Staffing & Employment News

Disappointing Jobs Report, But Confidence and Strong Numbers Elsewhere

Friday’s jobs report disappointed with only half (120,000) the jobs created in March compared to the month previous. ADP had announced just prior that the U.S. private-sector employment rose by 209,000 in March. For the three months through February, an average of 245,000 payrolls was added monthly, marking the strongest gains since 2006.


Goods-producing industry employment rose 31,000 after a 29,000 gain in February. For the latest month, manufacturing increased 37,000; construction dipped 7,000; and mining inched up 1,000. Inventory building was a key driver of growth in the October-December quarter.


The unemployment rate nudged downward to 8.2 percent from 8.3 percent – a fall of nearly a full percentage point since the summer. The U.S. economy grew 3 percent in the final quarter of 2011, the best pace in a year and a half.


Prior to March’s employment report, employee confidence reached its highest level since October 2007 according to the latest Randstad Employment Report, hitting 55.5 in March. This is the third month of consecutive increase. Joanie Ruge, senior vice president and chief employment analyst for Randstad U.S. said “It seems as though optimism in the employment picture is outweighing any mixed signals being given by other economic reports. In fact, the Index confirms, from a frontline perspective, an optimistic and hopeful outlook around the number job openings, job stability and the future strength of companies. Although the latest Index still remains five points below the historical high, it also stands 15.4 points higher than our Index’s all-time low of 40.1 in January 2007.”


And American CEOs are also seeing increased momentum for U.S. Economy according to the Business Roundtable’s First Quarter 2012 CEO Economic Outlook Survey. CEOs expressed improving expectations for sales, capital spending and employment, with a notable increase to 96.9 in Q1 of 2012, up from 77.9 in Q4 of 2011. In terms of the overall U.S. economy, Business Roundtable members estimate real GDP will grow by 2.3 percent in 2012, up from last quarter’s estimate of 2.0.


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