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August 2018 Workforce Perspectives


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"This could be the most competitive job market we've ever experienced. As the market continues to gain momentum in many sectors and unemployment remains at a 17 year low, it's time for employers to up their game in pay, benefits, and perks to attract and retain top talent."
- Joanie Courtney, EmployBridge Chief Marketing Officer and President, Professional Division

Published in: Economy & Finance
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August 2018 Workforce Perspectives

  1. 1. WorkforcePerspectives August 2018 BLS Report Insights by Joanie Courtney Based on July BLS Data
  2. 2. Labor Market Highlights 157,000 Number of jobs added in JULY Unemployment rate edges down to 3.9% 3.6 Million Voluntary Quits 17 YEAR HIGH Open Jobs Exceed Number of Job Seekers for the First Time in Recent History 62.9% Labor Participation Rate Holds at 6.6 Million 6.3 Million Job Seekers Open Jobs
  3. 3. Unemployment Rate 3.9% Job Gains: 157,000 Points of Interest: • Goods-producing sector added 52,000, while service producing sector added 118,000. • Strong gains in Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Professional and Business Services (up 51,000). • While overall jobs declined in Transportation & Warehousing primarily due to the transit sector, demand for drivers and warehousing personnel continues to exceed available workers. Construction Manufacturing Natural Resources & Mining Transportation & Warehousing Financial Activities Leisure & Hospitality HealthCare & Social Assistance Professional & Business Services 33,500 51,000 37,000 3,800 5,000 40,000 19,000 Retail Trade 7,100 GOODS-PRODUCING SECTOR 52,000 SERVICE-PROVIDING SECTOR 118.000 1,300
  4. 4. Unemployment Rates 4.2% JULY 2018 JULY 2018 JULY 2017 JULY 2018 JULY 2017 Manufacturing Construction Financial Activities 3.4% 4.9% 6.3% 2.3% 2.3% JULY 2018 JULY 2017 JULY 2018 JULY 2017 JULY 2018 JULY 2017 Information Services Professional & Business Services Transportation & Warehousing 4.2% 4.3% 4.1% 4.6% 4.5% 6.2% JULY 2017
  5. 5. Workforce Confidence on the Rise Record Numbers Quit to Seek Better Jobs Consumer Confidence at 17YEAR HIGH Hourly Pay GREW $0.07 in July to $27.05 • As the economic outlook remains strong, confidence among the U.S. Workforce is rising. • For the first time in recent history, there are more open jobs than job seekers. • Telling of the current employment market, 3.56 million people voluntarily quit their jobs in May – the highest number in 17 years. • Labor data is bearing out CEOs’ concerns: The biggest threat to their business is the availability of key skills according to a PWC study. • Employers should expect continued upwards pressure on wages and the need to offer training and recognition to attract and retain talent in this highly competitive market. 77% Biggest Threat to US Business of CEOs say finding key skills
  6. 6. Are Your Ready for the Tightest Labor Market in Decades? Here are the four secrets to winning the labor you need in single-digit unemployment rates. #1. Hire Right. Take a hard look at hiring requirements – especially those that may knock-out capable people from the very start. We see many companies today relaxing their hiring requirements regarding education, years of work experience and even background screening, to focus on what they need to get the job done versus what they want. Ask yourself: Do you have a GED or high school diploma criteria? Is it relevant for all the jobs in your facility? Did you know there are 10.5 million workers in the U.S. with less than a high school diploma?
  7. 7. #2. Pay Fair. Because of short supply wages are correcting, more rapidly in certain markets and sectors, such as manufacturing. Ask yourself: Do you know how large the available applicant pool is in your city or area? How many competing jobs are available? What is the going rate for the skill you’re hiring? . #3. Act Fast. Job applicants are accepting job offers at an accelerated pace. With 96% already employed, companies that don’t quickly move applicants through the screening and hiring process -- may be limiting themselves to hiring from the bottom 1% or less of available workers. Ask yourself: Does your current hiring process take too long from the time a candidate is identified to the day they start? Is your onboarding process successful at helping to get new hires productive quickly? In today’s environment, if you haven’t done a competitive wage assessment customized to your local market in the last three months, you may be at a serious recruiting disadvantage. Planning ahead will allow you to extend offers more nimbly, giving you a leg-up on the competition.
  8. 8. #4. Treat Well. Turnover is costly, especially in a tight labor market that may not offer an abundance of available, high-performers. Retaining employees becomes more important than ever. In addition to offering competitive wages, skills training, mentoring and flexible work schedules, will help employers better retain and engage employees, and can also help tap into new applicant pools, such as college students or semi-retirees. Ask yourself: Are your HR policies regarding PTO and absenteeism having their desired affect? Is there an effective system for recognizing solid performers early-on? Are you able to clearly define for employees and candidates why it is great to work for your organization? For more tips and intelligence on winning talent in today’s tight market, contact your local RemX workforce expert at 1.888.481.3375 or visit
  9. 9. emX Joanie Courtney EmployBridge CMO & President, Professional Division As an employment industry expert, Joanie is often called upon to discuss the job market, careers, and workplace trends, and for insight on the talent supply and demand cycles that impact U.S. employers. She is frequently featured as a keynote speaker at industry conferences, and her commentary on the employment market has been featured on media outlets such as Fox Business Network, Associated Press, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, and Forbes. Watch Joanie’s latest Labor Report TV news segment, go to About RemX RemX is the professional staffing division of EmployBridge, a $3 billion staffing organization with more than 600 offices in the U.S. and Canada. For nearly two decades, RemX has specialized in the recruitment of office support, finance and accounting, contact center, information technology, and engineering professionals. Using its proven “Exact Match” methodology, RemX matches qualified talent with the right job opportunities on a temporary, contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire basis.