BLS Analysis for March 2019 – 9 Articles

Bob Marshall’s March 2019 BLS Analysis for Recruiters; 4/5/19


The 9 March Articles…


Start here…



Majority of US Workers Somewhat Satisfied with Jobs, But Not All is Rosy

Daily News, April 2, 2019


Most American workers are happy with their jobs, including the generation of millennials in the workforce, according to research released today by CNBC, First in Business Worldwide and online survey tool SurveyMonkey.


The survey found 85% of respondents said they are very or somewhat satisfied with their jobs.  Despite the overall optimism, only 9% of workers gave top ratings across all 5 categories of the inaugural Workplace Happiness Index.  Additionally, 27% say they are not well paid and 30% have seriously considered quitting their job in the last 3 months.


The index — calculated from 5 measures relating to pay, advancement, value, autonomy and meaningfulness — debuted at 71 out of 100.


“Our study clearly reveals that workplace happiness is richly nuanced.  While a big majority of US workers are at least somewhat satisfied with their jobs, there are a lot of negatives when it comes to how people relate to their work,” said Jon Cohen, SurveyMonkey’s chief research officer.  “Whether it’s the fact that a quarter of all young workers doubt their contributions are valued, or that 40% of all workers don’t see clear opportunities ahead … simple ‘up or down’ measurements of job satisfaction never tell the whole story.”


“If companies want to hire and retain great employees, they need to open up feedback loops to get at the ‘why’ — learning what makes people happy and productive,” Cohen said.  “Only through engaging in conversations at scale can managers bring meaningful change to the way their employees experience work and the workplace.”


This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted from March 13 to March 18 among a national sample of 8,664 workers in the US.



Corporate Profits Likely to Decline as Economy Slows and Wages Surge:  The Conference Board

Daily News, April 1, 2019


Surging labor costs and slower revenue growth this year will likely lead to a decline in corporate profits in both the US and other advanced economies, according to research conducted by The Conference Board.


The analysis forecasts companies in the US that may experience the biggest declines are those employing many blue-collar workers, who now command higher pay due to their scarcity.  Because the US economy has far more available jobs than available workers, companies are changing their recruiting strategies, the research points out.  This includes lowering educational requirements and increasing telecommuting.


Key trends in the US include:


*Corporate profits likely to decline as wages rapidly increase.  As unemployment rates plummet, wage growth is finally becoming visible.  Moreover, as a result of acute labor shortages for blue-collar workers, their labor costs are rising much faster than for their highly educated white-collar counterparts.


*Less wage inequality.  After decades of rising wage inequality, in recent years the gap has shrunk.  Surging wages for blue-collar workers has played the primary role in narrowing the gap.


*Companies are lowering their educational requirements.  During the financial crisis and in the 2 to 3 years following it, the share of workers with a BA or some postsecondary education increased among new workers.  But results suggest that, in recent years, as the pool of available workers became depleted, employers have hired less-qualified workers for a given job opening.


*Growing challenges with worker quality.  The rate at which people are voluntarily leaving their jobs is growing, while the unemployment rate is declining.  These are among the factors that help to explain why, in this tight labor market, labor quality recently ranked as the number-one concern among independent businesses.


*More employees working from home.  The report notes there has been a rapid acceleration in telecommuting among high-skilled, white-collar occupations.  While employers can use teleworking to broaden the pool of potential workers, labor shortages have been more severe in occupations where teleworking has been less adopted, such as jobs in healthcare, education and construction.


“Because this labor market is brimming with job opportunities, employers are struggling to fill open positions and retain workers,” said Elizabeth Crofoot, a senior economist at The Conference Board.  “To attract quality workers, employers are taking steps to make their jobs more appealing, not only by raising wages, but by enhancing benefits, increasing job flexibility, and providing more meaningful work.”



Pay Gap Still Exists, But Narrowing Slightly in US:  Glassdoor

Daily News, March 27, 2019


Although significant pay gaps remain between men and women, the pay gap has narrowed slightly since 2016 in the US, UK, France and Australia, according to a Glassdoor survey released today.


The unadjusted pay gap between men and women in the US today is 21.4% — meaning women earn, on average, 79 cents for every dollar that men earn — according to the Glassdoor Economic Research report.  This represents a 2.7% decrease in the unadjusted pay gap from similar research conducted 3 years ago.


The adjusted pay gap in the US today is 4.9% when statistical controls are applied for worker and job characteristics — including worker age, education, years of experience, occupation, industry, location, year, company and job title.  This is down one half of 1% from the 2016 adjusted pay gap of 5.4%.  The 2019 study finds similar differences between the unadjusted and adjusted pay gaps in each country analyzed.


At this pace, Glassdoor economists estimate pay equality could be achieved in the US by 2070, if all current factors remain unchanged.


One of the most significant factors contributing to the pay gap are the industries and jobs that men and women sort themselves into, also known as “occupational sorting”.  This factor explains about 56.5% of the overall US pay gap.  In the US, the adjusted gender pay gap is the largest for pilots at 26.6%, followed by chefs at 24.6% and C-suite professionals at 24.0%.  Occupations with the largest reverse pay gap, where women earn more than men, include merchandiser and research assistant.


Among jobs with the biggest pay gaps, computer programmer saw the biggest improvement, down to 11.6% in 2019 from 28.3% in the 2016 research.



Pay is Top Barrier to Hiring Tech Talent:  Robert Half Technology Survey

Daily News, March 27, 2019


Employers having trouble bringing on technology talent may need to review their salary offers, according to a survey released today by Robert Half Technology.


The survey asked IT decision-makers about the issues hindering their hiring efforts, and the leading response was an inability to present competitive compensation packages to candidates, cited by 24%.  Speed to hire and brand awareness followed at 22% and 15% respectively.


12% of respondents overall noted other large, desirable companies in their area tend to recruit all the good candidates, and 11% said they don’t offer as many unique perks or benefits as other local employers.


The percentage of respondents citing competition was considerably higher in some of the 28 US markets included in the survey.  Detroit had the largest percentage of respondents citing competition as a barrier at 23%, followed by Cincinnati and Philadelphia at 20% and 19% respectively.  On the flip side, only 8% of respondents in Los Angeles, New York City and Salt Lake City cited competition as the leading barrier.


“Compensation is often the first factor technology candidates consider when deciding whether to join an organization,” said Ryan Sutton, district president, Robert Half Technology.  “If companies are not offering salaries at or above local market rates, recruiting can be an uphill battle.  In these instances, especially, showcasing a strong workplace culture and unique perks and benefits is essential for attracting talent.”


The online survey was developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by an independent research firm.  The report is based on responses from more than 2,800 IT decision makers in 28 major US markets.  All IT respondents have hiring authority for the information systems or information technology department of a company.



Hiring to Remain High Through 2nd Quarter, Industrial Sector Particularly Strong: Express Employment Professionals

Daily News, March 27, 2019


Job openings should remain high through the 2nd quarter, with hiring particularly strong in the industrial sector, according to a survey released today by Express Employment Professionals.


In the survey of Express businesses, 80% of respondents said they planned to hire in the 2nd quarter; 39% plan to hire general industrial labor; 33% plan to hire skilled industrial labor; and 18% plan to fill administrative or clerical jobs.


Taking a broader view, 41% of respondents said the employment market is “trending up,” up from 38% in a similar survey conducted for the 1st quarter and an indication hiring may still pick up further in some parts of the country.  Almost half, 49%, said the employment market is “staying the same,” down from 53% in the prior survey; those reporting their market is “trending down” rose to 11% from 9%.


“The pace of hiring varies significantly by region, but the fact that hiring continues and so few businesses say their markets are ‘trending down’ is more encouraging news for the economy,” said Express CEO Bill Stoller.  “It’s worth asking, how much stronger would our economy be if we could fill the 7,600,000 jobs that were open at last count?”


The survey of 491 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in February to gauge respondents’ expectations for the second quarter of 2019.



GDP to Cool This Year as Economy Reaches ‘Inflection Point,’ But Nonfarm Jobs Forecast is Slightly Stronger: NABE

Daily News, March 25, 2019


Economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics lowered their prior growth projections for the US economy in 2019, the association announced today.  The median forecast now calls for real GDP growth of 2.4% on an annual basis this year, down from the December 2018 forecast of 2.7%.  For 2020, respondents predict a 2.0% annual growth rate in real GDP.


In 2018, real GDP increased 2.9% on an annual basis.


The panelists’ forecast for nonfarm employment is slightly stronger.


Panelists for the NABE Outlook Survey believe the US economy has reached an “inflection point,” according to Kevin Swift, president at NABE and chief economist at American Chemistry Council.  “The panel has turned less optimistic about the outlook since the previous survey, as three-quarters of respondents see risks tilted to the downside, and only 6% perceive risks to the upside,” Swift said.


“A majority of panelists sees external headwinds from trade policy and slower global growth as the primary downside risks to growth,” said Survey Chair Gregory Daco, chief US economist, Oxford Economics.  “Three-quarters of respondents have reduced their 2019 GDP growth outlook in response to trade policy developments.  Nonetheless, recession risks are still perceived to be low in the near term.”


Panelists put the odds of a recession starting in 2019 at about 20%, and the odds of a recession by the end of 2020 at 35%.  “In part,” Daco said, “this reflects the Federal Reserve’s dovish policy U-turn in January.  A near-majority of panelists anticipates only one more interest rate hike in this cycle compared to the three hikes forecasted in the December survey.”


Employment outlook.  The median projection for monthly nonfarm payroll employment growth in 2019 is 173,000 — a projection slightly stronger than the 166,000 anticipated in the December survey.  The panel looks for employment growth to moderate in 2020, with the median forecast calling for 127,000 net job gains per month for next year.


The average unemployment rate for 2019 as a whole is still expected to be at 3.7% in 2019, up slightly from the 3.6% anticipated in the previous survey.  Based on the median forecast, the unemployment rate will average 3.7% in 2020.  On a quarterly basis, the median forecast is for the unemployment rate to be 3.8% in the first quarter of 2019, declining to 3.6% in the last two quarters of the year.  The median forecast is for the unemployment rate to resume rising to 3.7% in the first two quarters of 2020, and to 3.8% in the third and fourth quarters.


Wage outlook.  The median forecast for hourly compensation growth in 2019 is 3.0%, compared to the actual 2.7% gain in 2018.  Wage compensation is expected to pick up in 2020, rising 3.2%.


NABE is a professional association for business economists and others who use economics in the workplace.  The survey included 55 professional forecasters and was conducted between Feb. 22 and March 7, 2019.



‘Indeed’ Just Announced the Best Jobs of 2019 (Is Your Job on the List?)

Peter Economy, March 14, 2019


If you’re an insurance broker, dental hygienist, realtor, or Agile coach, ‘Indeed’ says you’ve got one of the best jobs for 2019.


There are lots of surveys each year professing to identify which careers pay the most money or which jobs will make you happiest or most joyful.  Job site ‘Indeed’ (with more than 250 million unique visitors each month from over 60 different countries) just released its own assessment of the best jobs in the United States for 2019, and the results are somewhat surprising.


Why? Because, says Paul Wolfe, Indeed’s SVP of HR,


“Last year our list of Best Jobs was dominated by the tech and construction sectors, so it’s interesting to see a much more diverse mix of industries this year.  Litigation Attorney, for example, was completely absent last year and debuted on the list in the top 5 alongside Full Stack Developer and Machine Learning Engineer.”


Here is Indeed’s list of the Best Jobs of 2019, along with the average base salary for each position:


  1. Machine Learning Engineer $146,085
  2. Insurance Broker $86,498
  3. Full Stack Developer $114,316
  4. Insurance Advisor $81,479
  5. Litigation Attorney $101,289
  6. Litigation Associate $98,982
  7. Dental Hygienist $78,110
  8. Associate Attorney $75,515
  9. Realtor $96,820
  10. Salesforce Developer $112,031
  11. Robotics Engineer $99,007
  12. Senior Product Designer $123,759
  13. Computer Vision Engineer $158,303
  14. Psychotherapist $99,765
  15. Product Owner $105,322
  16. Licensed Clinical Social Worker $83,665
  17. Senior Supply Chain Specialist $114,633
  18. Agile Coach $161,377
  19. Construction Estimator $84,963
  20. Veterinarian $91,488
  21. Construction Superintendent $90,818
  22. Data Scientist $131,389
  23. Certified Public Accountant $87,141
  24. Project Architect $82,877
  25. Senior Financial Consultant $115,000



Workers Expect 16% Compensation Increase when Switching Companies

Daily News, March 14, 2019


With a tight labor market and low unemployment rates holding steady, organizations are facing increasing complexity around compensating new hires versus current employees, according to the fourth-quarter Global Talent Monitor report released by Gartner Inc.


To win more of the critical talent they need, employers are offering higher salaries to lure these candidates away from their current organizations.  Globally, workers expect compensation increases of 15.5% to switch companies, according to the report, and the annual wage increases that companies currently offer will never match that.


“The result is a new wage gap that is forming where new employees are paid more, sometimes significantly more, than tenured employees,” said Brian Kropp, group VP of Gartner’s HR practice.


The report found also 44% of US workers intend to stay in their current roles, a 4% increase from last quarter and more than 11% higher than the global average.  In addition, almost 19% of US employees indicated a high willingness to do more than is required in their jobs, with 78% of these workers expressing a high or somewhat high intent to stay at their current organizations.


With more employees planning to stay in their current roles and increasing their discretionary effort at work, employers should consider how best to engage and retain their current workforce, according to Kropp.  He recommends employers implement a robust employee value proposition that focuses on valued key attributes including career development opportunities, competitive wages and benefits packages, and work-life balance.


“Gartner data illustrates organizations that effectively deliver on their [employee value proposition] can decrease annual employee turnover by just under 70% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30% – which has a direct impact on the company’s bottom line,” Kropp said.


Global Talent Monitor data are drawn from the larger Gartner Global Labor Market Survey that is sourced from more than 22,000 employees in 40 countries.  The survey is conducted quarterly and is reflective of market conditions during the quarter preceding publication.



Reference Checks Remove One-Third of Job Candidates

Daily News, March 13, 2019


Senior managers in the US removed approximately 1 in 3 candidates, 34%, from consideration for a position with their company after checking their references, according to a new survey from Accountemps, a division of Robert Half International Inc.


Reference checks help employers get a stronger sense of whether a candidate will be a good fit, both in terms of skills and experience, as well as within the workplace culture, according to the report.  Specifically, senior managers surveyed said they were most interested in getting a view of the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses and a description of their past job responsibilities and work experience.


Senior managers were asked, “When speaking to an applicant’s job references, what is the most important information you hope to receive?”  Responses include:


*A view into the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses: 38%


*Description of past job duties and experience: 22%


*Confirmation of job title and dates of employment: 19%


*A sense of the applicant’s preferred work culture: 12%


*Description of workplace accomplishments: 10%


The online survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm.  It includes responses from more than 2,800 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in 28 major US cities.