Latest jobs report paints shaky picture of the economy: What this means for recruiters and staffing professionals

For staffing and recruiting professionals, the latest jobs report, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is an opportunity to review numbers and figures about the employment market backed by a trusted resource and determine whether indicators experienced personally align with the statistics. Certainly, not every staffing and recruiting firm will have data or metrics that agree with the findings of the federal government, including industry or regional pockets that are either exceeding or falling below the average. However, the national averages provide recruiters valuable insight into what might be on the horizon concerning the hiring market.

Overall growth predicted for the U.S. 

According to the BLS, the number of jobs in the United States is expected to grow by 10.8 percent in the next decade. The projections cover 2012 to 2022, and predict that 16 million jobs will be added in the nation. Occupations and industries related to healthcare are projected to make up the largest percentage of job growth for the decade. Positions related to social assistance workers are another employment sector that, when combined with healthcare, account for a third of overall total job growth or 2.6 percent with more than 2 million jobs added between 2012 and 2022. Most of this growth is attributed to the aging baby boomer population, who are also expected to make up over one-quarter of the labor force in 2022. The 5 million jobs that are to be created in the healthcare and social-assistance sectors are projected to have the fastest growth – a 13.6 percent increase. Other industries that are expected to post gains include professional and business services by 13.3 percent and state and local government jobs by 12.4 percent.

As the economy continues to grow and improve following the recession, it’s no surprise that employment opportunities, especially for in-demand sectors, will increase. The BLS predicts that, overall, job opportunities for positions that require secondary education or higher will continue to post the fastest employment growth. Workers with a post-secondary education or higher earned a median income of $57,770 in 2012 – compared to a$27,670 median income for those people holding a high school diploma.

Projected growth, yet still shaky hiring

The overall labor market is poised to improve, which is good news for staffing and recruiting professionals who will have to use their skills to place people in quality positions. However, not all facets of the hiring market are expected to remain strong or even improve from current levels. According to figures from the BLS, the construction sector, which admittedly took a hit during the housing crisis and subsequent recession, is expected to add about 1.6 million jobs by 2022. This is positive news, yet, the industry will never reach the same hiring frenzy it attained during the housing boom. Employment in the manufacturing, federal government, agriculture, information and utility sectors are also showing signs of a decline in hiring over the next decade. Knowing these figures will allow staffing and recruiting professionals to fill their staffing and recruiting software database with the appropriate candidates.

The figures show another key trend that will interest staffing and recruiting professionals – in four out of five cases or occupations, openings derived from replacements are projected to exceed openings from real job growth. This means that the transitions that companies are going to experience will keep the staffing industry on its toes, but it also means less people are at work at the same time, which could potentially stall the economy from really improving.

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