by Donna Farrugia, CEO Nelson
News for the economy remains generally good and employment in temporary help continues to trend up. In June, 31, 500 U.S. temp jobs were added, and over the past year, 216,000 temp jobs were added in the U.S. The good news doesn’t end there—the labor forecast predicts continued high demand for temporary workers in the next quarter.
This month’s highlight is temporary employment—at a record high, up 8% year over year. Interesting to note is the fact that this recovery has been different from other recoveries in that temp employment remains a substantial percentage of overall employment. This reflects the fact that companies are now seeing temporary employment as a viable workforce strategy. With 8-10% of all new jobs being temporary jobs, that’s unlike any other period we’ve seen. There’s also an internal hiring boom, with executive search and direct hire going strong. Direct hire is seeing 7% growth in 2014 and 10% growth is forecast for 2015. Retained search is at 8% growth in 2014 and is also expected to increase to 10% in 2015.
Total employment increased by 142,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.1%. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, with 47,000 jobs added in August. Management of companies and enterprises gained 8,000 jobs, administrative and support services were up 23,000 jobs, architectural and engineering services up 3,000 jobs, and technical consulting services were also up 3,000 jobs.
In leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in August, seeing an increase of 22,000 jobs in the month. Construction employment continued to trend up also, with an increase of 20,000 jobs in August. Manufacturing and retail trade employment remained stable and unchanged.
In August, the average workweek for all employees was 34.5 hours. Overtime was unchanged at 3.4 hours. Average hourly earnings for all employees rose by 6 cents in August to $24.53. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1%.
As we’ve noted before, the staffing industry forecast is closely aligned with that of the GDP’s. As of September, the GDP forecast for 2014 is 1.9% and for 2015, the forecast is 2.9%. Temporary staffing should see 5% growth by the end of 2014 and 6% growth is expected in 2015.
To break it down by industry: IT staffing has had 7% growth and is expected to stay the same in 2015; industrial staffing is seeing solid 6% growth; finance, accounting, and engineering are at 5% growth and expected to remain that way into 2015; legal is seeing 3% growth in 2014 with 5% growth forecast for 2015; and in marketing/creative, strong growth is happening—10% growth in 2014 remaining solid into 2015.
In a time of such positive growth and turnover, all companies are encouraged to pay attention to their retention strategies. If you would like assistance putting together a strategy for retaining your most talented employees, feel free to reach out to us. We’re also highlighting the topic in our upcoming 2015 Advisor, and would be happy to provide you with a copy upon publication.