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U.S. Employment Situation
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Something for all you real employment indicator wonks out there …
Early last month, a blog post by two senior executives at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York created some waves by suggesting that a major labor market indicator -- the employment-to-population ratio -- is misleading. Later that same day, Paul Krugman, via his New York Times blog “The Conscience of a Liberal”, chimed in as well. (Links to both blog posts at the conclusion of this section.)
The blog post by Samuel Kapon and Joseph Tracy of the NY Fed stressed a point that we have made before: that measurements of the current employment situation, or more precisely employment and unemployment indicators, are being affected by changing demographics. BTW, we said this space back in August 2006 that the aging population – and hence the size of the working-age portion of the population – will have a real effect on employment almost regardless of the condition of the economy.
And as the next election cycle starts (does it really ever end?, but we digress), we may be hearing about not just the state of employment and unemployment, but about the fairly arcane e/p ratio that has not really recovered since the recession ended. Unlike the unemployment rate that has some shortcomings mainly because it does not take into account people who have stopped looking for a job, the e/p is a ratio of those who have jobs to the entire working age population.
On one point -- that the aging population is driving the considerable decline in the e/p ratio -- Krugman agrees with Kapon and Tracy.
Some interpret the unrecovered e/p ratio see as continued overall weakness in the labor market. Kapon and Tracy attempted to normalize the data and came to the conclusion that the current e/p currently is only slightly below full employment. But Krugman takes them to task on both some assumptions that Kapon and Tracy make to normalize the data as well as their conclusion. This controversy is significant as it involves deciding if and how much slack currently exists in the labor market that, in turn, impacts public policy as well as monetary direction.
Here’re the links to both blog posts:
What will 2022 look like for staffing services?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published 10-year employment projections. These projections are based upon a plethora of criteria including how changes in population demographics will affect the demand for specific goods and services, the types of jobs, and levels of education for workers to fill those jobs. Our report highlights some of the changes in the direction that both jobs (occupations) and well as employment changes by industry and sector that may be of special interest to staffing industry executives planning for the near-term future.
You may be surprised to learn that it appears that light industrial will be a growing sector for staffing services encompassing growing portion of staffing services jobs by the year 2022; office and administrative support jobs, although they will remain a significant part of staffing services jobs, will decline slightly as its portion of the overall mix.
Our report on the expected employment projections to the year 2022, which is only eight years away, as they relate to staffing services to assist you in planning for the future. Given the highly analytical nature of our readers and followers, this brief, eight-page report is light on words but heavy on tables and charts. And because we know you are a busy executive, you don't even have to go to the additional step of requesting this gratis and valuable report from us. Just directly download it from here.
Our Temporary Help Services Interactive Data Book tool will enable to view the local (down to the county level) temporary help services trends as well as benchmark your local staffing operation to discover exactly where you are positioned in the market and if your offices are performing up to the local market.
Then use our Employment Tracking Tool that is designed to assist you in identifying and evaluating new sectors and markets. It examines the overall employment trends by industry in the given market to help determine possibly under-serviced industries to target marketing efforts (as well as what industries to avoid). By doing this, it shows what industries are growing and therefore are in expansion mode making them eager for a wide variety of products and services and likely in need of additional staff.
Demonstrations of both strategic planning tools are available.
Looking for more? Check out our podcasts!
Podcasts of the current employment situation will be available by 4:00 p.m. ET Friday, December 6th. The video podcast, which you can start and stop to study the tables and graphs as well as replay individual sections, includes additional data and information. Watch the video version here or just listen to the audio version here (no special hardware or software required), which also can be downloaded to an iPod.
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February 2014 Employment Report
Although the unemployment rate incrementally increased to 6.7 percent in February, as standard practice with movements of only 0.1 percentage point, the official U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announcement characterized the movement "little changed." It was 7.7 percent one year ago. Keep in mind that this was the first employment report that included a major group that lost unemployment benefits.
Private sector job growth was 162,000 with analysts' expectations all over the board as trying to factor in the impact of severe weather. But total nonfarm job growth was 175,000 when factoring in a 13,000 increase in government jobs (see more detail below).
The number of jobs in the private Goods-producing sector grew by 22,000 in February, which was not as good as January's gain of 61,000 but better than December's loss of 13,000.
The private Service-providing sector recovered a bit from a relatively bad January (gain of only 84,000) and a somewhat weak December (up 99,000) with an increase of 140,000 jobs in February.
The pace at the Wholesale trade slowed a bit with an increase of 14,800 jobs in February, which was good, but not as good as the 20,500 jobs it added in January.
Transportation and warehousing sector apparently got lost
somewhere along the route with a decline of 3,600 jobs in February, which was
change in direction from the 17,200 jobs it added in January. Financial activities
The Professional and business services sector's
growth improved in February (up 79,000) from January's rather ho-hum growth of
only 42,000 and December's rather anemic gain
of only 16,000 jobs. Computer systems
design and related services added 5,000 jobs in January after adding
6,500 in January. Management and technical
consulting services, which is a smaller sector, grew by 5,300 in
February after losing less than 1,000 jobs in January. And just in case you
needed a reminder that tax season is here, Accounting and bookkeeping services
added 15,700 jobs in February. The Education and health services sector
The Education and health services sector
Leisure and hospitality sector continued to pick up the pace a little with 25,000 new jobs in February after growing by 22,000 in January.
Government jobs were up by 13,000 jobs. The federal government shrank by 6,000; State government added 11,000; and Local government was up by 8,000.
Temporary Help Services Roundup
In February, Temporary help services grew by a very healthy 24,400 jobs to a record 2,800,300. This was growth of 0.9 percent increase from January and a 8.9 percent increase from February 2013. Incidentally, February was the first time in history that the number of Temporary help services jobs reached or breached 2,800,000.
And Temporary help service's market share -- that is its portion of all jobs -- also hit an all-time high at 2.03 (actually 2.0336), the previous high-water mark also was 2.03, but was actually a bit lower (2.0288) To see a chart of Temporary help's growth from 1991 to February 2014 and comparing the trend to total employment, click here.
(if the chart is unclear, click onit to open in a browser window)
The6.7 percent unemployment rate in February 2014 was incrementally higher than the 6.6 percent in January, but still an improvement from7.7 percent of February 2013.
That 6.7 percent unemployment rate was the result of a labor force that expanded by 264,000, but there were only 42,000 more employed persons as the number of unemployed grew by 223,000. The number not in the labor force declined by 94,000.
The employment-to-population ratio was unchanged at 58.8 percent in February (was 58.6 percent a year earlier) as the labor force participation rate was also unchanged at 63.0 percent in February (was 63.6 percent in February 2013). Curiously, the number of discouraged workers was down to 755,000 in February 2014 from 885,000 a year earlier.
NEXT EMPLOYMENT REPORT -- FRIDAY,APRIL 4, 2014
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