The DCR National Temp Wage Index continues to rise steadily in July 2014. Job numbers released by The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that non-farm payrolls added 217,000 jobs in May 2014. The unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 6.3 percent.
Professional and business services added 55,000 jobs, while the healthcare sector gained 34,000 jobs – twice its average monthly gain for the past 12 months. Average hourly earnings increased 5 cents to $24.38, and the PayScale Index expects to see a 0.8 percent growth in wages for the second quarter of 2014. Over the past 12 months, wages are up 2.1 percent and inflation has risen 1.6 percent.
The number of U.S. temporary help services job increased by 14,300 jobs, totaling almost 2.9 million jobs. The temp penetration rate remained the same at a high of 2.07 percent.
The U.S. employment services industry had revenues of $68.06 billion in the first quarter of 2014, according to seasonally adjusted estimates from The Census Bureau. This is a 2.6 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2013. The employment services category includes employment placement agencies, temporary employment agencies, and professional employer organizations.
The American Staffing Association (ASA) Employment and Sales Survey found that U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 2.96 million temporary and contract workers per week in the first quarter of 2014, a growth of 3.2 percent from the prior year.
According to a national employment report released by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), hiring in the U.S. manufacturing and services sector for June is expected to reach a four-year high. The report’s survey found that 61.4 percent of manufacturing companies have plans to hire in June, while 49.6 percent of service-sector employers plan to add to their workforces.
In April 2014, the number of U.S. job openings increased by 6.9 percent compared to the previous month. The job openings rate, which is a measure of job openings compared to total employment, rose from 2.9 percent in March to 3.1 percent in April, according to the BLS.
Despite Job Growth, Economists are Concerned
Though the economy continues to add jobs every month and unemployment remains steady, some economists are concerned that the quality of jobs is lacking. The number of jobs in typically well-paying fields, such as manufacturing, construction, and government, have shrunk, while lower-wage positions have grown. The U.S. has 1.6 million fewer manufacturing jobs than when the recession began, but 941,000 more jobs in the accommodation and food service sector. Over 40% of the jobs added in the past year have been in generally lower-paying fields.
Compared to January 2008, jobs in construction are down by 20 percent, manufacturing by 11.7 percent, and banking by 4.8 percent. Over the same period, temp jobs are up 16 percent and leisure and hospitality positions have increased by 8.1 percent.
“It is a quality game much more than it is a quantity game. We’re not really seeing that high-wage recovery that is indicative of a strong consumer lining their pockets with wages and going out and spending.” ~Lindsey Piegza, Chief Economist at Sterne Agee
However, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics says that the quality of new jobs has improved in the last twelve to eighteen months. In May 2014, the strongest sectors were business and professional services and healthcare.
“Now we’re seeing increasingly greater numbers of high-paying jobs being created and some middle-paying jobs. My sense is, going forward, we’re going to see much better-quality job creation.” ~Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics
The U.S. economy has grown at a pace of 2 percent since recovery began in mid-2009, and many economists project a growth pace of at least 3 percent in the second quarter of 2014.
Employment Change in Sectors Since Start of Recession
Source: The Wall Street Journal
“The underlying hiring trend…is encouraging, with more good news expected through the summer and into the autumn months.” ~Bart van Ark, Chief Economist at The Conference Board