What’s Going on In the Economy?

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The economy and current job market is something that impacts each of us and every industry. A healthier economy means a stronger job market. And in recent months, there has been some promising news as well as some unfavorable news.

First, the good news:

  • Employment rates rose in April as hiring became stronger than in the first quarter.
  • According to the Department of Labor, nonfarm payrolls rose by 165,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent, which is the lowest it has been since December 2008.
  • Other payrolls rose by 138,000 jobs in March, 50,000 more than previously reported, and job growth for February was revised up to 332,000, the largest increase since May 2010.
  • Job counts for February and March were revised up by a net 114,000.

There’s also been promising news from Wall Street, where U.S. stocks are going strong and both the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average have been closing at record highs. Treasury debt prices tumbled, while the value of the American dollar beat the yen for a week.

Experts feel that the economy’s new strength will help it to withstand the combined attack of the effects of sequestration and the deepening recession in Europe.

Now, less favorable news:

  • While the pace of hiring was stronger than expected in April, it remained below the approximately 300,000 jobs a month needed over a sustained period to put a significant dent in unemployment.
  • While the jobless rate has dropped 0.4 percentage point since January, employment is still 2.57million jobs below where it stood in December 2007.
  • At April’s job growth pace, it would take about 16 months to make up that lost ground.
  • There are  roughly 21.9 million people who are either unemployed, employed part time but want full time work, or have given up on finding a new position.

So, what does this mean for the coming months?

Second quarter projections state an expectancy of cautious hiring, but steady growth.

Temporary help, a predictor of future hiring, has continued to increase since February and has now risen for seven straight months. In fact, the biggest job gains so far in 2013 have been in professional and business services, with the number of temporary jobs up 26,000–a potential sign that employers could expand their full-time staffs.

For assistance with your strategic staffing needs, contact the team at Smith Hanley. We’ll find you the right people at the right price that will help your business grow!

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