Staffing & Employment News 

Job growth improved more than expected in September. Payroll jobs advanced 103,000 in September despite government sector contraction – private non-farm payrolls gained a total of 137,000 in September, following a 42,000 increase in August and 173,000 in July. Friday’s employment report shows that the labor market is not quite as sluggish as earlier believed.

Initial unemployment claims dropped sharply in September, back to the level of earlier this summer. Layoffs were up this month. At 115,730, this is the highest in two years however this is attributable to the government cutbacks, planned Army troop reductions, and Bank of America’s recent decision to cut 10% of their workforce.

The Institute for Supply Management reports increased economic activity, despite current uncertainty about the economy. The non-manufacturing sector expanded in September for the 22nd consecutive month, and the manufacturing sector grew in September for the 26th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 28th consecutive month.

Tech jobs have rebounded in the first half of 2011, making up the 115,000 jobs lost in 2010, according to a report by the TechAmerica Foundation. Gains were primarily in software and engineering services, accounting for 85% of the growth. High-tech manufacturing and telecommunications has created less job expansion. See more in the Redfish Tech Trends articles.

Staffing employment in September is 3% higher than it was in August, according to the ASA Staffing Index. The index for September is 90, up three points over last month. This is the first time the index has reached 90 this year, but it remains 1.2% lower than in the same month last year. The ASA Staffing Index is reported nine days after each workweek, making it a virtual real-time measure of staffing employment trends. ASA research shows that staffing employment is a coincident economic indicator and leading employment indicator.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey reveals that U.S. employers’ hiring plans remain guarded through year-end. After 2 years of positive employment growth, employers have expressed overall optimistic hiring intentions. However employers remain guarded with a low level of job creation expected in the short term.

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