In July 2016, the U.S. economy added 255,000 jobs, according to the latest report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The national unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 4.9 percent, while the labor force participation rate increased slightly to 62.8 percent. Average hourly wages for private workers grew by 8 cents to $25.69, an increase of 0.3 percent from the previous month.
The largest job gains were found in professional and business services (70,000 jobs added), leisure and hospitality (45,000 jobs added), and health services (43,000 jobs added). The mining sector lost 6,000 jobs.
Employment in Total Non-Farm, Over-the-month Change, July 2016
Half of U.S. Employees Seeking New Jobs
A new research report entitled “Competition for Talent in the U.S.” by iCIMS reveals that 63 percent of full-time employees in the United States are looking for a new job. Not only are workers willing to leave their place of employment, but also 77 percent are willing to switch industries and 56 percent would give up their full-time position to join the gig economy. The industries most sought out include technology/software, communications, entertainment/ banking/finance, and consulting.
The survey further reveals that 92 percent of full-timers agree that companies which offer nontraditional benefits (such as student loan reimbursement, pet insurance, paid sabbaticals, child adoption benefits, and on-site massages) are more likely to recruit top-tier talent. Almost 70 percent of full-time employees are not completely satisfied with the benefits they are currently offered at their companies, and 42 percent feel that they have limited opportunities for growth.
A new report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) indicates that the average cost-per-hire today is $4,129 and the average time it takes to fill a position is 42 days.
Other key findings from the report include:
Average employee tenure is eight years
The annual turnover rate is 19 percent, and the involuntary turnover rate is 8 percent
The average salary increase was 2.7 percent each year
An average of 66 percent of employers participated in a 401K or similar plan
One-third of companies (34 percent) had a succession plan
Tuition reimbursement was offered by 61 percent of employers, with the average maximum reimbursement allowed per year being $4,000
The Cost of Poor Worker Engagement
According to recent data from Gallup, 67.4 percent of employees are disengaged or actively disengaged, costing the U.S. economy between $450-550 billion per year. With 125 million employees in the country, this equates to an average cost per disengaged employee of between $4,500 and $5,500 per year.
On-Demand Worker Sentiments
A recent report by TINYpulse studied over 250 self-identified on-demand workers to learn about the on-demand experience for independent contractors spanning the healthcare, events, food, driving, and lodging industries.
Key findings from the report include:
Most on-demand workers want to be paid more
The happiest on-demand workers often work 40-60 hours a week while the least happy are often those earning less than $40,000
One-third of participants rely on their on-demand job as their only source of income
Almost 60 percent (58 percent) of on-demand workers were men; and 48 percent of participants were between 45-64 years old.
Workers employed in on-demand positions in the events and errands industries reported the highest earnings, with annual incomes often over $150,000.
Is the American Economy Anxious About the Elections?
It seems that the upcoming U.S. presidential election has the economy jittery. According to analysts, consumer expending was restrained in July 2016, though many experts had expected an increase. Also, companies have been reluctant to invest in equipment and factories. For three consecutive quarters, business investment in factories, equipment, and technology has fallen, the longest streak of decline since 1979.
A recent poll by the National Association for Business Economics indicated that 11 percent of its members have postponed hiring and investment decisions until after the elections in November 2016. More than 50 percent of its members consider this year’s election to be a negative for the economy.
A survey of small businesses revealed that the political climate ranked second to the economy as a reason to delay spending.
“Uncertainty is high, expectations for better business conditions are low, and future business investments look week. Our data indicates that there is little hope for a surge in the small business sector anytime soon.” ~Bill Dunkelberg, Chief Economist at the National Federation of Independent Business