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U.S. Employment Situation (June 2014)
published by Bruce Steinberg | July 3, 2014

Home of the first and only U.S. employment report podcasts



So, tell us, what's going on with that recent GDP number?


The quarterly GDP (gross domestic product, or the sum of all products and services, minus imports) actually is released three times because the data used to produce it drip out over time so the Department of Commerce / Bureau of Economic Analysis updates it after it is first released. FYI, the first release is called "advance", the next is the "second", and the third is called, you guessed it, the "third" estimate (side note: the third release used to be called "final" until someone pointed out that it is subject to subsequent revisions, but we digress).


The third estimate of Q1 2014 GDP that was released last week came in at -2.9 percent, which was quite shock from the second estimate of -1.0 percent, which itself was a bit of a jolt after the advance estimate was a positive 0.1 percent. The downward revision was mainly due to downward revisions in consumer spending and exports and an upward revision in imports. Most attributed the dismal performance in Q1 GDP to the harsh winter that suppressed economic activity. Recall that the jobs numbers were also down at the time, so this explanation carries a degree of validity.


But, did you notice that the politicians remained fairly quiet about this? One would think that at least one political party would shout from the highest rooftops that this is clear proof that the current administration's economic policies are failing ... but they didn't. Either they didn't have an understanding of what the drop in GDP meant and missed an opportunity to beat-up on the administration, or they did and accepted it was an anomaly caused by the bad weather and didn't want to get drawn into a losing argument. However, unless something really remarkable occurs, GDP for 2014 likely will be lower than previously predicted.


In early June and before the third estimate of Q1 2014 GDP was released, the consensus estimate was that the economy will grow around 3.5 percent in Q2 2014. Afterwards, some economists adjusted their predictions for Q2 2014 GDP upwards under the logic that the economy will, at least partially, make up for the bad winter weather that kept consumers out of stores.


This got us wondering how the economy was performing on a more granular level since this GDP statistic is of the entire country.


Although state-by-state GDP is only produced on an annual basis, we felt looking at it for the past couple of years would be interesting. Only six states, as indicated in bold, outperformed national GDP growth in 2011, 2012, and 2013. [note: clicking on the chart will open it in a new browser window where you can make it bigger as well as download to your device.]


Notice how some state's GDP fortunes radically change from year to year. Clearly, some states are dominated by a sector or two that drives that state's economy. Wyoming is a good example. Although its actual GDP is the second lowest in terms of dollars (these data are not presented), it was the second fastest growing state in terms of 2013 GDP and this growth can mainly be attributed to mining. It looks like the oil, gas, and mining sector (ND, WY, TX, OK, UT, and others) along with tech (CA and WA specifically) are clearly driving the economy as the financial sector (see NY) is holding it back ... and this clearly impacts the staffing sector's performance.


Then we decided to see how the states are expected to grow in the next six months; that's the table on the right.


Where do the states that you operate in stack up? If your state, or states, did well in 2013 and you did well too, then you are probably in the right sectors / industries. If not, you may want to revisit your strategic plan to ensure you are operating in sectors / industries that are driving that state's economic growth.


Strategic Planning Tools ...

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.

See further descriptions of these two strategic planning tools and links to the demos

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.


Looking for more? Check out our podcasts!

Podcasts of the current employment situation will be available by 4:00 p.m. ET, Thursday, July 3rd. 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 or any smartphone.

The "ultimate consultant's consultant."

"Bruce is an invaluable resource to me in working through the strategic planning process with my clients in the staffing industry. Bruce consults with me on each engagement and customizes his deliverables accordingly, exceeding my expectations each time. He expediently gathers and compiles the data I need and delivers it in user-friendly reports which make the analysis portion of my job easy. Because with Bruce's assistance I can make strategy recommendations with confidence and accuracy, my clients benefit greatly in turn. He is the ultimate "consultant's consultant." -- Amy Bingham, Bingham Consulting Professionals View more Testimonials


June 2014 Employment Report

Quick recap


Although Boston will be shooting off its fireworks a night early because of anticipated bad weather on the Fourth, it looks like the Bureau of Labor Statistics gave the rest of the country -- at least, those who follow employment and jobs data -- something to celebrate the day before July Fourth as well.


The unemployment rate resumed its downward direction to 6.1 percent in June after holding steady at 6.3 percent in April and May; a year ago, it was 7.5 percent.  Although labor force growth was relatively weak, the drop in the unemployment rate was because of the right reasons -- more people employed and fewer people unemployed. For more detail, see the "Household Survey" section at the bottom of this column.


On the other side of the monthly employment report, the total number of jobs was up 288,000 in most sectors, with at least improvement in most that weren't able to catch the jobs train as it continued to proceed up the hill at a steady, although not blistering, pace.


Jobs Report


Total private-sector jobs grew by 262,000 in June, which was a bit better than the 224,000 added in May, but not as much as the 278,000 that was added in April.


The number of jobs in the private Goods-producing sector grew by 26,000 in June, which was better than the 22,000 this sector added in May, but not as strong as the 50,000 (mainly because of a surge in Construction hiring) in 'post-harsh winter April.'

  • The pace of building new jobs in the Construction sector continued to slow in June with only 6,000 more jobs after adding 9,000 in May and bringing on 36,000 more in April.

  • Manufacturers did better in June with an increase of 16,000, which was clearly an improvement from May's gain of 11,000. The pace of new job growth was durable in Durable goods that added 17,000 in June, the same amount it added in May. And although Nondurable goods declined by 1,000 jobs in June, that was an improvement from the 6,000 decline of May.

  • Mining and logging doubled its output of jobs with the addition of 4,000 in June, with the mining portion of this sector responsible for a majority of those new jobs; in May, Mining and logging added 2,000.

The private Service-providing sector did quite well relative to recent trends with job growth of 236,000 in June that was better than the 202,000 it added in May as well as the 228,000 it increased by in April.

  • The Retail trade sector rang up 40,200 more jobs in June that was better than the 10,500 it added in May but not quite as strong as the 43,000 it grew up in 'post-apocalyptic winter April.'

  • The pace at Wholesale trade followed the same basic pattern with a gain of 15,100 jobs in June after adding 9,000 in May and increasing by 15,900 in April.

  • The Transportation and warehousing sector coasted a bit with 16,600 more jobs in June than in May when it added 18,800 but better than the 12,000 growth of April.

  • Interest apparently perked up in Financial activities employers who added 17,000 in June that was the same as the amount of the two previous months added together (May was up 8,000 and April was up 9,000).

  • The Professional and business services sector's growth appeared to follow the 'recovering-from-the-harsh-winter pattern' with a gain of 67,000 in June that was better than May (up 58,000) but not as solid as April (up 72,000). Computer systems design and related services added 6,900 jobs in June and again was outperformed by Management and technical consulting services, which is a smaller sector, that grew by 8,200.

  • The Education and health services sector added a total of 38,000 jobs in June with the sector's highly seasonal Educational services sub-sector growing by only 4,900. Therefore, growth in the Health care and social assistance portion was 33,700 in June, which was much weaker than the 58,800 it grew by in May. Home health care services was up by 3,500 in June, which was less than half May's growth of 7,200.

  • New hiring in the Leisure and hospitality sector tapered off with 39,000 more jobs in June than May, which increased by 45,000 from April.

The total number of Government jobs was up by 26,000. The federal government added 2,000; State government was up by also 2,000; and Local government increased by 22,000.


Temporary Help Services Roundup


Temporary Help Services continues to increase and reach new highs at a steady, albeit slightly diminishing, rate of growth.


In June, Temporary help services was up 10,100 to 2,869,600, which was a 0.4 percent month-over-month increase and year-over-year growth of 8.1 percent.


For May, the job number was up 15,500, or 0.5 percent sequentially and up 8.5 percent year-on-year; in April, temporary help added 15,100 jobs, which was also 0.5 percent sequential growth and up 8.9 percent year-on-year.


And Temporary help service's market share -- that is its portion of all jobs -- again reached an all-time high of 2.068 percent in June compared to 2.065 percent in May (it was 2.057 percent in April). To see a chart of Temporary help's growth from January 1991 to June 2014 and comparing the trend to total employment, click here.

(if the chart is unclear, click on it to open in a browser window)

Click on chart to open in a new browser window.


Household Survey


The June 6.1 percent unemployment rate was a 0.2 percent drop from May's 6.3 percent, the same it was in April. In February and March it was 6.7 percent, which was incrementally higher than the 6.6 percent of January.


That 6.1 percent unemployment rate was the result of a labor force that grew by only 81,000 as the number of employed persons grew by 407,000 and the number of unemployed persons declined by 325,000. The number not in the labor force increased by 111,000.


The employment-to-population ratio incrementally increased to 59.0 percent in June and was 58.7 a year earlier in June 2013. The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.8 percent, but it was lower than the 63.5 percent a year earlier. The number of discouraged workers continued to decline with only 676,000 of them compared to 1,027,000 a year earlier in June 2013.


BTW, we maintain an updated table of many major employment as well as other economic indicators here or here for the mobile version.



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