Companies Plan to Show Appreciation

According to a recent poll by Refresh Leadership, nearly 78% of businesses will show gratitude this holiday season through various gestures. The results showed that businesses are evenly divided on their plans to hand out cash bonuses (23%); give a combination of cash, days off, gift cards, and tangible gifts (24%); or not give out any bonuses at all (22%). Following these, 16% plan to give only gift cards, 10% plan to simply give tangible gifts, and 6% plan to just give extra time off. Businesses are seeing the correlation between employer recognition and employee retention, which is the direct result of the majority of companies showing gratitude by offering a bonus or gift. – Dec. 13, 2012

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US Adds 18,000 Temporary Jobs in November

The economy added 18,000 temporary positions during the month of November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. After the surge in contingent workers, the total rose to 2.56 million workers used to fill contract and temporary posts. Since November 2011, temporary help services have risen by 182,800 jobs. The temporary saturation rate also rose from 1.90 to 1.91% from the previous month. Jobs rose by 3,800 to nearly 3.21 million in the employment services industry, which include temporary help services as well as jobs in staffing agencies and executive search companies. These two sectors showing signs of strength are a good prediction of a stabilizing economy as economists usually surmise that a rise in temporary jobs predicts a rise in full-time positions in the future. – Dec. 7, 2012

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Retailers Report Weak Sales for November

Though businesses experienced a 1.7% gain compared to Nov. 2011, retail sales for November were well under the 4.5 to 5.5% gains expected for this holiday season. November and December make up the highest grossing months of the year as shoppers spend more for the holidays. Retailers can make up to 40% of their annual revenue during this time. Though stores saw a strong showing on Black Friday, the first two weeks of November experienced lackluster sales due to halted enthusiasm caused by Hurricane Sandy, which hit the Northeast on Oct. 29. This region of the country accounts for 24% of nationwide retail sales and lost nearly $4 billion in sales during the first week of November, according to MasterCard Advisors� SpendingPulse, a company that tracks consumer spending.
MSN – Nov. 29, 2012

Consumer Confidence Highest in Five Years

U.S. consumer confidence index, conducted by The Conference Board, an independent business and research association, rose from 73.1 in October to 73.7 in November, which is the best index reading since February 2008. The higher index rate could indicate a strong surge in holiday shopping in December. And as consumer spending makes up nearly 70% of economic activity, this could mean a strong economic end to 2012. When the index is at 90, it means the country is experiencing a healthy economy. The last time the index was above the 90 mark was in December 2007, the first month of the recession. Two months later the index experienced its all-time low of 25.3 but has since recovered drastically. The Conference Board said the higher consumer confidence is in light of a steady growth in jobs over the past several months.
Huffington Post – Nov. 27, 2012

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Unemployment Falls to Lowest Rate Since 2008

The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November, driving the unemployment rate to the lowest level since December 2008, according to a monthly report by the Labor Department. Of the jobs added, more than a third came from retail and trade, which could be due in part to the holiday shopping season. In light of hurricane Sandy�s impact on the East coast, economists were predicting the labor force to add only 77,000 jobs in November and for the unemployment rate to rise to 8%, but the rate digressed from 7.9 to 7.7%. The unemployed add up to 12 million people jobless in the U.S., which are 300,000 less than the previous month. This could mean that the rate was impacted by workers dropping out of the labor force.
CNN – Dec. 7, 2012

US Trade Deficit Grows Despite Decrease in Imports

The trade deficit grew 4.9% to $42.2 billion in October as exports declined by 3.6%, the largest decrease since January 2009. Usually, the U.S. trade deficit is more directly related to the nation importing more goods from other countries globally than what is exported, but the fact that imports decreased drastically as well could be a sign of a slowdown in global growth. Imports declined 2.1% from $227.6 billion in September to $222.8 billion, the lowest level in 18 months. The value of exports also dropped from $187.3 to $180.5 billion. During the third quarter, trade only accounted for 0.14% of the GDP.
Bloomberg – Dec. 11, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Hinders Job Growth

Uncertainty on how the economy will fair if the �fiscal cliff� occurs is keeping businesses from being aggressive in spending and hiring. With the government at a stand-still between different ideas of how to best stimulate the economy, employers are worried they will have to pay more taxes and that they may be affected financially by capital gains tax increases. The �fiscal cliff� is a term used to explain what would happen if a series of tax hikes and reductions of $600 billion in stimulus programs occur. The uncertainty of how this government issue will pan out has employers staying conservative and halting hiring plans. Rising at a 1.9% annual rate, productivity levels are at an all-time high as employers are running their businesses on smaller workforces with the same or higher output levels. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake said that a deal between the differing sides will create a steady economy and could lead to the economy performing well in 2013.
NBC News – Dec. 3, 2012

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November 2012

The national employment situation continued its recent surge as the unemployment rate decreased from 7.9 to 7.7%. The private sector added 146,000 jobs, while retail trade and professional and business services saw the largest growth in employment. Learn more from the recent employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistic. View the unemployment rate in your state.

Major Industry Employment:

  • Construction: - 20,000
  • Manufacturing: - 7,000
  • Retail Trade: + 52,600
  • Professional & Business Services: + 43,000
  • Education & Health Services: + 18,000
  • Information: + 12,000
  • Leisure & Hospitality: + 12,000
  • Government: - 1,000

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Employment Trends is a publication of Express Services, Inc., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. © 2012.