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Extraordinary Employee Incentives Still in Play Amidst Possible Labor Market Cool Down

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September 2022
The U.S. economy added 315,000 nonfarm jobs in August, as unemployment rose from 3.5% in July to 3.7% in August. The Professional and Business Services industry and the Education and Health Services industry both had the largest increase in employment in the private sector, adding 68,000 positions, while Government jobs increased by 7,000.
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: +16,000
  • Manufacturing: +22,000
  • Retail Trade: +44,000
  • Transportation and Warehousing: +4,800
  • Information: +7,000
  • Professional and Business Services: +68,000
  • Education and Health Services: +68,000
  • Health Care and Social Assistance: +61,500
  • Leisure and Hospitality: +31,000
  • Government: +7,000
How Will Your Company Handle the Extra Workload this Holiday Season?
Extraordinary Employee Incentives Still in Play Amidst Possible Labor Market Cool Down – Aug. 24, 2022
While some segments of the U.S. labor force have started to eliminate positions amid labor market and economic instability, a recent survey indicates competition for top talent is still fierce as 80% of companies are taking steps to make hiring easier, according to a new study from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

Four in five U.S. hiring decision-makers (80%) say their company is taking steps to make hiring easier-including offering higher starting salaries (33%) and hiring bonuses (29%). More than a quarter report they are offering remote work (27%) and/or offering better benefits (e.g., more paid time off, flexible hours, etc.) (27%). Around 1 in 5 say their company is expanding the geographic area where they advertise open positions (e.g., other cities, states, etc.) (21%), offering more internships (19%) and/or reducing qualification criteria for open jobs (19%).

Seventy-one percent of businesses also report they have improved benefits in the hopes of retaining current employees or attracting new ones. Further, 3 in 10 say they have increased the amount of paid time off offered to employees (32%), increased the amount of sick leave offered (31%) and/or offered additional healthcare incentives, such as a gym membership or mental health resources (28%).
Employers Scouting for Full-Time, Lower-Level Employees – Sept. 14, 2022
Hiring efforts continue to climb as 90% of U.S. hiring decision-makers say their company plans to hire employees in key departments through the end of the year and are looking to bring full-time, mid- or entry-level workers on board.

IT/technology support (29%), customer service (26%), general labor (25%) and sales (25%) are among the top positions companies plan to hire for in 2022. This is according to a new survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

Hiring managers most commonly plan to hire full-time employees (84%), either hourly (59%) or salaried (48%). Interest in hiring full-time employees has been steadily increasing since the first half of 2020, when 66% said they planned to hire full-time employees in 2020, compared to today, when 84% report their intentions to hire full-time employees in 2022.

When it comes to the job levels of open positions, mid-level (55%) and entry-level (52%) rise to the top. Around 3 in 10 companies are planning to hire senior-level employees (31%), about a quarter for individual contributors (26%) and/or a fifth for C-suite executives (20%).
Temporary Employment Up in August
Staffing Industry Analysts – Sept. 2, 2022
After growing in July, the U.S. temporary help industry continued to grow in August by adding 11,600 jobs, up from 8,500 added in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the revisions in June and July, temporary jobs were 900 higher than previously reported.
The number of temporary jobs as a percentage of overall employment (temporary penetration rate) remained at 2.07% in August, the same rate recorded for the past four months.
“This jobs report is very encouraging on several levels for the U.S. economy and staffing industry,” said Timothy Landhuis, VP of research at SIA. “Job gains were very healthy across all sectors of the economy, the labor force participation rate rose as more individuals chose to re-enter the workforce, and growth in pay rates decelerated, allowing the Federal Reserve to use a lighter touch on continued interest rate hikes.”
Employment Trends Index Increased in August 
The Conference Board – Sept. 6, 2022
After a slight decrease in July, The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) increased from an upwardly revised 118.21 in July to 119.06 in August. The increase can be attributed to positive readings from four out of eight index components: “Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance,” “Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find ‘Jobs Hard to Get,’” “Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales,” and “Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry.”
“August’s increase in the Employment Trends Index indicates the labor market is currently still adding jobs at a robust pace,” said Frank Steemers, Senior Economist at The Conference Board. “But with headwinds in the rest of the economy already evident, expect job growth to decelerate for the remainder of the year. In 2023, the labor market may look very different from today. With the U.S. increasingly likely to fall into recession before the end of 2022, the pace of hiring will probably slow and the number of jobs openings will decrease. On the other hand, attracting and retaining workers may continue to be difficult. Labor shortages may continue to be a challenge for businesses, and even if they ease during a coming recession, they could soon reappear after economic activity picks up again. Therefore, employers may try to hold onto their workers.”
Consumer Confidence Rebounds in August
The Conference Board – Aug. 30, 2022
After decreasing for the past three months, U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in August. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index increased from a downwardly revised reading of 95.3 in July to 103.2 in August. The short-term outlook of consumers improved as the Expectations Index was up from 65.6 in July to 75.1 in August. The Present Situation Index, which shows current views on business and labor conditions, was up from 139.7 in July to 145.4 in August.
The report also found that 48% of respondents felt jobs were currently plentiful, down from 49.2% in July; while the amount of those who said jobs were hard to get was down from 12.4% in July to 11.4% in August.
“Consumer confidence increased in August after falling for three straight months,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The Present Situation Index recorded a gain for the first time since March. The Expectations Index likewise improved from July’s nine-year low, but remains below a reading of 80, suggesting recession risks continue. Concerns about inflation continued their retreat but remained elevated.”
US Inflation Remains High in August
Wall Street Journal – Sept. 13, 2022
After reaching 9.1% in June and 8.5% in July, U.S. inflation remained high in August, driven by rising food and housing costs. According to the Labor Department, the consumer price index (CPI), which measures what consumers pay for goods and services, increased by an annual rate of 8.3% in July compared to the same month last year. After easing its 25-month consecutive increases in July, month-over-month the CPI rose 0.6% in August, doubling July’s rate. June marked the first time this century that inflation reached 9%; however, August marked the fifth consecutive month of eclipsing the 8% mark.
Core prices, which excludes volatile categories of energy and food, rose 6.3% year over year in August, up from June and July’s rate of 5.9%.
Food prices remain an issue for many consumers and were up 0.8% in August month over month. While housing costs, which account for nearly one third of the CPI, rose 0.7% month over month.
Before pandemic-related issues and higher government spending, inflation was at 1.8% in 2019,
below the 2% goal of the Federal Reserve.
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