BLS Analysis for Recruiters October 2020 – 4 Articles

Bob Marshall’s October 2020 BLS Analysis for Recruiters; 11/6/20

The 4 October/November Articles…

Start here…

US Manufacturing Sector Expands in October, Good News for Employment

Daily News, November 2, 2020

The US manufacturing sector expanded in October, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s “Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.”  There was good news in the report for manufacturing employment as well, with the employment index entering expansion territory for the first time in more than a year.

“Manufacturing performed well for the third straight month, with demand, consumption and inputs registering growth indicative of a normal expansion cycle,” said Timothy Fiore, chair of the institute’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.  “While certain industry sectors are experiencing difficulties that will continue in the near term, the overall manufacturing community continues to exceed expectations.”

ISM’s Manufacturing PMI rose to a reading of 59.3% in October, up from 55.4% in September.  October’s reading was the highest since September 2018.  October’s reading also indicated the overall economy expanded for the sixth month in a row after contracting in April.  Readings above 42.8%, over time, indicate expansion in the overall economy.

The PMI is based on the diffusion indexes of five indexes with equal weights: new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories.  The diffusion index includes the percent of positive responses plus one-half of those responding the same (considered positive).  Four of the five indexes are seasonally adjusted, with inventories being the exception.

The report’s diffusion index of employment in manufacturing entered expansion territory for the first time since July 2019.  The employment index rose to a level of 53.2% in October from 49.6% in September.  An employment index reading above 50.8%, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in employment.

Up To 23,000,000 Americans Plan to Relocate Amid Remote Work Trend

Daily News, October 30, 2020

Between 14,000,000 and 23,000,000 of US households intend to move, in many cases, out of major cities and into less expensive housing markets, according to research released by online staffing provider Upwork Inc.  The “Remote Workers on the Move” report from Chief Economist Adam Ozimek found this is the result of growing acceptance of remote work amid the pandemic.

The report also found the shift to remote work will increase near-term migration within the US by 3 to 4 times the standard rate, with 6.9% to 11.5% of households planning to move.

“Remote work presents a potential solution for those seeking job opportunities that don’t want to pay the high housing costs of a major city,” Ozimek said.  “As our survey shows, many people see remote work as an opportunity to relocate to where they want and where they can afford to live.  This is an early indicator of the much larger impacts that remote work could have in increasing economic efficiency and spreading opportunity.”

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Major cities will see the biggest out-migration: 20.6% of those planning to move are currently based in a major city. 
  • People are seeking less expensive housing: Altogether, more than half, 52.5%, are planning to move to a house that is significantly more affordable than their current home.
  • People are moving beyond regular commute distances: 54.7% of people are moving 2 hours away or more from their current location, which is beyond daily or even weekly commuting distances for most.
  • Housing market data confirms that the highest priced markets are taking the biggest hits: Rental data from found that the top 10% of the most expensive markets saw a 13% percentage-point larger decrease in rent prices than rental markets in the bottom 10%.

The research included a survey of more than 20,000 people to learn about their moving intentions.

Only 28% of Workers Expect to Return to the Workplace by End of 2020

Daily News, October 8, 2020

Only 28% of US workers expect to return to the workplace by the end of this year, according to a poll of more than 1,100 US workers by The Conference Board.  Another 38% expect to return to the workplace at some point in 2021 or beyond.

The poll also found that only 17% feel very comfortable returning to the workplace; 39% are moderately comfortable and 31% are not comfortable.

Low-ranking employees are more concerned than senior leadership about returning.  The Conference Board’s survey found that 20% of individual contributors and 21% of front-line managers are most likely to feel pressure to return in order to keep their jobs.  Only 4% of C-suite executives felt the same.

“These survey results reinforce the need for employers to hear concerns about the pressure that individual contributors and front-line managers, especially, feel to return to the workplace to keep their jobs,” said Rebecca Ray, executive VP of human capital at The Conference Board.

Women are also more concerned about various aspects of returning to the workplace than men.

Women feel more pressure to return to the workplace, 17%, than men, 10%.  In addition, 67% of women are more concerned about the risk of personally contracting Covid-19 while just 61% of men are.

In addition, 39% of women are concerned with lack of adherence to safety guidelines by colleagues compared to 32% of men.

35% of US Employers are Lowering Projected Salary Increase Budgets for Next Year

October 7, 2020

About a third of US employers, 35%, are reducing their projected 2021 salary increase budgets amid weaker-than-anticipated results and cost management concerns, according to a survey of 705 employers by Towers Willis Watson.  On the other hand, 50% are keeping them intact.

Employee groups other than executives are projected to receive salary increases of 2.6% in 2021.  That’s down from an earlier survey that found projected increases of 2.8%.  About 1-in-6 employees will not receive a pay raise in 2021.

The salary increase for top executives is expected to be 2.5% in 2021.

“The pandemic’s economic implications have led employers in virtually every industry to rethink their compensation plans and budgets for the coming year,” said Catherine Hartmann, North America Rewards practice leader, Willis Towers Watson.  “For many companies, reducing salary budgets, and in some cases, suspending pay raises, was the most viable option, as they balance remaining competitive with maintaining financial stability.”