41% of All Roadblocks in 2014 Are Employee Related

In a recent poll on Refresh Leadership, the Express Employment Professionals blog for business leaders, readers were asked what they anticipated to be their companies’ biggest roadblocks to finishing strong in 2014. Coming in first, 19% of companies say outside influences, including regulations, competition, and the economy, weigh heaviest on the minds of business leaders. Secondly, 16% of respondents feel “lack of skilled workers” will be their biggest roadblock, followed by “insufficient staff” with 14%. The rest of the results included “poor leadership” (13%), “turnover and retention issues” (11%), and “unclear goals” (8%). Those who chose the “other” option included reasons like “weather/cold and snow conditions,” “soft sales,” and “cash flow shortages.” With 30% directly relating to not having the right workers, the skills gap is continuing to show its effects on businesses. In fact according to CareerBuilder, 81% of employers say it’s at least somewhat difficult to fill job vacancies.
RefreshLeadership.com – Nov. 13, 2014

Study Shows the Effects of Government Benefit Programs

Express recently released a white paper exploring government benefit programs and their impact on employment. The paper seeks to investigate whether or not government assistance programs are a safety net or a low-wage trap for those in need. According to the paper, disability rolls have doubled since 2000 in some states, while the nation’s labor force participation rate (LFPR) continues to be at its lowest in nearly 40 years. “A Safety Net … or a Trap” draws on a wide range of research, raw data, and commissioned surveys from Express to address this issue and offer recommendations for policy makers. According to Express CEO Bob Funk, “It should be a national priority to eliminate barriers that come between people and the jobs they want or need. So, it’s time to ensure our government benefit programs do what they should do, help people so they can get back to work.” For more information, download the white paper “A Safety Net … or a Trap?
PR Web – Nov. 12, 2014

Recent Grads Don’t Stay In First Jobs Very Long

According to another study by Express, the majority of businesses surveyed say the average grad will leave their job in the first year. According to the survey, 77% say they expect a recent graduate to stay less than a year in his or her first job. Findings come from the 2014 edition of the “America Employed” survey. Those who say grads will stay at the same job for less than three months was up from 0% in 2013 to 4% in 2014. Down from 16% in 2013, 10% expect grads to stay for three to six months. Up from 58% in 2013, 63% say recent grads will stay for seven months to one year. And down from 26% in 2013, only 23% believe recent graduates will stay in their job for more than one year. One reason for this trend is that Millennials are accepting jobs they are over-qualified for and are eager to move should a better option arise. According to Express CEO Bob Funk, the other trend is “a decrease in employees’ commitment to employers, as a higher value is placed on personal advancement.”
PR Web – Oct. 22, 2014

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Temp Jobs Year-Over-Year Growth Up

Temporary services jobs rose by 8.79% year over year in October, the highest boost since April 2014, while the temporary penetration rate reached another all-time high at 2.107%, 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 industry added 15,100 positions in October. Between October 2013 and October 2014, the U.S. added 237,700 temporary services jobs. Job growth in temporary services is usually a positive indicator of the current state of employment.
Staffing Industry - Nov. 7, 2014

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Consumer Confidence Rebounds in October

After The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased to 89.0 in September, it rebounded in October, rising to 94.5. The Present Situation Index also edged up to 93.7 in October from 93.0 in September, while the Expectations Index increased sharply to 95.0 in October from 86.4 in September. According to Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, the more favorable outlook of the current economy and job market helped boost consumer confidence. "Looking ahead," Franco said, "consumers have regained confidence in the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market, and are more optimistic about their future earnings potential." Coming into the holiday shopping season, "this boost in confidence should be a welcome sign for retailers."
The Conference Board - Oct. 28, 2014

September Retail Sales Falter

After experiencing the largest gain in four months in August, retail sales dropped in September. The 0.3% decrease, compared to the 0.6% increase in August, was lower than expected. Reflecting a nationwide consumer pullback, the decrease was 0.2 percentage points lower than the 0.1% average decline expected from the 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Although the economy is adding jobs, households have not seen a large enough increase in wages to warrant a jump in purchasing power to drive sustained increase in demand. Among the decrease in demand were auto dealers, service stations, furniture stores, and building material merchants. Sales at clothing stores dipped 1.2%, the most since October 2012. Due to lower prices at the pump, gasoline sales dropped 0.8% after decreasing 1.1% in August. The dip in sales could mean consumers are holding back in anticipation of the holiday shopping season.
Bloomberg - Oct. 15, 2014

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US Existing Home Sales Hit Year High

After a faulty recovery throughout 2014, U.S. home sales reached an all-year high in September, showing signs of stability. Previously owned home sales rose 2.4% over August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million in September. To put that in perspective, home sales exceeded an annual rate of 7 million in 2007, and hit a low of 3.45 million in 2010. After a strong start at the beginning of the year, recent data suggests the housing market has resumed a steady climb. With interest rates near all-time lows and consumer confidence rising, the current trend in the housing market should continue to bounce back. However, the market is still underperforming, with year-over-year sales down 1.7% in September as many Americans are continuing to rent rather than buy.
Wall Street Journal - Oct. 21, 2014

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October 2014

The U.S. economy added 214,000 jobs in October, as the unemployment rate decreased from 5.9% in September to 5.8%. The Education and Health Services industry saw the largest growth in employment in October, adding 41,000 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: + 12,000
  • Manufacturing: + 15,000
  • Retail Trade: + 27,100
  • Professional & Business Services: + 37,000
  • Education & Health Services: + 41,000
  • Information: - 4,000
  • Transportation: + 13,300
  • Government: + 5,000

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