Results Are In: 50% of Leaders Say Education Hasn’t Been a Major Factor

According to a recent poll on Refresh Leadership, Express Employment Professionals blog for business leaders, readers were asked how their education affected their career paths, and the results are split on just how big of a role education plays in our future career paths. Of those who participated, 42% of respondents said they wouldn’t be where they are today without their degrees, while 15% said it helped land their first job, but hasn’t been a factor since. Surprisingly, 35% said their education hasn’t played a role in defining their career. Nearly 6% of survey respondents selected the “other” option and submitted their own thoughts on the topic, including “simply having a college degree had an influence on my career path, but my area of study did not,” “I’m doing what I wanted to do, but had to work longer and harder to get here without a degree,” and “I need more education.” The responses suggest education may not be the most important aspect of getting a job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 14 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations require an associate’s degree or less. To learn more about the education and experience debate, follow the link below to read the white paper "CAUTION: College May Not Be For Everyone." – Sept. 11, 2014

New Study Reveals America’s Changing Workforce

Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest franchised staffing firm, recently released a Labor Day 2014 white paper exploring the rise of temporary and independent contingent employees. The number of temporary workers, independent contingent workers, and freelancers has increased to a record-high of 17.7 million, a 10% increase since 2011, defying previous economic trends. Looking for greater flexibility and new opportunities, Americans are turning away from the traditional employer-employee relationship and eight-to-five work day. "America’s Changing Workforce and the Rise of the Contingent Employee" explores the causes of this trend. Why are workers young and old turning to temporary and freelance work? Why are businesses relying on those workers? Drawing from a range of economic research and the insights of Express staffing industry experts and franchise owners, the white paper documents the challenges for individuals and for the economy as a whole. Express also offers recommendations on how business practices and public policy should adapt. “America’s labor force looks far different from that of Labor Days past. Part of the reason is the rise in temporary employees,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “People are choosing temporary, independent contingent, and freelance jobs sometimes out of necessity and sometimes out of convenience.” – Aug. 31, 2014

Majority of Workers Don’t Aspire to Leadership Roles

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, only 34% of U.S. workers aspire to leadership roles within their companies, and only 7% desire senior-level or C-suite management positions. When asked why they are content to avoid promotions, 52% said “they are simply satisfied in their current roles,” and 34% said “they don’t want to sacrifice work life balance.” Another reason some workers are less likely to strive for leadership roles is a glass ceiling, or social boundary subduing advancement, in the workplace. According to the survey, one in five workers also believes a glass ceiling holds back women and minorities at their company. Of those aspiring for management positions, one-third of women, half of African Americans, and six in 10 disabled workers say a glass ceiling exists.
CareerBuilder – Sept. 10, 2014

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US Adds More Temp Jobs, Temp Penetration Rate All-Time High

The U.S. economy added 13,000 temporary services jobs in August raising the temporary penetration rate to an all-time high of 2.08%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The temporary penetration rate is calculated by dividing the total number of temporary services jobs by the amount of Americans currently employed. The total number of workers in the U.S. employed through staffing firms is nearly 3 million weekly. Year over year, temporary staffing growth remains high at 8.01%. Job growth in temporary services is usually a positive indicator of the current state of employment.
Staffing Industry – Sept. 5, 2014

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Promotions Propel August Retail Sales

Retail sales exceeded expectations in August as back-to-school promotions drove consumer spending. According to the Thomson Reuters sales index, retail sales rose 5% in August, surpassing the forecasts of 3.9% growth for the month and the 3.3% gain in August 2013. The back-to-school shopping season is second only to the holiday season for annual sales, so stores cut prices and offered promotions to help boost the critical shopping period. According to Johnson Redbook Research, back-to-school sales will continue to boost the retail industry as students continue to shop for fall clothes. The overall health of the retail industry remains unknown, as many retailers no longer post monthly earnings, though the Thomson Reuters sales index is a good view of the state of sales.
Wall Street Journal – Sept. 4, 2014

Consumer Confidence Continues to Rise

After The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased to 90.3 in July, it continued to improve in August and now stands at 92.4. The Present Situation Index also increased, moving from 87.9 in July to 94.6 in August, while the Expectations Index edged down to 90.9 in August from 91.9 in July. According to Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, the growth across the three main indexes shows an overall positive outlook. “Consumer confidence increased for the fourth consecutive month as improving business conditions and robust job growth helped boost consumers’ spirits,” Franco said. “Looking ahead, consumers were marginally less optimistic about the short-term outlook compared to July, primarily due to concerns about their earnings. Overall, however, they remain quite positive about the short-term outlooks for the economy and labor market.”
The Conference Board – August 26, 2014

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CBO Forecast 1.5% Growth in 2014

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts the U.S. economy will grow by 1.5% in 2014, a lowered expectation due to the lackluster first three months of the year. The forecast is substantially lower than the 2.6% growth that the Obama administration predicted in July. The CBO is much more optimistic about the future, however, and it predicts that the economy will grow 3.4% over 2015 and 2016. The CBO also expects the unemployment rate to remain below 6% over the next two years.
USA Today – August 27, 2014

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August 2014

The U.S. economy added 142,000 jobs in August, as the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.1%. The Professional and Business Services industry saw the largest growth in employment in July, adding 47,000 positions. Learn more from the recent employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and view the unemployment rate in your state.

Major Industry Employment:

  • Construction: + 20,000
  • Manufacturing: + 0
  • Retail Trade: - 8,400
  • Professional & Business Services: + 47,000
  • Education & Health Services: + 37,000
  • Information: - 3,000
  • Transportation: + 1,200
  • Government: + 8,000

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Employment Trends is a publication of Express Services, Inc., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. © 2014.