Sep 01, 2014

DCR National Temp Wage Index - September 2014

temporary hourly wage

Projected hourly wages for temp workers continue to trend upwards. According to the latest figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.7 percent for the 3-month period ending June 2014. Compensation for private industry workers increased 2.0 percent over the year. Wages and salaries increased 1.9 percent for the current 12-month period ending June 2014.

U.S. Jobs Gained or Lost (in thousands)

us jobs gained

In July 2014, employers added 209,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate rose to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent in the previous month. The Labor Department attributes this increase to the 329,000 Americans who returned to search for jobs, including many who had initially dropped out of the workforce. July’s figures marked the sixth straight month of 200,000-plus employment increases.

While companies continue to be cautious due to political instability overseas and concerns about the new health care law, economists expect solid job growth throughout the remainder of the year. The Conference Board’s U.S. employment trends index increased in July to a reading of 120.31, up from June’s reading of 119.92 and 6.6 percent higher than a year ago. The Survey of Professional Forecasters released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is optimistic, predicting that nonfarm payroll employment will have job gains at a monthly rate of 204,800 in 2014 and 214,000 in 2015.

Professional and business services led the job gains, adding 47,000 jobs, while manufacturers added 28,000; retailers, 27,000; construction, 22,000; and leisure and hospitality, 21,000. Most of these jobs were for full-time positions.

According to analysis by the National Employment Law Project for the Washington Post, nearly 40 percent of the jobs created in the past six months have been in high-wage industries. In the years immediately following the recession, the economies experienced job polarization – growth at the high and low ends of the pay scale with little movement in the middle. Economists attribute this to new technologies replacing some workers, and increased competition from a global labor market. While all types of businesses reduced jobs during the recession, low-wage industries were the fastest to recover. The retail and food services industries now employ 2.3 million more workers than they did in 2007.

Job Creation by Wage Group

job creation

Source: National Employment Law Project

“I often hear that the recovery is only in low-wage jobs. That is categorically inaccurate. This recovery is creating a lot of good jobs.” ~Thomas E. Perez, Labor Secretary of the United States.

Labor Snapshot for July 2014


unemployement rate

type of work

Temp Job Gains

The U.S. added 8,500 temporary help services jobs in July 2014, and the market share of temporary help services jobs (temporary jobs as a percent of total employment) increased to an all-time high of 2.07 percent.

Year-over-year growth in temporary jobs slowed to 8.13 percent, from 8.2 percent in June and 8.5 percent in May.

According to the 2014 ASA Staffing Employee Survey by the American Staffing Association, nearly 90 percent of staffing employees said that temporary or contract work makes them more employable. Among the respondents, 22 percent stated that work schedule flexibility was an important reason for choosing temporary employment. Almost 99 percent of temporary and contract employees looking for permanent jobs are able to achieve this objective.

Temp Help Services Jobs

Temp Help service

Source: BLS

“This report is consistent with a moderation in economic growth in the second half of the year. This is a labor market that is growing solidly, just not quite as fast as in prior months.” ~Dean Maki, Chief United States Economist at Barclays.