PageGroup Reports Third-Quarter Results
Page Group News Release
Michael Page International PLC reported gross profit of £139.2 million in the third quarter of 2015, up 4.8% (10.2% in constant currency) from £132.9 million a year ago.
Third-quarter gross profits in the Americas totaled £19.5 million, down 2.4% (up 5.5% in constant currency) from £20 million a year ago.
Small-Business Optimism Continues to Be Low in September
NFIB News Release
U.S. small-business confidence was lackluster in September, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Optimism Index. The index gained 0.2 points to reach 96.1 last month, and remains well below the 42-year average of 98.0.
Reported job creation returned to its best level of the year, with owners adding a net 0.18 workers per firm in recent months, up 0.05 from August. Fifty-three percent reported hiring or trying to hire (down 3 points), but 45% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Fourteen percent reported using temporary workers, down 1 point after a cumulative 3 percentage point decline over the past few months. Twenty-seven percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down 2 points from the highest reading for the year. Highly correlated with the unemployment rate, little change is expected. A net 12% plan to create new jobs, down 1 point. Historically this is a solid number and supportive of positive job creation.
“Small-business optimism continues to be stagnant, which is consistent with the expected economic growth of about 2.5%,” says Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB chief economist. “The percent of owners citing the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their most important business problem increased and is now third on the list behind taxes and regulations. This is the highest reading since 2007 and suggests that employers will continue to face wage pressure in order to attract and keep good employees.”
Opinion: The Golden Goose Is on the Run
Wall Street Journal
(10/12/15) Bob Funk
Free enterprise is “under assault” according to this opinion piece by Bob Funk, chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals, and too many politicians do not take into account how regulations will affect companies and employees. Concerns about regulatory burdens ranging from U.S. National Labor Board decisions to increases in the minimum wage are influencing employers’ hiring and wage decisions.
Despite seemingly rosy economic numbers—an unemployment rate of 5.1% and second-quarter gross domestic product growth of an annualized 3.9%—the numbers don’t tell the whole story. “Economics—and logic—tells us that if unemployment was truly that low and GDP that high, wages would be rising,” writes Funk. “Instead, wages grew at 0.2% during the second quarter, the slowest rate in 33 years.”
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