Staffing Today Returns Sept. 4
Across U.S., Pace of Jobs Recovery Is All Over the Map
USA Today (08/31/12) Paul Davidson; Barbara Hansen
Just under half of the 8.8 million U.S. jobs lost during the recession have been recovered during the last three years, and the pace of recovery is uneven on a state-by-state basis. The recovery is being led by states with a strong energy industry, and the Rust Belt is benefiting from a rebound in the auto and other manufacturing sectors; but states hit hard by the housing crash, like Florida and Georgia, are lagging behind. An analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics quarterly data since January 2007 by USA Today indicates that only North Dakota, Louisiana, Alaska, and Texas, known for their booming energy sectors, along with the District of Columbia, have returned to peak employment, though up to 33% of lost jobs have been recovered in half of the states. The uneven recovery can be attributed to the fact that the technology, biotech, and global finance industries are spread throughout the U.S., rather than concentrated in the major cities, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.
Majority of New Jobs Pay Low Wages, Study Finds
New York Times (08/31/12) Catherine Rampell
A new report by the National Employment Law Project, which the New York Times describes as a liberal research and advocacy group, divides 366 occupations tracked by the U.S. Department of Labor into three groups by wage and found that 60% of job losses from early 2008 to early 2010 were in the middle range of wages, or jobs with median hourly wages of $13.84 to $21.13, but these jobs made up only 22% of total job growth since then. Higher-wage jobs with median wages of $21.14 to $54.55 accounted for 19% of job losses during the recession and 20% of job gains during the recovery period. However, low-wage occupations with median wages of $7.69 to $13.83 have made up 58% of job growth in recent years, yet accounted for only 21% of job losses when employment was declining. Although some of these lower-wage jobs are being filled by recent high school and college graduates, they also are being taken by older workers who became unemployed during the recession, many of whom also have taken temporary jobs in retail, home health care, and other industries to make ends meet.
Jobs Outlook Remains Tepid
New York Times (08/30/12)
Although recent weekly government labor market data indicate sluggish job creation in August, Moody’s Analytics believes overall job growth for the month will be stronger than in the spring. Moody’s is forecasting a slight decrease in the unemployment rate from 8.3% in July to 8.2%. It predicts a rise in nonfarm payrolls by 145,000, which is less than the 163,000 posted last month but higher than the 73,000 average for the second quarter. However, Moody’s says an increase in the four-week moving average of continuing claims for unemployment benefits, weak consumer confidence, and a lackluster “beige book” report from the U.S. Federal Reserve could mean August job growth may be less than forecast.
Bernanke Speech Addresses Labor Market Concerns
MarketWatch (08/31/12) Greg Robb
U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech today calls the stagnation in the U.S. labor market a grave concern. While indicating he is open to using more quantitative easing as needed to help, Bernanke is not promising to take action. He downplays the costs of quantitative easing and says the program has worked to “provide meaningful support” to the recovery. Bernanke terms current growth “tepid” and says the economy is “far from satisfactory.”
“Taking due account of the uncertainties and limits of its policy tools, the Federal Reserve will provide additional policy accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability,” Bernanke says.
ASA for You
Succeeding in the staffing business means always being one step ahead of the next industry trend, regulatory shift, or legislative change. Recently, the ASA legal team conducted a free Webinar on potential lawsuits resulting from government guidance on the use of criminal background checks, mandates related to the health care reform law that are set to take effect in 2014, possible business changes resulting from the November elections, and other pressing issues that can affect your bottom line.
Did you miss this important Webinar? Contact Kim Potter at 703-253-2051 to obtain a free recording, or register for the next complimentary Webinar on legislative and regulatory issues, which takes place Sept. 11, 3$ndash;4 p.m. Eastern time.
In observance of Labor Day, Staffing Today will not be delivered Monday, Sept. 3.