Jobless Claims Lowest in 7 Years

jobless-claims-down_blog_staff-management-SMXThe employment outlook remains positive and jobless claims have dropped to their lowest point in seven years, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) yesterday. With the unemployment rate dropping to 6.3% and an increasing number of jobs added, those searching for work can see a brighter light at the end of the tunnel. The BLS reports that the average monthly job gain over the past year stands at 190,000 for nonfarm employment. Their preliminary figure for April, 288,000 jobs added, indicates the economy is on the rise.

Temporary jobs were up 24,000 for April and have accounted for an average of 20,200 jobs gained each month over the past year, according to the BLS. Temporary job gains have resulted in a record-breaking temp penetration rate of 2.07% – a number that has grown steadily for several years. The temp penetration rate is equal to the number of temporary jobs as a percentage of total employment.

The year-over-year temporary employment rate is up 9.7% from 12 months ago. On average, jobs added through temporary help have grown 9% per year since August 2012, pointing to the continued upward movement of the temporary employment industry. Experts agree, forecasting more job gains year-over-year in this sector.

Richard Wahlquist, president and CEO of the American Staffing Association, predicts that businesses will continue to utilize staffing and recruiting firms to meet rising demand after a slow first quarter. The numbers agree with Wahlquist, showing that staffing industry revenue has grown by 6% every year since 2012 and is expected to grow another 6% in 2014 and 2015, as reported by the Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) in their April trends assessment.

SIA also reported that temporary staffing firms landed in third place for job gains during March, falling behind leisure and hospitality in first place and professional services in second. So far this year, construction jobs are also on the rise while those in the financial sector continue to decrease.

According to the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM), middle market companies (those with $10 million to $1 billion in annual revenue) are forecasting 1.4 million new hires over the next year. With sustained growth throughout these companies and the majority of middle market executives planning to invest in their businesses, the jobs outlook for this sector has already increased by 500,000 since the projection released earlier this year.

With job availability on the rise, we should continue to see a decrease in unemployment rates and expect this positive outlook to endure throughout 2014. If you ever have questions on current employment trends, leave us a comment or email me at!