A better-than-anticipated jobs report for June came as a welcomed surprise this month, alongside upwardly-revised April and May gains as well. For June, the economy added 195,000 new jobs, while April’s figure was raised to 199,000 from 149,000 and May was revised up to 195,000 from 175,000. Although the unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.6 percent, the size of the labor force increased by 177,000, according to the Labor Department. Employment in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail and healthcare saw big gains this month.
Leisure and hospitality added 75,000 jobs in June, averaging 55,000 jobs added monthly in 2013 at nearly twice the average gain of 30,000 per month in 2012. Employment in professional and business services rose by 53,000 in June, largely attributed to computer systems design (+7000) and temporary help services (+10,000). Over the past year, the professional and business services sector has added 624,000 jobs. Healthcare continues to contribute large gains to the job market, adding 20,000 this past month. Employment in financial activities also rose in June by 17,000 new jobs.
Consumer Confidence Bright Spot Among Economic News
Two key confidence indicators reported significant increases this month, signaling optimism among consumers and workers of better financial and employment conditions ahead. The latest consumer confidence index from The Conference Board rose to 81.4, reaching its highest level in five years and three straight months of gains. Readings for consumers’ view of both current conditions and the outlook for six months from now also improved.
Meanwhile, the nation’s workforce is also reporting some of the highest levels of confidence seen since the recession, according to the Randstad Employee Confidence Index in June. The index rose to 56.8 points this month, indicating a 2.0-point uptick in overall confidence among U.S. workers since May. The report also found over a third of employees are likely to seek a new job in the next 12 months – a sign that the economy has better opportunities available in the eyes of job seekers.
Engagement Factors to Keep Workers from Jumping Ship
As workers’ perspective and confidence on the employment market brightens, many are considering a job change in their future. Companies will need to ratchet up retention and engagement efforts in order to curb potential turnover and to sustain high productivity levels among their workforce. The Randstad Q2 2013 Engagement Study finds flexibility, corporate culture and rewarding high performance are important to cultivating happy and productive employees.
It’s important for companies to acknowledge that while workers’ salaries factor highly into workplace satisfaction, employee engagement is not at all about financial compensation. There are many non-monetary programs employers can adopt to help improve the morale and productivity of its talent base. Programs such as, training and development, employee recognition and work/life balance options all contribute to worker retention and engagement.
ACA Impact on Business and Employment Landscape
Temporary relief for many large U.S. employers came this week with the announcement by the U.S. Department of Treasury that it will delay implementation of the penalties for companies that don’t offer health insurance from 2014 to 2015. Many companies have been scrambling to prepare for the upcoming penalties as the original deadline of 2014 loomed in the near future.
To assist organizations with the many changes required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Randstad has launched a resource center to help companies better understand your options under the ACA, and what the ACA may mean for the business. The objective of the resource center is to share communications on an ongoing basis, provide information and key dates relative to health care reform. The site includes key milestones, FAQs, glossary & key terms and a 60-minute webinar. Through this center, Randstad strives to be a trusted source for timely and relevant content regarding the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.