predicted better gains, projecting 125,000 in June. Instead, the BLS reported private payrolls at 75,000 and overall nonfarm payrolls at 18,000 due to declines in government sector employment (39,000 in June, 48,000 in May).

Confidence down despite projected rise in profits

The Conference Board measure of CEO Confidence dipped in the second quarter to 55, after rising in Q1 to 67. Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center said: “CEO confidence cooled considerably in the second quarter, a reflection of a sluggish U.S. economy. Looking ahead, expectations are that this slow pace of economic growth will continue. Regarding the outlook for profits over the next 12 months, the news was a bit more favorable, with about 70 % of CEOs anticipating profit increases.”  Executives in the durable goods industry are the most optimistic, with 74 percent expecting profits to rise. About two-thirds of executives in the non-durable goods industry and service industries anticipate an increase in profits.

Surveys and reports still show plans to hire

Despite the gloom aforementioned, according to a national hiring trends survey conducted by Express Employment Professionals, close to half (42%) of company leaders reported they have already hired new staff or plan to do so in the third quarter, “We’re seeing employers’ confidence levels increase slightly,” Express CEO Robert Funk said. “Not only do they plan to hire new employees, but some are also considering reinstating previous pay and/or raises and lifting hiring freezes.” 67% of respondents plan to hire one to three people across all business sectors during the third quarter reportedly. Interestingly companies report it is increasing difficult to find talent. Staffing firms, employee referrals and online job boards remain the top three recruiting resources for companies, according to the survey.

The Association of Executive Search Consultants’ latest outlook reports that the global executive search industry confidence is holding steady for the remainder of the year, with 66% of respondents indicating a positive outlook on their industry in the second half of the year. Executive search consultants anticipate the energy/natural resources sector will have the biggest growth in senior hiring. “I am delighted to see that confidence within the executive search industry remains at a high level on a worldwide basis, in spite of continuing economic uncertainty in many countries,” said Peter Felix, AESC president. Demand in the U.S. is projected to continue. The functions experiencing the greatest talent shortage are predicted to be in general management/CEO/COO, business development and then engineering. More than half the search firms surveyed plan to hire more consultants and researches from July to December 2011.

The Monster employment index rose three points to 146 to signal increased online recruiting activity in June. Industries showing strong gains included information, agriculture & forestry and healthcare & social assistance.



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