Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Employment and Economy: Positive Indicators Abound

Reuters recently pointed to June’s ratio of unemployed Americans to job openings (from the Department of Labor’s June figures in the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Report) as being a positive indicator for both the U.S. economy and wage structures with job openings—measuring labor’s demand—enjoying a small boost to 3.907 million from its May figure of 3.936 million.

This ratio of roughly three jobseekers applying for each position is the lowest figure since October 2008, and is over half of the seven applicants per opening recorded in 2009. Some predict this could lead to stronger incomes as there is less competition with fewer individuals competing for the same or similar positions, thereby lessening the leverage companies have when setting wage structures.

Another potential positive sign for the U.S. economy and jobseekers that are keen on increased stability is the news reported in a separate Reuters report which points out that recorded layoff figures are approaching pre-recession numbers.

The reported 7.4% unemployment figure for July is the lowest it has been since December 2008. It is also the eleventh consecutive month that it has been sub-8% with claims for Unemployment Insurance now reportedly the lowest since November of 2007 (the DOL has registered that figure at 335,500).

Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, was quoted regarding the newest unemployment numbers as saying:

“This report is good news, and the economic turnaround over the past four years has been unmistakable. More Americans are finding work, but we can and must do more to pick up the pace of this recovery.”

The Huffington Post has reported that a large portion of the employment gains were as a result of low-wage workers increases. Temps, retail and restaurant workers were quoted as those employees who made up over half of the July’s added jobs.

Some sources claim that these gains may be modest, and that job creation continues to be difficult; however, KRA Corporation remains optimistic that these figures point to a strengthening economy and, as such, a plus for our efforts in workforce development.

KRA Corporation will continue to move forward using these positive economic and employment indicators. With more jobs becoming available and more joining the workforce, we will aim at maximizing the impact of these indicators to benefit and aid our jobseeker- and employer-customers alike.

The sad fact is, that despite all of the upswing in the news coming from the economy, the long-term unemployed (those jobless at 6 months or more) number is still a disappointing 4.2 million—a number that helps to double KRA Corporation’s resolve to help prepare jobseekers for tomorrow’s global economy and supply employers with a trained and reliable workforce.

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