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.
Total employment increased by 288,000 in June, led by employment growth in professional and business services, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and health care. Other areas of growth in June included transportation and warehousing employment, financial activities, manufacturing, insurance, plus real estate, rental, and leasing.
The unemployment rate declined to 6.1% in June. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed have declined by 1.4 percentage points and 2.3 million, respectively. Likewise, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 293,000 in June to 3.1 million.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the fact that the “quit rate” is up (job openings are up about 10%) is good. It means workers are feeling confident in the state of the economy and about their chances for improving their work situations. Average weekly overtime is also up, which indicates that businesses are doing well, with many needing to hire additional workers.
In June, the average workweek for all employees was 34.5 hours, with the manufacturing workweek a little longer at 41.1 hours. Average hourly earnings for all employees in June rose by 6 cents to $24.45. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.0%.
One area of concern is the lack of required skills or education needed for today’s increasing technical and skills-based positions. Companies are reporting that certain jobs are remaining open for six months or longer. A recent survey performed by Staffing Industry Analysts found that the number one concern of companies hiring staffing firms was worker quality. As a company of recruiters and staffing professionals with a very broad network of connections, Nelson is distinctly qualified to help fill positions with high-quality talent. That will certainly remain our focus in this third quarter and beyond.