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Layoffs Drop Significantly in June

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As everyone anxiously awaits tomorrow’s employment numbers, a separate report is showing that companies are making the lowest number of layoffs in over a year.

The most recent report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that employers made 37,551 layoffs during June, a whopping 39 percent decrease from May, and marking the lowest number of job cuts in the last 13 months.

Although we’re not out of the woods yet, this is a huge step in the right direction, and offers a glimmer of hope at a time when many people are predicting that the economy is still getting worse.

“Even with recent signs that the economy is headed for another summer slump or worse, including the first contraction in manufacturing activity in three years, employers appear reluctant to shed too many workers,” Challenger CEO John A. Challenger said in a press release. “While it does not take long to shrink payrolls, it can take a significant amount of time to rebuild them, particularly as reports of the growing skills gap becomes more widespread.”

Even more encouraging is that the biggest job cuts in June were in education, just in time for schools and universities to wrap up things for the summer. And even that industry’s 6,569 layoffs were down 36 percent from last year.


“Continued weakness in the recovery will further delay hiring, which will, in turn, further delay the full recovery,” Challenger said. “Whether or not we see an  increase in job cuts depends on the length and severity of the recovery’s slowdown.

“However, barring some major economic catastrophe, companies in  the U.S. are likely to hold steady for the remainder of the year,” he added. “We probably  will not see a major ramp up in hiring or firing; certainly, not before the November elections. Even after the election and regardless of who wins, it  could be several months until companies understand the full implications of  the outcome and how to plan for the future.”

Check out the full report for more info on what industries and states are seeing the most layoffs, the top reasons companies are letting people go, and the industries planning to hire in the coming months.

Employers Ramp Up Hiring for Olympic Games

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The Olympic Games are a time-tested tradition enjoyed throughout the world, but beyond the athletes and the competition, it’s the employees behind the scenes who keep the event running smoothly.

Traditionally, the Olympic Games are held every two years, alternating between summer and winter events. The host city changes for each event as well, with this year’s games being hosted in London.

The Olympics regularly attract participants from more than 200 nations around the world, which means there is a huge influx of visitors to the host city. It is estimated that the London games will cost $14.8 billion.

But that cost is well worth it for the city, which will see plenty of business before, during, and after the games take place. Obviously, Olympic Park itself will see most of the business, but patronage will flow all throughout the city as guests book rooms at local hotels, make reservations at local restaurants, and tour around local landmarks.

Given the amount of business the games will bring to the city, it’s imperative that local businesses ramp up their hiring efforts in order to meet demand. That means figuring out a way to hire a large number of talented employees within a small period of time.

To help with the hiring efforts, game officials have established a program that will help unemployed people and students find a job related to the games. A total of 100,000 people are expected to nab paid positions in catering and hospitality, cleaning and waste, event services, retail, and security.

“The vision of London 2012 is to use the power of the Games to inspire lasting change. Part of that vision is inspiring lasting change in London’s communities, particularly in the east of the capital where much of the Games is being held. Getting people into work – some of whom might have been unemployed for a long time or may have never had a job before – is a key element of the area’s regeneration.”

Opportunities are also available with the ceremonies department, which is in charge of putting together the actual opening and closing ceremonies, and the London 2012 Organizing Committee.

Unemployment Hits Veterans Harder than Most

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The most recent unemployment rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 8.2%. Yet, that number is higher for veterans.

In the article, “Veteran-Friendly Job Resources to Ease Vets Back into Job Market,” writer and human resources consultant Deborah S. Hildebrand notes that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Unfortunately, the unemployment rate in 2010 for veterans who have served since September 2001 was at 11.7%, while the August 1, 2011 TIME.com article, “More Young Veterans Jobless,” put the current unemployment rate for veterans at around 13%. Both numbers exceed the current national average of 9.2%

The experts say that the most likely reason is that many companies don’t make the connection between military experience and recruiting candidates for their open positions.

Granted, much of the problem has to do with how veterans view themselves. When they develop their resume, they often use military acronyms and a government formatted resume that is foreign to private human resources professionals and hiring managers. Veterans need to learn how to translate their years of experience and skills into the right words.

Beyond that, employers need to rethink how they look at the men and women who served this country. Defense contractors, for instance, often hire veterans with security clearances who can work on top-secret projects.

For other employers who are not as sure about recruiting veterans, there are tax benefits as well as government funding for training and worker relocation, such as VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.

This initiative made changes to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) by adding two new categories. It allows for-profit employers to claim a credit of up to $9,600 for qualified veterans who begin work before January 1, 2013 or up to $6,240 for qualified tax-exempt organizations. For more information, visit the IRS website.

Additionally, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) offers resources to assist employers in hiring veterans including a Veteran’s Hiring Tool Kit and no-cost consultation and technical assistance.

[Infographic] The Meteoric Rise of Branchout

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Small Business Recruiting Important to Economy

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What this country needs is more small businesses. So the U.S. Department of Labor recently announced it was providing $35 million for states to help develop, enhance, and promote Self-Employment Assistance programs to encourage unemployed Americans to realize their dreams of business ownership.

The program allows “participants who are currently receiving or eligible for federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits” to receive “financial assistance equal to their Unemployment Insurance benefits while they receive important entrepreneurial training and resources to help launch their own businesses.”

Small Business Vital to Recruiting

Small businesses not only create opportunity for their owners, but they create opportunities for other small businesses, as well as job seekers in the community. As the Small Business Administration suggests:

“… The overall importance of the small busi­ness community has been well documented and the importance of new venture creation is widely recognized.”

And nowhere is this more important than in the creation of new jobs. In fact, as of 2010, the SBA reported that small businesses (fewer than 500 employees per the SBA) accounted for 75 percent of net new jobs in the U.S.

Additionally, a study conducted by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) suggested that entrepreneurship is a major factor in any country’s well-being in both economic and job growth.

Technology Makes Small Businesses Competitive

However, the difficulty for many small businesses and entrepreneurs is in competing with larger organizations. That’s where technology can provide an advantage.

Technology makes small businesses competitive. As Stephanie Faris suggests in her article, “Technology Helps Small Businesses Restore Competitiveness to U.S. Economy”:

“Thanks to technology, those smaller companies can now compete with the largest corporations in the country. Cloud services are leveling the playing field, allowing small and mid-sized businesses to tackle larger projects …”

And one such large project is managing the recruiting function. That’s where PCRecruiter can help.

We offer tools that enable human resource and other business professionals to manage the entire recruiting process, from requisition approval and submission to resume database management and diversity tracking. Whatever you need to streamline staffing, we have the recruiting software tools that are right for your current needs.