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Automation Offers Benefits for Employers in Tight Labor Market

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November 2022
The U.S. economy added 261,000 nonfarm jobs in October, as unemployment rose from 3.5% in September to 3.7% in October. The Education and Health Services industry had the largest increase in employment in the private sector, adding 79,000 positions, while Government jobs increased by 28,000.
Learn more from the recent employment report compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and view the unemployment rate in your state.
  • Construction: +1,000
  • Manufacturing: +32,000
  • Retail Trade: +7,200
  • Transportation and Warehousing: +8,200
  • Information: +4,000
  • Professional and Business Services: +39,000
  • Education and Health Services: +79,000
  • Health Care and Social Assistance: +71,100
  • Leisure and Hospitality: +35,000
  • Government: +28,000
What Type of Holiday Party Is Your Company Planning This Year?
Automation Offers Benefits for Employers in Tight Labor Market – Oct. 26, 2022
Facing a busy holiday shopping season with a shortage of workers, nearly 80% of U.S. companies believe automation could help their business, and 74% say it's the key to keeping up with current demand, according to a survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.
With nearly two-thirds of U.S. hiring decision-makers (64%) admitting they waste time each week completing tasks that could be automated, it's not surprising that nearly half (49%) feel this tactic could help their company save time.
Saving money (42%) and increasing productivity (37%) are also among the top potential benefits of automation, while around 3 in 10 (31%) believe it could help streamline processes. Almost a quarter feel it has the potential to decrease employee workloads (23%) and/or minimize the number of errors made (23%).
Unsurprisingly, companies with more than 500 employees are more likely than those with less than 500 to report a higher average of automated functions.
New White Paper from Express: The Chasm Standing Between Job Seekers and Employers – Oct. 12, 2022
Express Employment Professionals recently released a new white paper focusing on the disconnect between job seekers and employers who are desperate for workers to come off the sidelines. Titled “The Great Divide: The Chasm Standing Between Job Seekers and Employers,” the report examines the most common barriers, including the following:
  • Child care
  • Elder care
  • Unpredictable business needs
  • Job training and skills
  • Work history and criminal history
  • Transportation and geography
  • Health issues and concerns
  • Communication issues
  • Workplace culture expectations
  • Wage expectations
"It is often assumed that people who aren't working can't find an open job. But in an economy where there are far more available jobs than people counted as unemployed, we know the situation is far more complicated," Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller said. "There are barriers standing between jobs and those who want to work. All of us need to understand these barriers so we can eliminate or overcome them as a society."
Temporary Employment Up in October
Staffing Industry Analysts – Nov. 4, 2022
After increasing in September, the U.S. temporary help industry continued to grow in October by adding 11,800 jobs, slightly less from the downwardly revised 12,600 jobs added in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the revisions in August and September, temporary jobs were 28,500 lower than previously reported. The total temporary jobs reached nearly 3.2 million.

The number of temporary jobs as a percentage of overall employment (temporary penetration rate) stayed at 2.07% in October, posting the same rate for six consecutive months.

“Whatever economic clouds may be on the horizon for 2023, current conditions in the U.S. labor market remain very strong, from job gains to job openings to elevated quit rates,” said Timothy Landhuis, VP of research at Staffing Industry Analysts. “As such, the environment remains very favorable for U.S. staffing firms, especially those with strong recruiting and retention capabilities.” 
Employment Trends Index Decreased in October 
The Conference Board – Nov. 7, 2022
After an increase in September, The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) decreased from an upwardly revised 120.73 in September to 119.57 in October. The decrease can be attributed to negative readings from four out of eight index components: “Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find ‘Jobs Hard to Get,’” “Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance,” “Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales,” and “Job Openings.”

“The ETI decreased in October 2022 and has been flat since early 2022, but it remains at a high level and a clear turning point in the Index is not yet visible,” said Frank Steemers, Senior Economist at The Conference Board. “Therefore, job growth will likely continue over the next months, albeit at a slowing pace. Indeed, the labor market remains resilient with job gains still strong, but the Fed’s rapid monetary policy tightening is expected to have a more visibly negative impact on the pace of hiring by early 2023.”
Consumer Confidence Declines in October
The Conference Board – Oct. 25, 2022
After two consecutive months of increases, U.S. consumer confidence declined in October. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index decreased from a downwardly revised reading of 107.8 in September to 102.5 in October. The short-term outlook of consumers decreased as the Expectations Index was down from 79.5 in September to 78.1 in October. The Present Situation Index, which shows current views on business and labor conditions, was down from 150.2 in September to 138.9 in October.
The report also found that 45.2% of respondents felt jobs were currently plentiful, down from 49.2% in September; while the amount of those who said jobs were hard to get was up from 11.1% in September to 12.7% in October.
US Inflation Remained High in October
Wall Street Journal – Nov. 10, 2022
After eclipsing the 8% mark for six consecutive months, U.S. inflation eased slightly month-over-month in October, yet remained high year-over-year. According to the Labor Department, the consumer price index (CPI), which measures what consumers pay for goods and services, decreased slightly by an annual rate of 7.7% in October compared to the same month last year. After doubling its rate in August over July to 0.6%, and easing to 0.4% in September, the month-over-month CPI continued to rise by 0.4% in October. Excluding volatile categories of energy and food prices, Core CPI rose 6.3% compared to October 2021, down from the largest gain since August 1982 of 6.6% in September.
“A strong labor market and strong job growth supports strong demand, which allows inflationary pressures to stay elevated,” said Blerina Uruci, U.S. economist at T. Rowe Price. “You’ve got more demand chasing goods and services, the supply of which is being impaired at the moment for a number of reasons.”
Before pandemic-related issues, inflation was at 1.8% in 2019, below the 2% goal of the Federal Reserve.
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