BLS Analysis for Recruiters June 2021

Bob Marshall’s June 2021 BLS Analysis for Recruiters; 7/2/21

June BLS Preface

TBMG Coaching Updates and Product News:

The New 2021 Elite Recruiter Masterclass (ERM) Training Program

Stay tuned as we finish downloading the curriculum that will make up our new legacy training program.  In this course, we have constructed our studies to resemble a college with the basic freshman and sophomore course work separated from the more advanced elective junior and senior course work.  I will fill the role of professor through the total content of the program that will confer Elite Recruiter status upon completion.

The foundational coursework will be ready for new students as early as June/July with the advanced curriculum a few weeks later.

The graduates will become:

*Successful learners of the material presented

*Confident recruitment professionals

*Responsible members of our profession

*Effective contributors who make placement earlier and more often

We will begin accepting a limited number of students now with a class start date in June/July 2021.  Contact us for details @ 770-898-5550 or

Our new TBMG products:

“The PDF Series – individual email format – $24 each

1. “From Failure to Success in Recruitment Sales” – 6-part series

2. “John Wooden’s Success Pyramid” – 6-part series

3. “Robocruiter and The Total Account Executive” – 11-part series

4. “The Opportunity Cost in Not Quitting the Dead Horse Projects” – 11-part series

5. “The JOB ORDER” – 6-part series

6. “Planning for Your Best Year Ever in 2020 – The ‘Atomic’ Approach” – 7-part series

7. “The Importance of Marketing – Facing the Monster” – 13-part series

8. “Negotiating Techniques Adapted for the Tenured Recruiter” – 13-part series

9. “Classic Closes for 2021” – 8-part series

10. “Retained Recruiting in 2021”  – 6-part series

You can choose any, or all, of the above.


In the opinion of ex-Dallas Cowboys football coach Tom Landry who coached from 1960-1988, “A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”

Is now the time to pick a Coach?

I realize that taking that first step to engage a Coach to help you reach a higher level of production is not as easy as it sounds.  After all, your training investment – and your time – are important and deserve every consideration.  I share your feelings.  I believe that how you approach your recruitment career matters…that you should get what you pay for, and then some…that you should enjoy your time with your Coach as you are benefiting from it…and that you should never settle for the ordinary.

So, for those of you who have been toying with the idea of working with a recruitment coach, now may be the time.  Only you can come to that decision point.

“Teachers open the door; but you must enter by yourself”—Chinese Proverb

When considering ‘individual change management’, consider this theosophical proverb: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear!”

“Bob Marshall is a speaker’s speaker and a trainer’s trainer.  He has a gift for taking the cornerstones of the business and compelling people and teams to not only hone their skills but to execute. We’ve had Bob engage our teams a number of times over the last few years and our groups always come away more focused on the core and more energized to perform. Come ready to learn because this man knows the business and will make you better!”

—David Alexander, President, Soliant, January 2017


Many of you continue to correspond with me about these monthly BLS analyses and have asked if it is OK to use them in your presentations.  The answer is, of course, yes!  That is why I spend the time to assemble this information.  I would encourage any of you who have that desire to weave any of the information I have printed below into your presentations.  I write these analyses for the benefit of our recruitment industry in general and for the members of my distribution list in particular.  So, use this info as you deem appropriate.

I also write these monthly BLS analyses to not only counterbalance the negative/incorrect press reporting of our general economic state but, more than that, to remind all of my recruitment readers that, at the level we work, there is no unemployment and so we must recruit to find the candidates our client companies so desperately need!

So, to my recruiter colleagues, get out there and do what your name implies…RECRUIT!  When your client companies have unique and difficult positions to fill, they need you.  When they are being picky, they need you.  When they are longing for more production from fewer employees, they need you.  Go fill those needs.  These should be the halcyon days in the recruitment arena!

Finally, always remember that we are not in an HR business, but in a ‘circumventing the time factor in the hiring sequence’ business—and adding value to our client companies.

32% of Workers Plan to Seek New Job Over Next Several Months: Robert Half International

Daily News, June 15, 2021

Nearly 1 in 3 employees, 32%, plan to look for a new job in the next several months, according to a survey by staffing firm Robert Half International Inc.

Top reasons for searching for a new job were getting a salary boost and greater opportunities for career advancement, cited by 29% each.

Members of Gen Z, those ages 18 to 24, were particularly keen on finding a new job with 55% planning to do so.

The survey also found that more men, 36%, planned to search for a new job than women, 29%.  In addition, workers earning less than $50,000 per year are most interested in seeking a new position.

Among the 28 cities where the survey took place, Atlanta had the most workers planning to seek new employment at 50%.  It was followed by Charlotte, North Carolina, at 44%, and Houston and Sacramento, California, at 41% each.

The research included more than 2,800 workers at companies with 20 or more employees.  The survey took place from March 26 to April 15.

Growth in IT Employment Slows in May Despite Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Daily News, June 10, 2021

IT employment in the US increased in May but at a slower rate than in previous months, the TechServe Alliance reported Wednesday.  However, ALL the jobs lost during the pandemic have recovered.

It found the number of tech employees in the US rose by 0.22%, or 5,350,000 jobs in May. Year over year, the number of tech jobs were up 2.64% or by 137,700.

“IT employment is now at historic levels having fully recovered all jobs lost as result of the pandemic,” TechServe Alliance CEO Mark Roberts said.  “While IT employment grew at respectable rate in May, the rate of growth decelerated from the extraordinary growth rates we experienced in recent months.  I attribute this deceleration to the challenge we were confronting before the onset of Covid — an insufficient supply of talent in many IT skill sets.”

Separately, the TechServe Alliance reported engineering employment rose by 0.13% in May to more than 2,600,000 jobs.  Year over year, engineering employment was up by 4.48% or 111,600 jobs.

US Hiring Plans in Q3 Highest Since 2000: ManpowerGroup

Daily News, June 8, 2021

Employers in the US reported their strongest hiring outlook since 2000, according to ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey released today.  However, talent supply remains muted.

“Employers are ready to bring their workers back as restrictions lift and America gets ready to for the ‘New Next’ and ‘In Real Life’ connections resume,” said Becky Frankiewicz, ManpowerGroup president, North America.  “Yet childcare challenges, health concerns and competition mean demand still outstrips supply which is dampening the ‘big return’ of the American workforce.”

Almost half of employers reported difficulty filling roles in operations and logistics, and 23% reported difficulty filling roles in manufacturing and production.

“It’s a worker’s market and employees are acting like consumers in how they are consuming work — seeking flexibility, competitive pay and fast decisions,” Frankiewicz said.  “Now is the time for employers to get creative to attract talent — and to hold onto the workers they have with both hands.”

ManpowerGroup’s survey found that 32% of US employers plan to increase hiring in the third quarter while 3% plan to decrease hiring for a net employment outlook of 29%.  When adjusted for seasonality, the net employment outlook is 25% — the strongest outlook since 2000 and a far cry from the 3% in the third-quarter 2020 survey.

Hiring intentions for the third quarter of this year were up in all US regions.  The metropolitan areas with the strongest net employment outlooks for the third quarter included Deltona, Florida, at 54%, and Fresno, California, and Salt Lake City at 46% each.

The survey included more than 7,300 interviews with US employers.

Canada and Mexico.  In addition to the US, ManpowerGroup interviewed employers around the world. In Canada, the third-quarter net employment outlook (seasonally adjusted) was 8%, unchanged from the second quarter.  However, it’s up from negative 10% in the third quarter of 2020.  The Canadian survey included 1,518 employers.

Mexico’s seasonally adjusted net employment outlook was 9%, up from negative 10% a year ago.  In addition, 32% of Mexican employers expect to return to pre-pandemic hiring levels by 2022.

“There are encouraging signs in the seven industrial segments in Mexico, however, some fundamental activities have not fully reactivated, such as services, commerce and construction,” said Alberto Alesi, general director for Mexico, Caribbean and Central America at ManpowerGroup.  “Therefore, 22% of employers do not know when they will be able to go back to the hiring levels they had before the pandemic.”

The survey included 4,004 employers in Mexico.

ManpowerGroup also reported employers in the country were having difficulty hiring because of a talent shortage.

“While labor markets recover, the biggest talent shortage in 15 years is reported,” said Monica Flores, president of ManpowerGroup Latin America.  “69% of employers globally, 65% in Latin America and 74% in Mexico, say they face difficulties filling vacancies.  This is because the skills most in demand by organizations and the priorities of individuals have changed due to the impact of the pandemic.”

The new ADP/Moody’s National Employment Report: Over 65% of all new job growth in June 2021 came from Small and Medium-size Companies!

June 30, 2021

Private sector employment increased by 692,000 jobs from May to June according to the June ADP National Employment Report.  Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP NER is produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics.  The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

The matched sample used to develop the ADP National Employment Report® was derived from ADP payroll data, which represents 460,000 U.S. clients employing nearly 26,000,000 workers in the U.S.  The May total of jobs added was revised from

978,000 to 886,000.

Total U.S. Nonfarm Private Employment:             692,000

By Company Size

Small businesses:                                215,000

1-19 employees                                      93,000

20-49 employees                                  122,000

Medium businesses:                           236,000

50-499 employees                                236,000

Large businesses:                              240,000

500-999 employees                                51,000

1,000+ employees                                190,000

By Sector

I.  Goods-producing:                                            68,000

A.  Natural resources/mining                                                   2,000

B.  Construction                                                                      47,000

C.  Manufacturing                                                                   19,000

II.  Service-providing:                                        624,000

A.  Trade/transportation/utilities                                              62,000

B.  Information                                                                      <-4,000>

C.  Financial activities                                                                         10,000

D.  Professional/business services                                           53,000

                        1.  Professional/technical services                               22,000

                        2.  Management of companies/enterprises                 <-1,000>

                        3.  Administrative/support services                             32,000

            E.  Education/health services                                                 123,000

                        1.  Health care/social assistance                                   93,000

                        2.  Education                                                                30,000

            F.  Leisure/hospitality                                                            332,000

            G.  Other services                                                                     48,000

Franchise Employment

Franchise Jobs                                     104,100

“The labor market recovery remains robust, with June closing out a strong second quarter of jobs growth,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP.  “While payrolls are still nearly 7,000,000 short of pre-COVID-19 levels, job gains have totaled about 3,000,000 since the beginning of 2021.  Service providers, the hardest hit sector, continue to do the heavy lifting, with leisure and hospitality posting the strongest gain as businesses begin to reopen to full capacity across the country.”

(The July 2021 ADP National Employment Report will be released at 8:15 a.m. ET on August 4, 2021.)

Due to the important contribution that small businesses make to economic growth, employment data that is specific to businesses with 49 or fewer employees is reported each month in the ADP Small Business Report®, a subset of the ADP National Employment Report.

June 2021 Small Business Report Highlights

Total Small Business Employment:             215,000

●By Size  
►1-19 employees 93,000
►20-49 employees 122,000
●By Sector for 1-49 Employees  
►Goods Producing 15,000
►Service Producing 200,000
●By Sector for 1-19 Employees  
►Goods Producing 5,000
►Service Producing 88,000
●By Sector for 20-49 Employees  
►Goods Producing 10,000
►Service Producing 111,000

Bottom-line:  To my audience of recruiters, always remember this:  Our ‘bread and butter’, especially on the contingency side of the house, has historically been, and continues to be, small and medium-sized client companies.  Along with the large companies, these companies need to be in included in your niche!

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary – April 2021

June 8, 2021       

The number of job openings reached a series high of 9,300,000 on the last business day of April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Hires were little changed at 6,100,000.  Total separations increased to 5,800,000.  Within separations, the quits rate reached a series high of 2.7% while the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to a series low of 1.0%.  This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, by 4 geographic regions, and by establishment size class.

Job Openings

On the last business day of April, the job openings level and rate increased to series highs of 9,300,000 (+998,000) and 6.0%, respectively.  The job openings series began in December 2000.  Job openings increased in a number of industries with the largest increases in accommodation and food services (+349,000), other services (+115,000), and durable goods manufacturing (+78,000).  The number of job openings decreased in educational services (-23,000) and in mining and logging (-8,000).  The number of job openings increased in all 4 regions.


In April, the number of hires changed little at 6,100,000.  The hires rate was unchanged at 4.2%.  Hires increased in accommodation and food services (+232,000) and in federal government (+10,000).  Hires decreased in construction (-107,000), durable goods manufacturing (-37,000), and educational services (-32,000).  The number of hires was little changed in all 4 regions.


Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations.  Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee.  Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs.  Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer.  Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm.

In April, the number of total separations increased to 5,800,000 (+324,000).  The total separations rate was little changed at 4.0%.  The total separations level increased in retail trade (+116,000) and in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+60,000).  Total separations increased in the West region.

In April, the quits level and rate increased to series highs of 4,000,000 and 2.7%, respectively.  Quits increased in a number of industries with the largest increases in retail trade (+106,000), professional and business services (+94,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+49,000).  The number of quits increased in the South, Midwest, and West regions.

In April, the number and rate of layoffs and discharges were little changed at 1,400,000 and 1.0%, respectively.  Both the number and rate reached new series lows.  The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in finance and insurance (-24,000).  Layoffs and discharges were little changed in all 4 regions.

The number of other separations was little changed in April at 364,000.  Other separations increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+16,000) and in durable goods manufacturing (+7,000).  The other separations level was little changed in all 4 regions.

Net Change in Employment

Large numbers of hires and separations occur every month throughout the business cycle.  Net employment change results from the relationship between hires and separations.  When the number of hires exceeds the number of separations, employment rises, even if the hires level is steady or declining.  Conversely, when the number of hires is less than the number of separations, employment declines, even if the hires level is steady or rising.

Over the 12 months ending in April, hires totaled 75,400,000 and separations totaled 64,000,000, yielding a net employment gain of 11,300,000.  These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

Establishment Size Class

In April, the job openings rate increased in small establishments with 10-49 employees and large establishments with 250-999 employees, 1,000-4,999 employees, and 5,000 or more employees.  The total separations rate for large establishments with 250-999 employees increased in April.  The quits rate increased in small establishments with 10-49 employees and large establishments of 250-999 employees.  The layoffs and discharges rate decreased in large establishments with 1,000-4,999 employees.


The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey estimates for May 2021 are scheduled to be released on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

As we recruiters know that 9,300,000 number only represents 20% of the jobs currently available in the marketplace.  The other 80% of job openings are unpublished and are filled through networking or word of mouth or by using a RECRUITER.   So, those 9.300,000 published job openings now become a total of 46,500,000 published AND hidden job orders.



Online Labor Demand Rises in May

June 9, 2021


The Conference Board®-Burning Glass® Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Index rose in May and now stands at 126.9 (July 2018=100), up from 118.1 in April.  The Index declined 4.4% from March to April and is up 53.2% from a year ago.


The Help Wanted OnLine® Index is produced in collaboration with Burning Glass Technologies, the global pioneer in real-time labor market data and analysis.  This recent collaboration enhances the Help Wanted OnLine® program by providing additional insights into important labor market trends.


Prior to 2020, The Conference Board constructed the HWOL Index based solely on online job ads over time.  Using a methodology designed to reduce non-economic volatility contributed by online job sources, the HWOL Index served an effective measure of changes in labor demand over time.

Beginning January 2020, the HWOL Index was refined as an estimate of change in job openings (based on BLS JOLTS), using a series of econometric models which incorporate job ads with other macroeconomic indicators such as employment and aggregate hours worked. By adopting a modeled approach which combines other data sources with data on online job ads, the HWOL Index more accurately tracks important movements in the labor market.

The Conference Board®-Burning Glass® Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Index measures changes over time in advertised online job vacancies, reflecting monthly trends in employment opportunities across the US.  The HWOL Data Series aggregates the total number of ads available by month from the HWOL universe of online job ads.  Ads in the HWOL universe are collected in real-time from over 50,000 online job domains including traditional job boards, corporate boards, social media sites, and smaller job sites that serve niche markets and smaller geographic areas.

Like The Conference Board’s long-running Help Wanted Advertising Index of print ads (which was published for over 55 years and discontinued in July 2008), Help Wanted OnLine® measures help wanted advertising, i.e. labor demand.  The HWOL Data Series began in May 2005 and was revised in December 2018.  With the December 2018 revision, The Conference Board released the HWOL Index, improving upon the HWOL Data Series’ ability to assess local labor market trends by reducing volatility and non-economic noise and improving correlation with local labor market conditions.

In 2019, the Help Wanted OnLine® program partnered with Burning Glass Technologies, Inc., the new sole provider of online job ad data for HWOL.  With the partnership, the HWOL Data Series has been revised historically to reflect a new universe and methodology of online job advertisements and therefore cannot be used in conjunction with the pre-revised HWOL Data Series. The HWOL Data Series begins in January 2015 and the HWOL Index begins in December 2005.  HWOL Index values prior to 2020 are based on job ads collected by CEB, Inc.

Those using this data are urged to review the information on the database and methodology available on The Conference Board website and contact us with questions and comments. 

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

About Burning Glass Technologies, Inc.

Burning Glass Technologies delivers job market analytics that empower employers, workers, and educators to make data-driven decisions. Powered by the world’s largest and most sophisticated database of labor market data and talent, Burning Glass Technologies analyzes hundreds of millions of job postings and real-life career transitions to provide insight into labor market patterns.  Users of our products include corporate human resources departments, market analysts and employment services firms as well as the federal, state and local labor market analysts that use HWOL.

The next release for June 2021 is Wednesday, July 7th at 10 AM.

U-6 Update

In June 2021, the regular unemployment rate rose .1% to 5.9% and the broader U-6 measure fell .4% to 9.8%.  Both of these percentages are still almost totally due to the COVID-19 economic shutdown across the U.S and the slow ‘Reopening’.

The above 9.8% is referred to as the U-6 unemployment rate (found in the monthly BLS Employment Situation Summary, Table A-15; Table A-12 in 2008 and before).  It counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment (the more familiar U-3 rate), but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.”  Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week.  And the “marginally attached workers” include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work.  The age considered for this calculation is 16 years and over.

Here is a look at the June U-6 numbers for the previous 18 years:

June 2020                    18.0%

June 2019                    7.2%

June 2018                    7.8%

June 2017                    8.5%

June 2016                    9.6%

June 2015                    10.5%

June 2014                    12.0%

June 2013                    14.2%

June 2012                    14.8%

June 2011                    16.2%

June 2010                    16.5%

June 2009                    16.5%

June 2008                    10.1%

June 2007                    8.3%

June 2006                    8.4%

June 2005                    9.0%

June 2004                    9.6%

June 2003                    10.3%

The June 2021 BLS Analysis

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 850,000 in June, and the unemployment rate rose by .1% to 5.9%, the U.S. bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, professional and business services, retail trade, and other services.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised down by 9,000, from +278,000 to +269,000, and the change for May was revised up by 24,000, from +559,000 to +583,000.  With these revisions, employment in April and May combined is 15,000 higher than previously reported.  (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.)

The unemployment rate is also published by the BLS.  That rate is found by dividing the number of unemployed by the total civilian labor force.  On July 2nd, 2021, the BLS published the most recent unemployment rate for June 2021 of 5.9% (actually, it is 5.888% up 0.099% from 5.789% in May.

The unemployment rate was determined by dividing the unemployed of 9,484,000

(–up from the month before by 168,000—since June 2020, this number has decreased by 8,213,000) by the total civilian labor force of 161,086,000 (up by 151,000 from May 2020).  Since June 2020, our total civilian labor force has increased by 1,289,000 workers.

(The continuing ‘Strange BLS Math’ saga—after a detour in December 2016 when the BLS {for the first time in years} DECREASED the total Civilian Noninstitutional Population—this month the BLS increased this total to 261,338,000.  This is an increase of 128,000 from last month’s increase of 107,000.  In one year, this population has increased by 1,134,000.  For the last 3 years the Civilian Noninstitutional Population has increased each month—except in December 2016, December 2018, December 2019, & December 2020—by…)

Up from May 2021by128,000
Up from April 2021by107,000
Up from March 2021by100,000
Up from February 2021by85,000
Up from January 2021by67,000
Down from December 2020by379,000
Up from November 2020by145,000
Up from October 2020by160,000
Up from September 2020by183,000
Up from August 2020by184,000
Up from July 2020by185,000
Up from June 2020by169,000
Up from May 2020by157,000
Up from April 2020by151,000
Up from March 2020by138,000
Up from February 2020by130,000
Up from January 2020by126,000
Down from December 2019by679,000
Up from November 2019by161,000
Up from October 2019by175,000
Up from September 2019by207,000
Up from August 2019by206,000
Up from July 2019by207,000
Up from June 2019by188,000
Up from May 2019by176,000
Up from April 2019by168,000
Up from March 2019by156,000
Up from February 2019by145,000
Up from January 2019by153,000
Down from December 2018by649,000
Up from November 2018by180,000
Up from October 2018by194,000
Up from September 2018by224,000
Up from August 2018by224,000
Up from July 2018by223,000
Up from June 2018by201,000

This month the BLS has increased the Civilian Labor Force to 161,086,000 (up from May by 151,000, mainly due to the continuing slow reopening of the economy).

Subtract the second number (‘civilian labor force’) from the first number (‘civilian noninstitutional population’) and you get 100,252,000 ‘Not in Labor Force’—down by 23,000 from last month’s 100,275,000.  In one year, this NILF population has decreased by 154,000.  The government tells us that most of these NILFs got discouraged and just gave up looking for a job.  My monthly recurring question is: “If that is the case, how do they survive when they don’t earn any money because they don’t have a job?  Are they ALL relying on the government to support them??”

This month, our Employment Participation Rate—the population 16 years and older working or seeking work—remained at 61.6%.  This ‘reopening’ rate is .8% below the historically low rate of 62.4% recorded in September 2015—and, before that, the rate recorded in October 1977—9 months into Jimmy Carter’s presidency—almost 40 years ago!

Final take on these numbers:  Fewer people looking for work will always bring down the unemployment rate.

Anyway, back to the point I am trying to make.  On the surface, these new unemployment rates are scary, but let’s look a little deeper and consider some other numbers.

The unemployment rate includes all types of workers—construction workers, government workers, etc.  We recruiters, on the other hand, mainly place management, professional and related types of workers.  That unemployment rate in June was 3.5% (this rate was .7% higher than last month’s 2.8%).  Or you can look at it another way.  We usually place people who have college degrees.  That unemployment rate in June was3.5% (this rate was .3% higher than last month’s 3.2%).

Now stay with me a little longer.  This gets better.  It’s important to understand (and none of the pundits mention this) that the unemployment rate, for many reasons, will never be 0%, no matter how good the economy is.  Without boring you any more than I have already, let me add here that Milton Friedman (the renowned Nobel Prize-winning economist), is famous for the theory of the “natural rate of unemployment” (or the term he preferred, NAIRU, which is the acronym for Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment).  Basically, this theory states that full employment presupposes an ‘unavoidable and acceptable’ unemployment rate of somewhere between 4-6% with it.  Economists often settle on 5%, although the “New Normal Unemployment Rate” has been suggested to fall at 6.7%.

Nevertheless (if you will allow me to apply a ‘macro’ concept to a ‘micro’ issue), if this rate is applied to our main category of Management, Professional and Related types of potential recruits, and/or our other main category of College-Degreed potential recruits, because of the COVID-19 shutdown, we are not that far above the 4-6% threshold for full employment…and that will change as soon as we all return to work!


“The economic goal of any nation, as of any individual, is to get the greatest results with the least effort.  The whole economic progress of mankind has consisted in getting more production with the same labor…Translated into national terms, this first principle means that our real objective is to maximize production.  In doing this, full employment—that is, the absence of involuntary idleness—becomes a necessary by-product.  But production is the end, employment merely the means.  We cannot continuously have the fullest production without full employment.  But we can very easily have full employment without full production.”

–Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt, Chapter X, “The Fetish of Full Employment”

On June 24th, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced the real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 6.4% in the first quarter of 2021, according to the “third” estimate.   In the fourth quarter of 2020, real GDP increased 4.3%.

The “third” estimate of GDP released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued last month.  In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 6.4%.  Upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment, and exports were offset by an upward revision to imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP.

The increase in real GDP in the first quarter reflected increases in personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by decreases in private inventory investment and exports.  Imports increased.

COVID-19 Impact on the First-Quarter 2021 GDP Estimate

The increase in first quarter GDP reflected the continued economic recovery, reopening of establishments, and continued government response related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the first quarter, government assistance payments, such as direct economic impact payments, expanded unemployment benefits, and Paycheck Protection Program loans, were distributed to households and businesses through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act.

The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the GDP estimate for the first quarter of 2021 because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.

The increase in PCE reflected increases in durable goods (led by motor vehicles and parts), nondurable goods (led by food and beverages), and services (led by food services and accommodations).  The increase in nonresidential fixed investment reflected increases in equipment (led by information processing equipment) and intellectual property products (led by software).  The increase in federal government spending primarily reflected an increase in payments made to banks for processing and administering the Paycheck Protection Program loan applications as well as purchases of COVID-19 vaccines for distribution to the public.  The decrease in private inventory investment primarily reflected a decrease in retail trade inventories (mainly by motor vehicles and parts dealers).

Updates to GDP

In the third estimate, the change in first-quarter real GDP was the same as in the second estimate.  Upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment, exports, and PCE were offset by an upward revision to imports.

Real GDP by Industry

Today’s release includes estimates of GDP by industry, or value added—a measure of an industry’s contribution to GDP.  In the first quarter, private goods-producing industries increased 5.4%, private services-producing industries increased 7.7%, and government increased 0.2%.  Overall, 17 of 22 industry groups contributed to the first-quarter increase in real GDP.

The increase in private goods-producing industries primarily reflected an increase in durable goods manufacturing (led by computer and electronic products, fabricated metal products, and machinery).  The increase was partly offset by decreases in nondurable goods manufacturing (led by petroleum and coal products) and agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (led by farms).

The increase in private services-producing industries primarily reflected increases in professional, scientific, and technical services; information (led by data processing, internet publishing, and other information services); administrative and waste management services (led by administrative and support services); real estate and rental and leasing; and retail trade.  These increases were partly offset by decreases in other services (which includes activities of political organizations); healthcare and social assistance (led by ambulatory health care services); and utilities.

The increase in government reflected increases in federal as well as state and local.

Gross Output by Industry

Real gross output—principally a measure of an industry’s sales or receipts, which includes sales to final users in the economy (GDP) and sales to other industries (intermediate inputs)—increased 8.9% in the first quarter.  Private goods-producing industries decreased 1.7%, private services-producing industries increased 13.4%, and government increased 6.0%.  Overall, 17 of 22 industry groups contributed to the increase in real gross output, led by retail trade, finance and insurance, and information.  A decrease in nondurable goods manufacturing was the most notable offset to these increases.

Annual Update of the National Economic Accounts

BEA will release results from the 2021 annual update of the National Economic Accounts, which includes the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPAs) as well as the Industry Economic Accounts, later this year.  Results from the annual update of the NIPAs will be released on July 29, 2021, along with the advance estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2021.  Results from the annual update of the Industry Economic Accounts will be released on September 30, 2021, along with the third estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2021.  The update of the National Economic Accounts will cover the first quarter of 1999 through the first quarter of 2021 and will result in revisions to GDP, GDP by Industry, and gross domestic income.

*          *          *

Next release, July 29, 2021, at 8:30 A.M. EDT
Gross Domestic Product, Second Quarter 2021

(Advanced Estimate) and Annual Update


‘Unemployment’ is an emotional ‘trigger’ word…a ‘third rail’, if you will.  It conjures up negative thoughts.  But it is important to realize that, while we want everyone who wants a job to have the opportunity to work, unemployment can never be zero and, in fact, can be disruptive to an economy if it gets too close to zero.  Very low unemployment can actually hurt the economy by creating an upward pressure on wages which invariably leads to higher production costs and prices.  This can lead to inflation.  The lowest the unemployment rate has been in the US was 2.5%.  That was in May and June 1953 when the economy overheated due to the Korean War.  When this bubble burst, it kicked off the Recession of 1953.  A healthy economy will always include some percentage of unemployment.

There are five main sources of unemployment:

1.  Cyclical (or demand-deficient) unemployment – This type of unemployment fluctuates with the business cycle.  It rises during a recession and falls during the subsequent recovery.  Workers who are most affected by this type of unemployment are laid off during a recession when production volumes fall, and companies use lay-offs as the easiest way to reduce costs.  These workers are usually rehired, some months later, when the economy improves.

2.  Frictional unemployment – This comes from the normal turnover in the labor force.  This is where new workers are entering the workforce and older workers are retiring and leaving vacancies to be filled by the new workers or those re-entering the workforce.  This category includes workers who are between jobs.

3.  Structural unemployment – This happens when the skills possessed by the unemployed worker don’t match the requirements of the opening—whether those be in characteristics and skills or in location.  This can come from new technology or foreign competition (e.g., foreign outsourcing).  This type of unemployment usually lasts longer than frictional unemployment because retraining, and sometimes relocation, is involved.  Occasionally jobs in this category can just disappear overseas.

4.  Seasonal unemployment – This happens when the workforce is affected by the climate or time of year.  Construction workers and agricultural workers aren’t needed as much during the winter season because of the inclement weather.  On the other hand, retail workers experience an increase in hiring shortly before, and during, the holiday season, but can be laid off shortly thereafter.

5.  Surplus unemployment – This is caused by minimum wage laws and unions.  When wages are set at a higher level, unemployment can often result.  Why?  To keep within the same payroll budget, the company must let go of some workers to pay the remaining workers a higher salary.

Other factors influencing the unemployment rate:

1.  Length of unemployment – Some studies indicate that an important factor influencing a worker’s decision to accept a new job is directly related to the length of the unemployment benefit they are receiving.

Currently, workers in most states are eligible for up to 26 weeks of benefits from the regular state-funded unemployment compensation program, although seven states provide fewer weeks and one provides more.  Extended Benefits (EB) have triggered on in 14 states plus the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.  Additional weeks of federal benefits are also available through September 6, 2021.

Studies suggest that additional weeks of benefits reduce the incentive of the unemployed to seek and accept less-desirable jobs.

2.  Changes in GDP – Since hiring workers takes time, the improvement in the unemployment rate usually lags the improvement in the GDP.


Now back to the issue at hand, namely the recruiting, and placing, of professionals and those with college degrees.

If you look at the past 21 years of unemployment in the June “management, professional and related” types of worker category, you will find the following rates:

June 2020                    6.5%

June 2019                    2.4%

June 2018                    2.5%

June 2017                    2.3%

June 2016                    2.8%

June 2015                    2.9%

June 2014                    3.5%

June 2013                    4.2%

June 2012                    4.4%

June 2011                    4.7%

June 2010                    4.9%

June 2009                    5.0%

June 2008                    2.7%

June 2007                    2.3%

June 2006                    2.4%

June 2005                    2.6%

June 2004                    2.9%

June 2003                    3.5%

June 2002                    3.3%

June 2001                    2.1%

June 2000                    1.7%

Here are the rates, during those same time periods, for “college-degreed” workers:

June 2020                    6.9%

June 2019                    2.1%

June 2018                    2.3%

June 2017                    2.3%

June 2016                    2.6%

June 2015                    2.5%

June 2014                    3.3%

June 2013                    3.9%

June 2012                    4.1%

June 2011                    4.4%

June 2010                    4.4%

June 2009                    4.7%

June 2008                    2.4%

June 2007                    2.0%

June 2006                    2.1%

June 2005                    2.3%

June 2004                    2.7%

June 2003                    3.1%

June 2002                    3.0%

June 2001                    2.1%

June 2000                    1.6%

The June 2021 rates for these two categories, 3.5% and 3.5%, respectively, are still fairly high because so many workers are sheltering in place in their homes and not going to work.  But regardless, these unemployment numbers usually include a good number of job hoppers, job shoppers and rejects.  We, on the other hand, are engaged by our client companies to find those candidates who are happy, well-appreciated, making good money and currently working and we entice them to move for even better opportunities—especially where new technologies are expanding.  This will never change.  And that is why, no matter the overall unemployment rate, we still need to MARKET to find the best possible job orders to work and we still need to RECRUIT to find the best possible candidates for those Job Orders.

Below are the numbers for the over 25-year old’s:

Less than H.S. diploma – Unemployment Rate


H.S. Grad; no college – Unemployment Rate


Some College; or AA/AS – Unemployment Rate


BS/BS + – Unemployment Rate


Management, Professional & Related – Unemployment Rate


Or employed…(,000)


And unemployed…(,000)


For a total Management, Professional & Related workforce of…(,000)


Management, Business and Financial Operations – Unemployment Rate


Professional & Related – Unemployment Rate


Sales & Related – Unemployment Rate