- June 1, 2018
Unemployment at 3.8% Means Recruiting Plans Must Improve
Unemployment to only 3.8% in May according to the Labor Department. This matched April 2000 as the lowest reading since 1969!
U.S. Employers added 223,000 new jobs last month, which is a strong sign of recruiting strength for the labor market. This marked the 92th straight month of jobs creation, which extended the longest continuous jobs expansion on record.
Additionally, wages grew modestly in May by 2.7% from a year earlier. Average hourly earnings for all private-sector workers increased 8 cents last month to $26.92. The 2.7% annual gain is small compared with prerecession readings. Wages haven’t increased at better than a 3% rate from a year earlier since the recession ended in 2009. The last time unemployment was near current levels nonsupervisor wages rose 4.3% from a year earlier. The Labor Department only began tracking wages for all private-sector workers in 2006.
Improved Recruitment Methods Are Needed To Recruit Workers
As I shared as a guest on Wednesday, May 30th on CBS Radio’s WBBM News Radio we are in a War For Talent with many employers like Walmart unveiling new perks in order to better attract and retain key employees.
In the case of Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer with over 1.5 million employees, they are now offering college tuition at only $1 per day for workers enrolled in the program. They are partnering with Guild Education and offering study at either the University of Florida, Brandman University or Bellevue University.
In the case of many of our technical, engineering, scientific, IT (Information Technology, R&D (research and development) and manufacturing clients they are offering even more. This can include a wide range of perks, such as sign on bonuses and cars, to attract such key AI (artificial intelligence), VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), bitcoin or blockchain innovation and technology talent.
The key message is you now need to do more when recruiting key workers. Unfortunately, many recruitment programs are still in the dark ages.
A lot of Job Data Supports Improved Recruiting Practices!
Revised figures by the Labor Department also show employers added 159,000 jobs in April and 155,000 in March, a net upward revision of 15,000. This means that through the first five months of the year, employers have added an average of 207,000 workers to payrolls, outpacing 2017’s average monthly growth of 182,000.
These figures run counter to many economists’ expectations for hiring to broadly ease as the labor market tightens. For example, economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected 190,000 new jobs and a 3.9% unemployment rate.
A tighter labor market should also produce better wage growth, but gains have remained in check, thought they improved somewhat last month.
Friday’s jobs report showed a wide range of sectors adding new jobs. For example, health care continued is robust recruiting by adding 31,700 jobs. Employment also grew in construction, manufacturing and retail. Employment fell for temp workers. All levels of government added 5,000 jobs last month.
Finally, a broad measure of unemployment and underemployment that includes Americans stuck in part-time jobs or too discouraged to look for work fell to 7.6% from 7.8% the prior month. That rate, known as the U-6, remains somewhat elevated compared with the last time unemployment was similarly low. In December 2000, the broader measure was 6.9%.