Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment’

Layoffs Drop Significantly in June

Written by Blogger on . Posted in Industry

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

Written by Blogger on . Posted in Industry

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.

A Look at Employment and What’s Ahead

Written by Blogger on . Posted in Industry

Is the economy headed for another meltdown or are we just experiencing a hiccup in the national recovery?

That’s what experts are asking after after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest employment numbers for May at the end of last week, which were much lower than the anticipated addition of 150,000 jobs.

Overall, the nation added only 69,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.2 percent. There were a total of 12.7 million unemployed people, with the number of long-term unemployed people rising from 5.1 million to 5.4 million.

Lawrence Creatura, a stock portfolio manager with Federated Investors, told the Associated Press:

“The jobs report was just bad … What we’re seeing is that the job market, post-financial crisis, has not been able to reignite itself. It hasn’t been able to set off that chain reaction where an improving economy creates more jobs, and more jobs improve the economy, creating more jobs. That hasn’t started yet.”

Most major industries didn’t see a lot of movement in terms of employment, with employers in the healthcare, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade industries being the only ones to add a significant number of jobs. On the downside, the construction industry took a turn for the worse.

Unimpressive Numbers

Including the May employment numbers, the U.S. has added an average of 96,000 jobs during each of the last three months, which is down from the 245,000 average gain between December and February.

In addition, experts point out that the main reason the increase in unemployment was so small is because a lot of people stopped looking for work, so they’re no longer counted among the unemployment rolls.

And even worse – the BLS revised its employment numbers for March and April, dropping them from 154,000 to 143,000 and from 115,000 to 77,000, respectively.

Sheila Dewan at The New York Times notes:

“Economists can explain away a month or two of dismal numbers, but a three-month run is difficult to ignore. The economy now seems to be following the spring slowdown pattern of the last two years — a bright spot of accelerating growth followed by a slump. The news on Friday even raised mentions of a possibility that dogged last year’s forecasts but did not come to pass: another recession.”

Of course, the weak employment figures are having an effect on the entire global market as well, especially since they came shortly after other data that points to weakening economies in Europe and Asia. Financial markets from Wall Street to Germany took a dive today.

A Few Positives

The good thing is that a few key industries did continue adding jobs during May:

  • Transportation and warehousing – The industry added 36,000 jobs over the month, with ground passenger transportation accounting for most of that gain.
  • Healthcare – With an addition of 33,000 workers, the healthcare industry continued its ever-growing trend, with much of the employment gain coming from the ambulatory healthcare services sector.
  • Manufacturing – One of the most important industries to our economy, manufacturing added 12,000 jobs last month, with employers in fabricated metal products and primary metals hiring the most workers.

Mostly Negatives

Aside from the overall paltry employment figures, the BLS report found that most industries saw little to no change in employment, while one of our most significant industries actually lost workers.

The construction industry, which along with manufacturing has long been a primary indicator of the overall health of the economy, lost 28,000 jobs during May. Payrolls were cut in specialty trade contractors and heavy and civil engineering construction.

Most of the other industries that we pay close attention to on a monthly basis – professional and business services; mining and logging; retail trade; information; financial activities; leisure and hospitality; and government – all saw little or no change in employment last month.

Looking Ahead

In reality, the economy sways back and forth so much that it’s hard to predict what effect the May employment numbers will have in the next several weeks and months.

As Tim Duy wrote over at Forbes:

“Two thoughts come to mind. First, I have said it before and I will say it again: If you become either too optimistic or too pessimistic about the path of the US recovery, you will almost certainly be slapped down in a matter of months.

 

“Second, this summer is looking like a carbon copy of 2011. The US data is turning softer just while the European saga is heating up. This time, we have some additional icing on the cake, with emerging markets faltering as well. And that black box that is China could be in free fall for all we know – commodity prices and cash outflows are pointing to some real distress.”

Many experts think that if legislators in Washington, D.C. don’t do anything to help the economy improve at a faster rate, the Federal Reserve will be forced to step in

Sandra Pianalto, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, told the Wall Street Journal:

“Right now I feel that our accommodative monetary policy is appropriate given my outlook. I always want to balance the risks and costs of doing more. I have an outlook for inflation to remain close to our 2% objective through 2014. It’s important to take a balanced approach on what more we can do for broader economic growth. We need to make sure that we maintain our stable price objective so you have to balance those two objectives.”