April 2012 jobs report recap

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The April jobs report came out at the end of last week, disappointing some economists and businesses. But one month does not an employment situation make. If we look at a six-month rolling average for employment we can see that we are headed in the right direction. There will be no magical or overnight recovery from the recession. And steady growth is more likely to be sustainable anyway.

A few indicators tell us where that growth is likely to come from. First, temporary employment is typically a leading indicator of permanent employment growth, and this category added 21,000 jobs in April. Some of that growth is due to companies deciding to contract out more work as they grow, and some is companies dipping their toes in the water to ensure that adding jobs is a good idea.

A second indicator is the continued trend in certain job categories, specifically, IT and health care. Today’s economic strengths are highly correlated to innovation and the rapid rate of change in our products and services. Jobs in technological fields support and create much of that innovation and change. A problem we face is developing enough of the right skills in people to fill these jobs. In health care however we are seeing slightly different trends. Jobs in home health care are growing due to our aging population, but jobs in “Physician Extender” health care careers will be the more permanent trend. The positions of Nurse Practitioner and Physician’s Assistant allow for a more cost effective health care delivery system. The underlying message here is that more unemployed, underemployed and discouraged workers need to find ways to develop new skills to remain employable.

A third indicator in today’s numbers is the addition of 29,000 jobs in the retail sector. During the past several months we have seen consumer confidence rise increase in addition to  rising revenues at retail and restaurant establishments. This helps what economists call the “virtuous cycle” in which more consumer spending helps businesses to grow which in turn creates more jobs, leading back into more consumer confidence and spending.

Share with us where you think that jobs are likely to grow. What skills do you have the most trouble finding?

About Kathy Kane

Comments

  1. Edward Cohen says:

    Your local manager sucks. After several months of searching I am yet to recieve any contact from my local office even though I’ve seen positions posted on Careerbuilder etc. All I did was to respond to an email about unloading trucks with the comment of “You’ve got to be kidding”. I was chastized in a return email about how I represent your organization when I am placed in a position. The email was inappropriate as I have over 30 years in my chosen profession and I am also a coranary artery disease patient. If your manager had any familiarity with me he would have known this. Instead all he ever did was to sit in his office with his butt growing bigger underneath him. I’m through with your agency or organization. May you all suffer the fate that you deserve!

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