by Donna Farrugia, CEO Nelson
Employment trends are improving. In September, we saw an increase in total employment of 248,000—a 1.9% year-over-year increase. With government employment growing very slowly, up only .2% (way below the normal level of government growth), private employment is picking up the slack, growing about 30% faster than our post-WW2 average. One exceptionally strong area is professional services at 3.9% growth. It has been going strong for a long time and has good long-term prospects.
Other job gains occurred in:
- Retail trade (+35,000 jobs)
- Employment services (+34,000)
- Leisure and hospitality (+20,000)
- Construction employment (+16,000)
- Management and technical consulting services (+12,000)
- Information/telecommunications (+12,000)
- Finance/accounting (+12,000)
- Architectural and engineering services (+6,000)
As employment grows, so does unemployment decrease. In September, the number of unemployed people decreased by 329,000. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 1.2 million.
In September, the average work week for all employees edged up to 34.6 hours. Average hourly earnings for all employees was $24.53. In looking at the past year as a whole, average hourly earnings have risen by 2%.
Temporary employment is up too, with an increase of 20,000 jobs in September—that’s a 9% year-over-year increase. This reflects the fact that companies are seeing temporary employment as a workforce strategy that makes good sense. We couldn’t agree more. As you create your workforce goals for the short and long term, we encourage you to think of us as your active partner, adding talented help as those individuals are needed.