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    Below are the most recent articles from America Employed, provided by our writers and contributors at Express Digest.  Associates and job seekers can keep up to date on the latest statistics, market tips, and advice from company leaders.

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    Survey: 63% of Businesses Say Filling Positions is “Difficult”

    Pittsburgh, PA - August 10, 2016

    24% Say "Very Difficult" - Highest of Past Six Quarters

    Only 6% Report Filling Positions is "Very Easy"

    Express Employment Professionals released new survey results today revealing the increasing difficulty employers face when trying to recruit and fill positions.

    Respondents were asked, "Currently, how easy is it for you to recruit and fill positions?" The results represent the expectations businesses had for the second quarter of 2016.

    Only six percent said "very easy," while 26 percent said "somewhat easy." Thirty-nine percent said "somewhat difficult," 24 percent said "very difficult," and another six percent said, "I don't know."

    Express has asked this question for the past six quarters. The current survey produced the highest percentage of respondents saying "very difficult."  

    "For years, it's been hard for businesses to fill positions. That may be surprising to some given that many unemployed workers have been so discouraged with the job market they have given up looking for work altogether," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "There are jobs available. There are workers out there. But for a variety of reasons, including a skills mismatch, they are not connecting.

    "What's most notable about this quarter's survey is the uptick in respondents saying it's 'very difficult' to fill positions. It does make sense, though, as the unemployment rate ticks down."

    COM16AE_8_10_16

     The survey of 390 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, covers hiring trends for the second quarter of 2016. 

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    About Robert A. Funk

    Robert A. "Bob" Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 760 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

    About Express Employment Professionals

    Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.02 billion in sales and employed a record 500,002 people in 2015. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually.



    Business Survey: Raising Minimum Wage Means Raising Prices

    A $15 Minimum Wage Would Lead 30% of Businesses to Eliminate Positions


    Pittsburgh, PA, June 2016 - Express Employment Professionals released new results today from a survey of businesses revealing some of the effects an increase in the minimum wage would have on their company.

    Respondents were asked, "What actions would you take if the minimum wage increased to $15 an hour?"

    More than a third (37 percent) said they would increase the price of goods or services, and 30 percent said they would eliminate positions. On the other hand, 20 percent reported that they would increase other wages in their companies.

    Of those surveyed, 18 percent pay the current minimum wage for some positions, while 82 percent do not. 

    "A $15 minimum wage has certainly become a political hot topic. There's no doubt it makes for a good talking point, but the real question is whether it makes good economic sense," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "While some workers will see a raise, which is good news, this survey shows that there are clear negative consequences for raising the wage to $15.

    "Policymakers should always keep in mind the unintended consequences of their actions. Our goal should always be getting people back to work-and creating a healthy, thriving economy that creates rising wages across the board."


    mini wage

    The survey of 390 businesses in the United States and Canada that are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals was conducted in the first quarter of 2016. 

    New Poll Explores Plight of the Unemployed

    43% Have Completely Given Up Looking for Work; 59% of Long-Term Unemployed Say They Have Completely Given U

    83% Say US Economic System Benefits the Rich

                             -For Many, Unemployment Has Become a Chronic Condition-

                                                                                                                            52% of Unemployed College Grads Wish They Had Gone to Vocational School

             -Asked Who Would Have Most Impact Creating Jobs, 25% Say Clinton; 24% Trump; 24% Sanders; 21% None of the Above-


    Pittsburgh, PA  June 22,2016—Express Employment Professionals today released results from a new Harris Poll of unemployed Americans, which, for the third year in a row, shows that a significant number of Americans have completely given up looking for work. Many, 83 percent, also believe the U.S. economic system benefits the rich. 

    This year’s survey indicates that unemployment is becoming a chronic condition. More than half, 51 percent, reported they haven’t been on a job interview since 2014, and 40 percent of the unemployed reported being out of work for more than 24 months. In addition, 40 percent said that they expected their search to be difficult, but “it’s been more difficult than I thought.”


    The survey of 1,513 jobless Americans age 18 and older between May 5 and May 16, 2016 was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Express and offers a detailed, in-depth look at the background and attitudes of the unemployed.

    In an encouraging sign for the economy, 22 percent said the reason they are unemployed is because they quit their jobs, up from 15 percent in 2014. In contrast, 32 percent reported they were laid off or downsized, down from 36 percent in 2014.

    Almost half, 48 percent, blame themselves for being unemployed, up from 36 percent who blamed themselves in 2014. The percentage who blame the economy has dropped to 34 percent from 45 percent in 2014.  


    “This survey shows that many Americans have fallen into the trap of prolonged unemployment, and many more are at risk of the same fate. It should give policymakers and local leaders a greater sense of urgency to focus on the singular goal of creating jobs,” said First Name Last Name, franchisee of the City Express office.

    WHO ARE THE UNEMPLOYED?

    According to the survey, 55 percent of the unemployed are men; 45 percent are women.

    The largest group of the unemployed is the youngest age group:

    • 33 percent are ages 18-29
    • 20 percent are ages 30-39
    • 17 percent are ages 40-49
    • 18 percent are ages 50-59
    • 12 percent are 60 or older

    The majority lack a college degree:

    • 6 percent did not complete high school
    • 38 percent received only a high school diploma
    • 8 percent completed job-specific training after high school
    • 22 percent attended college but did not receive a degree
    • 8 percent hold an associate degree
    • 13 percent hold a bachelor’s degree
    • 4 percent have a graduate degree

    Of those with at least a college degree, 52 percent agreed with the statement, “I wish I focused on a vocational career (e.g., automotive technology, electrician, plumber, HVAC specialist, dental assisting, medical assisting, etc.) rather than getting my college degree.” Twenty-four percent agreed “completely” or “a lot” with the statement.

    GIVING UP

    Forty-three percent agree with the statement, “I’ve completely given up on looking for a job,” compared to 40 percent in 2015 and 47 percent in 2014. 

    • 8 percent agree completely
    • 5 percent agree a lot
    • 13 percent agree somewhat
    • 16 percent agree a little
    • 57 percent do not agree at all

    Of those who have been unemployed for more than two years, 59 percent agree that they have “given up.”

    A $15 MINIMUM WAGE AND THE UNEMPLOYED

    Even though minimum wage jobs may be available, the majority of the unemployed do not apply for them. Sixty-six percent agree with the statement “I don’t apply for jobs that offer minimum wage because it’s just not enough to pay the bills.”

    • 20 percent say they agree “completely”
    • 12 percent agree “a lot”
    • 17 percent agree “somewhat”
    • 17 percent agree “a little”
    • 34 percent do not agree at all

    Respondents were also asked to weigh in on the idea of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and its impact on the number of available jobs.

    • 20 percent said it would create more jobs
    • 27 percent said it would have no impact
    • 52 percent said it would decrease the number of jobs

    WHAT THE UNEMPLOYED ARE—AND ARE NOT—DOING TO FIND WORK

    The unemployed reported they are putting in an average of just over a full day (11.7 hours) looking for work each week. That is down from a high of 13.8 hours in 2014 and 12.9 hours in 2015.  

    Sixty-three percent have applied for positions that are below their job levels at their previous employers, but 37 percent have not.

    The majority have had no job interviews since 2014.  The survey asked, “When was the last time you went on an interview?”

    • 51 percent said 2014 or before
    • 6 percent said Jan., Feb., March 2015
    • 5 percent said April, May, June 2015
    • 9 percent said July, August, Sept. 2015
    • 8 percent said  Oct., Nov., Dec. 2015
    • 18 percent said Jan., Feb., March 2016
    • 3 percent said April, May 2016

    Among the job search activities respondents could choose from, the most common job search activities are online:

    • 49 percent reported visiting and researching online job boards
    • 41 percent visit prospective companies’ websites
    • 40 percent enter search terms directly into an internet search engine
    • 38 percent post resumes on major online job boards
    • 30 percent visit or research websites that provide resume tips

    The unemployed spend most of their time filling out applications online. Respondents were asked to report what percentage of their job search time they spent on various activities:

        
      

    Average percent of job search time spent

     

    Activity

    2016

    2015

    2014

     

    Researching job opportunities

    25.3%

    26.8%

    21.1%

     

    Filling out applications online

    23.7%

    21.9%

    17.5%

     

    Sending resumes

    11.6%

    12.4%

    10.5%

     

    Networking online

    10.5%

    10.2%

    9.4%

     

    Filling out applications in person

    8.5%

    9%

    8.3%

     

    Following up on resumes/applications

    7.2%

    7.6%

    6.7%

     

    Networking on the phone

    5.6%

    5.2%

    4.9%

     

    Interviewing

    4.9%

    4.4%

    4.2%

     

    Attending professional networking events

    2.7%

    2.7%

    3.0%

     

    More than half are unwilling to move to another state to find work. Respondents were asked, “How willing are you to consider relocating to another state to find a job?”

    • 4 percent already did
    • 35 percent say they are willing
    • 61 percent say “not at all willing”

    In 2015, 61 percent said they were unwilling and in 2014, 60 percent were unwilling.

    DOES THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE MATTER?

    The unemployed are split on which presidential candidate “will have the most impact in creating jobs.”

    • 25 percent say Hillary Clinton
    • 24 percent say Bernie Sanders
    • 24 percent say Donald Trump
    • 21 percent say none of the above

    Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders are Donald Trump are virtually tied as the preferred presidential candidate among unemployed Americans. Respondents were asked, “Regardless of the outcome of the primaries, if the presidential election was held today, who would you vote for?”

    • 27 percent chose Hillary Clinton
    • 26 percent chose Bernie Sanders
    • 23 percent chose Donald Trump
    • 19 percent chose none of the above

    This study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals and included 1,513 U.S. adults aged 18 or older who are unemployed but capable of working (whether or not they receive unemployment compensation benefits). Excluded are those who are currently retired, choose to stay at home or are unable to work due to long-term disability. The survey was conducted between May 5 and May 17, 2016.

    Results were weighted as needed for age by gender, education, race/ethnicity, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. Totals may not equal the sum of their individual components due to rounding. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.






    Survey Shows Wages Flat

    Upward Job Market Trends and Mixed Outlook for Future Recession

     

    Pittsburgh, PA, JUNE 1, 2016--Express Employment Professionals released new results today from a survey of businesses on the state of the job market, revealing a majority of small and medium-sized businesses believe wages will be stagnant over the short-term.

    Respondents were asked whether they expect wages in their respective markets to increase, decrease or stay the same over the next three months. The majority predict short-term wage stagnation: 61 percent expect wages to stay the same, but more than a third or 38 percent expect an increase. Only two percent expect wages to decrease.

    When asked about the "current employment environment in your market," 68 percent of companies surveyed responded that it was "trending up," compared to 32 percent who said it was "trending down."

    Businesses were also asked if they foresee a recession in the near future. Overwhelmingly, 94 percent of businesses surveyed don't foresee a nationwide recession in the next three months.

    Eighty percent of businesses surveyed don't foresee a recession in three to six months, while 69 percent don't foresee a recession in six months to a year. Seventy percent indicated no recession in a year. Additionally, 65 percent of business owners don't expect a recession in two years, however, 35 percent anticipate a recession in two years.

    "These survey results are a mixed bag. Many companies are cautiously optimistic but still have some hesitation about the strength of the economy in the near future," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    "It's good news for employees that wages are not declining, but we would rather see them rising than flat-lining. The tight labor market continues to put pressure on the need for wage increases but employers are reluctant to increase pay given the uncertainties about the strength of the economy," Funk said.

    "And while most businesses don't predict a recession in the next near future, it's troubling that many companies foresee a recession in two years. Of course, we would all prefer to see an even more positive outlook after this slow recovery but that won't happen until government eases up on regulatory change for businesses."

    com16

    The survey of 390 businesses in the United States and Canada that are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals was conducted in the first quarter of 2016.

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    New Survey Reveals Who's Hiring - By Sector and Department

    Industrial Sector Expects Most Hiring

    Production and Sales Top List of Departments

    PITTSBURGH, PA, May 18, 2016  - Express Employment Professionals released new survey results today revealing which sectors and departments are planning to do the most hiring in the second quarter of 2016.

    The findings come from a survey of 390 businesses.

    Forty-six percent of business indicated they plan to hire in the industrial sector, followed by 13 percent who plan to hire administrative positions and 10 percent hiring for the engineering field. Respondents also reported plans to eliminate positions in industrial and accounting and finance.

    Businesses indicated that the top three departments for hiring were production (36 percent), sales (30 percent) and logistics (nine percent). Meanwhile, respondents indicated they have no hiring plans in the second quarter for accounting, human resources, legal or risk. The only department in which respondents reported plans to eliminate positions was accounting.

    "If you're looking for a job right now, it appears to be a good time to be looking in the industrial sector or for a position in production or sales," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "While jobs are being eliminated in the industrial sector, mainly due to the oil and gas industry downturn, we are seeing more and more industrial jobs coming back to North America from overseas. 

    sector

    "These are encouraging results in some ways. Respondents don't expect production or sales to slow down in the second quarter and given the sluggish recovery and concerns about the future, that's at least one promising sign."

    The survey of 390 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in the first quarter of 2016. 

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    Mother's Day Survey: Would you work if you didn't have to?

    62% of Working Moms and 69% of Working Dads Say Yes

    Express Also Releases Results on Treatment of Parents in the Workplace

    PITTSBURGH, PA, May 4, 2016 - Ahead of Mother's Day, Express Employment Professionals today released results from a special edition survey revealing the attitudes of working moms.

    Respondents were asked, "Would you work if you didn't have to?" Sixty-two percent of working mothers said "yes," compared to 69 percent of working fathers who said the same.

    In addition, Express released results from a survey of businesses on the treatment of parents in the workplace. Respondents were asked, "Do you provide maternity leave for the birth or adoption of a child?" Three-quarters (75 percent) of the businesses said, "yes."

    When it comes to paternity leave, however, the story is a little different. Just under half of the surveyed businesses (49 percent) provide paternity leave.

    Many businesses do offer other benefits as well, according to the survey. Two-thirds (67 percent) said they permit working moms and dads to take advantage of flexible hours, while 26 percent said they provide other forms of benefits, and seven percent reported allowing working parents to telecommute.

    "The working world has changed in many ways for parents throughout the years, with the increase in working mothers in the past four to five decades being the most dramatic change," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    "But as this survey shows, for many mothers and fathers-around a third-whether to stay home with children or work isn't a choice they get to make for themselves. Understandably, this reality has led to an increased focus on the options and flexibility available to parents in the workplace.

    mothergraphic   

    "On behalf of the entire Express team, I wish a Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!" added Funk.

    The survey of 1,059 working moms and dads was conducted in May 2016. The survey of 390 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in April 2016. 

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    Survey: Why Do Jobs Go Unfilled?

    Businesses Blame Lack of Applicants

    Right Experience and Skills Are Hard to Find

     

    PITTSBURGH, PA, April 20, 2016 - Express Employment Professionals released new survey results today revealing why open jobs go unfilled.

    The findings come from a survey of 340 businesses. Respondents were asked, "What is the primary reason that your open jobs go unfilled?"

    The number one answer, given by 41 percent of respondents, was "lack of available applicants."

    Another 26 percent chose "lack of experience," while 15 percent said "lack of hard skills."

    These results track closely with the results from each quarter of 2015 except for the percentage of respondents who chose "lack of available applicants." That number was seven percent higher than the first quarter of 2015. 

    "This is a common theme we have heard for a while-even when the unemployment rate was higher. Too often, business can't find the right people, and as this survey suggests, sometimes they just can't find people at all," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    "In some ways, this is good news. It suggests that more people are going back to work. But it also reaffirms a troubling trend: the mismatch between the skills people have and the skills employers need. Not only does that keep workers unemployed, it can also drive some to give up on looking for work altogether-and that's tragic."

    people graph 

    The survey of 340 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in December 2015. 

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    47% of Employers Say Poor Leadership Responsible for Employee Disengagement

    Above All, Employees Want to Feel Valued

     

    PITTSBURGH, PA, April 6th, 2016 - Express Employment Professionals released new survey results revealing what employers believe are the biggest drivers of losses in employee involvement, enthusiasm and commitment to the workplace.

    In a recent poll of businesses, 47 percent identified "poor leadership" as the biggest reason for employee disengagement, followed by 17 percent who chose "lack of recognition for achievements." Eleven percent selected "no vested interest in company goals," and eight percent chose "lack of opportunities for advancement." Additionally, "poor work environment" was selected by six percent of businesses, and five percent chose "poor work/life balance."

    In a complimentary survey, job seekers and those new to the work force were also asked what factors contribute to job satisfaction. "Feeling valued" and "engaging or meaningful work" tied for the top answer with 27 percent each. Another 14 percent chose "compensation," followed by 10 percent who selected "job security," five percent chose "company benefits," and four percent selected "room for advancement."

    Despite the employer consensus that poor leadership causes disengagement, only six percent of workers agreed.

    Full results are below.

    47 1    47 2

    "Business leaders can and should focus on their leadership and communication styles to improve the job satisfaction of their workers, but as these results prove, it's not the only factor causing disengagement in the workplace," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    "Above all, employees find satisfaction in their job through meaningful work and feeling valued. Thankfully, showing appreciation to employees isn't difficult, and a simple thank you often goes a long way."

    The survey of 944 business leaders was conducted in February 2016. The survey of 122 job seekers and employees was also conducted in February 2016.  

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    Survey: Harder for Employers to Fill Jobs

    65% Say "Difficult" to Recruit and Hire

    Difficulty Increasing as Unemployment Rate Drops

    PITTSBURGH, PA, March 23, 2016 - Express Employment Professionals released today new survey results revealing the increasing difficulty that employers face when trying to recruit and fill positions.

    The findings come from a survey of 340 businesses. Respondents were asked, "Currently, how easy is it for you to recruit and fill positions?"

    Only three percent said "very easy," while 29 percent said "somewhat easy." Almost half, 49 percent, said "somewhat difficult," 16 percent said "very difficult," and another three percent said, "I don't know."

    More respondents said "very difficult" or "somewhat difficult" (65 percent) in this survey than in any of the four hiring trends surveys conducted by Express in 2015. The increase in reported difficulty corresponds with the decrease in the unemployment rate. 

    graf 

    "With the unemployment rate declining and more people headed back to work, it's not so surprising that companies are finding it a little harder to fill open positions," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    "Of course, we still have plenty of people who want jobs-and others who have given up looking altogether. Part of the difficulty has been that the people who want to work may not have the skills that employers need."

    The survey of 340 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, covers hiring trends for the first quarter of 2016. 

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    New Survey Results: Most Important Hard and Soft Skills

    Dependability Is Top Soft Skill For Third Year

    Hard Skills: Experience Matters More Than Education

    PITTSBURGH, PA, March 9th, 2016 - Express Employment Professionals released today new survey results revealing the most important hard and soft skills a job applicant should have.

    The findings come from a survey of 134 Express franchisees across the nation.

    Respondents were asked, "What are the five most important soft skills an applicant should have?"

    At the top of the list, for the third year in a row, was dependability/reliability at 72 percent, followed by motivation (48 percent), verbal communication (44 percent), teamwork (39 percent) and commitment (39 percent).

    Respondents were also asked, "What are the three most important hard skills an applicant should have?"

    Experience topped the list with 95 percent, followed by technical ability (67 percent) and training (60 percent).

    Full results are below.

    "While we've seen some fluctuation year to year in the skills ranking, it's clear that the best job applicant is one who can show experience and demonstrate dependability," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "After all, if an employer can't depend on you, then nothing else matters.

    "On the hard skills side, it's always noteworthy to see that education doesn't make the top three. That's not to say education doesn't matter, but it is an important reminder that when looking for a job, an applicant should connect his or her education with the real-world skills and talents the specific employer needs."

    soft skill 1

    soft skills 2

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    New Survey Results: Recent Grads Leave First Jobs Quickly

    71% Stay for One Year or Less

    Three Years of Results Show Generally Consistent Trends

     

    PITTSBURGH, PA, February 14th, 2016—Express Employment Professionals today released new survey results indicating that more than two-thirds of recent college graduates stay at their first career jobs for one year or less.

    The findings come from a survey of 134 Express franchisees across the nation. Respondents were asked, “How long does the average recent college graduate stay on their first career job following graduation?” A “recent college graduate” was defined as an individual graduating within the last 18 months.

    Three percent said “less than three months,” and 10 percent said “three to six months.” The majority, 58 percent, said “seven months to a year,” while 29 percent said “more than one year.” 

    In 2014, fewer respondents (23 percent) said “more than one year,” while more (63 percent) said “seven months to one year.”

    Full results are below, including results from the 2014 and 2013 surveys.

    results below

    “There’s a lot to learn at your first employment opportunity, and it’s usually worth spending time there to cultivate your workplace skills,” said Deb Gray, franchise owner of the Pittsburgh West Express office.

    The survey of 134 Express Employment Professionals franchisees was conducted in July 2015. Earlier surveys were conducted in 2014 and 2013.

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    "America's Hidden Weakness"

    New White Paper Spotlights the Shrinking Labor Force in a Growing Economy

    Current Trend Defies Precedent, Is Uniquely American

    OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan. 13, 2016 - Express Employment Professionals released today a new white paper exploring the challenges and causes of America's chronically low labor force participation rate. 

    The U.S. labor force participation rate has continued to shrink, even in a growing economy. By almost any measure, that is a surprising trend. Among most other major economies of the world, the United States is practically the only one facing this issue.

    Titled " America's Hidden Weakness ," the new white paper draws from a variety of sources and studies, including original polling, to explain why this trend is both so rare and so troubling.

    "We cannot continue to make the mistake of overlooking the dropping labor force participation rate and this almost unprecedented trend we're facing," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "If we do, we are ignoring millions of struggling Americans-and that is unacceptable. This isn't just about an aging population; it's about a not-so-hidden weakness we must confront."

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    Business Leaders Predict Solid Growth for 2016

    Just 13% Expect Decrease in Business Activity

    Outlook More Optimistic Than a Year Ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 30, 2015 - Express Employment Professionals released new survey results today revealing business leaders' business performance predictions for 2016. 

    Business leaders were asked, "What are your business performance predictions for 2016?" Of those surveyed, 50 percent say, "We will see moderate growth." Another 16 percent predict "exponential growth," while 18 percent expect to "remain steady, but unchanged." Just 13 percent say they "will likely experience a decrease in business activity. 

    This shows business leaders are overall more optimistic at the end of 2015 than they were at the conclusion of 2014. Fewer are predicting a decrease in business activity, while more are predicting growth. Nevertheless, the picture is not quite as positive as at the end of 2013, when only seven percent of respondents expected a decrease in business activity for the year ahead. Full results are below.

    "Many companies faced their share of challenges in 2015, but by and large business leaders have high expectations for 2016," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "A full two-thirds expect growth. That confidence is itself a positive sign for the economy, and if these predictions come true, 2016 may indeed be a happy new year.

    "The survey is welcome news to U.S. residents who believe the economy is not doing so well," Funk said. "We recently commissioned a Harris Poll on the American Dream and 66 percent of 2,034 U.S. respondents believe the country is headed in the wrong direction."

     

    COM15AE_12_30_15_BusPerformance1

     

     

    COM15AE_12_30_15_BusPerformance_3Yr1

    The survey was conducted via Express Employment Professionals RefreshLeadership blog, a forum for executives and business leaders. This year's survey question received 120 responses. The response choices for previous years differed from 2015 in that respondents were not given the option of choosing "moderate growth." 

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    Want a Job? Integrity Matters Most

    For Third Year, Study Reveals Traits Employers Look For

    Education Ranks Last

    OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 2, 2015 - Express Employment Professionals today released new survey results revealing which traits are most important when considering a job candidate.

    The findings come from a survey of 134 Express franchisees across the nation. Respondents were asked to rate various traits on a scale of one to five based on how important they are when evaluating applicants. This is the third year Express has released findings from its "America Employed" survey on this topic.

    This year, "work ethic/integrity" topped the list with an average rating of 4.5, followed closely by attitude, which topped the list in 2014, with a rating of 4.47. Once again, education received the lowest rating, this time with an average of 2.44.

    COM15AE_12_1_15_Chart_US

    "Every year now, integrity and attitude have been the two clear winners in this survey," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "While so many traits are important, integrity and attitude just aren't things you can acquire with on-the-job training or the right certification. Not only can they make or break a job applicant, they can fundamentally alter the work environment. 

    "As you can tell from the results, this perception is fairly consistent from year to year. As the workplace evolves, the demand for certain skills may change, but employers will never stop looking for employees with high integrity and a good attitude."

    The survey of 134 Express Employment Professionals franchisees was conducted in July 2015. Earlier surveys were conducted in 2014 and 2013.

    Express Employment Professionals explores the state of employment - and unemployment - in the United States today through a series of reports and surveys called America Employed. Each edition of America Employed focuses on a different aspect of who gets hired in America and why.

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    *Note that all articles above are written by Express Digest contributors with quotes from our franchise owner, Deb Gray.  These press releases are meant to inform our associates.