How today’s BLS Unemployment Report will impact workforce strategy
This month, 244,000 jobs were added and unemployment moved up slightly to 9 percent. Another mixed bag of news for jobs today. And it’s really more indicative of the fragile recovery that continues to help the U.S. economy chug along in a slow, but thankfully, positive direction.
Looking at the temporary numbers from today’s BLS Unemployment Report, the statistics show that these additions remained mostly steady from March, when 34,000 temporary jobs were added, to April. Some other highlights: The private sector far outpaced government jobs, manufacturing added about 29,000 jobs, and services nearly doubled manufacturing’s numbers, sitting at about 51,000 jobs.
If you’re looking for a detailed analysis from an economist, I’d suggest taking a minute to read this morning’s live blog about the numbers, courtesy of Matt Phillips and Dave Kansas, on The Wall Street Journal’s MarketBeat. It’s a pretty good breakdown of how to read the numbers and how they immediately impact the markets. A fair (in my opinion) evaluation of whether or not to read the jobs performance positively or negatively without the spin that comes from both sides of the political divide.
Here, I try to dissect how economic, industry, and environmental factors impact the composition of the workforce from the perspective of both employers and employees. To that end, what I can offer anecdotally is that not much has changed from March to April. As a professional staffing services provider, Yoh has seen consistent demand, and our candidates have reported an equal consistency in the opportunities that they have had.
Employers continue to strategically leverage temporary, technical professionals to strike a balance of contractor and permanent labor that allows them to continue to push tactical and strategic objectives forward. The stories of plenty-of-capital-on-hand seem to be true from what we see and hear, and a steady flow of that capital is beginning to make its way into new projects and initiatives.
All in all, it seems like an intermission of sorts, and while the audience is hopeful that the second act will be significantly more prosperous than the first, there still remains uncertainty. Smart organizations are taking the time to use this intermission wisely. Strategically mapping out immediate and long-term talent needs, crafting efforts that increase employee engagement in order to protect themselves from possible future high turnover, creating communities of talent (both inside and outside the organizational walls), and insisting on more focused attention from contract labor suppliers.
Slow and steady growth certainly beats the alternative, and the investment organizations are making to continuously improve how they build, manage, and maintain a diversely comprised workforce will inevitably reap dividends when recovery turns toward general growth.