We have finally decided to dedicate a portion of our new Website to discussing a variety of topics. These topics may cover everything related to hiring, staffing or the economy. Our goal is to take a topic and combine it with over 60 years of experience in the staffing industry. The outcome will be something that will benefit job seekers and hiring managers.
For the edition of the Prestige Blog, I thought I would address the question that that I get asked on a daily basis, “Is the job market improving”? This question is one that everyone wants to know and everyone seems to have an opinion on. The simple answer is yes but unfortunately it may not feel like it to everyone. The word improving is a very ambiguous word and let’s remember what it would take to be improving, not much. It really just depends on what industry you are in. But overall, the facts say yes, the job market is improving.
First, let’s take a look at what the numbers say. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the facts are pretty evident that things have improved. Over the last 8 months, there has been a total creation of 723,000 jobs. How does this compare to the 24 months prior to that? Nearly 8.4 million jobs were lost. That statistic is staggering and could be a white paper topic on its own, but everyone is well aware of the negative so I want to focus on the positive. Most of the census jobs have ended and yet we still have significant increase in the overall number of jobs.
So where are these jobs coming from? The temporary staffing industry has the highest amount of growth of any specific sector. The industry currently has 22% more workers than this time last year. That is an increase of about 400,000 new jobs. The professional placement segment is doing quite well also. It has increased its workforce by 239,000, which equates to a 9.7% year over year growth rate.
In my opinion, one of the best indicators of the future of the job market is the Monster Employment index. This index is a measure of the number of jobs being posted online by companies compared to a benchmark established in late 2003 and early 2004. History indicates that strong employment market exists around 150 and above. During the heart of the recession, the index got as low as 114. Today it stands at 136 for August with is 12% higher than it was a year ago. So, employers are looking to hire more people than they were a year ago.
These numbers are broad for the entire market and do not focus on particular skill sets. Prestige Staffing focuses on professional staffing and our numbers are up 35% from January of this year. I believe that the professionally skilled jobs are increasing in demand but non-skilled jobs will lag in recovery. Ultimately, things are improving and will continue to do so, perhaps not at the pace that all of us would like to see, but at least we are headed in the right direction.
President/CEO – Prestige Staffing