Staffing & Employment News

Losing Momentum

Friday’s BLS economic report clearly shows that momentum in the labor market has stalled: nonfarm private payrolls increased by a meager 17,000, but as government payrolls declined by 17,000 the net job creation for August was nil. This is the lowest increase in private payrolls since February 2010, and the 4th consecutive month of weak growth. In the last consecutive 18 months, the economy did add 2.4 million private sector jobs.

What is the problem?

 The pundits cite: The Verizon Communications strike that caused decline of approximately 45,000 in nonfarm payrolls last month. The recent federal debt ceiling debate fiasco, the S&P downgrade, and the stock market debacle of August. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index published for the month also showed a sharp decline. The lack of demand is by far the largest problem, leading to this slow pace of hiring, especially in small firms in “core” services. And yet, thankfully, for the moment layoffs have not picked up.

Staffing Professionals Predict

Staffing organizations and recruiters seem to have a more optimistic projection. ADP had predicted modest job creation of 91,000 in private payrolls for the month of August. The Monster Employment Index U.S. annual growth rate remains positive at 8%. ExecuNet’s recent poll shows that 26% of Executive Recruiters anticipate companies adding new executive-level jobs over the next six months as companies leverage the economic climate. A Robert Half survey is less optimistic, reporting that over 75% of executives have no plans to hire in 4th quarter, and 12% affirming hiring plans. More than half of respondents reported that it is difficult to find skilled professional talent currently.

Industries Hiring

RHI predicts the largest hiring activity will be in advertising and marketing (20%), legal (24%), and sales and business development (11%). Wanted Analytics’ data as reported by The Conference Board with data for its help-wanted online data series shows that recruiters advertised for more than 3000 new online jobs require cloud computing skills. Computer software application engineers were the most in demand, followed by computer systems engineers, and then web developers.


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