Here are our top staffing industry news picks for the month of February
Access to quality candidates with the right skills is the biggest pain point for more than 50% of hiring managers, according to a survey of 859 hiring managers and 681 internal staffing or recruiting firm employees by the American Staffing Association with ASA corporate partners CareerBuilder and Inavero.
The US added 1,000 temporary jobs in January, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the US Bureau of Labor Information. However, the temp penetration rate — temp jobs as a percent of total employment — was unchanged from December at 2.03%.
The skills gap is real and getting worse, with 83% of 1,028 human resource professionals saying they have had difficulty recruiting suitable job candidates in the past 12 months, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. Fifty-two percent of HR professionals said that the skills gap has worsened or greatly worsened in the past two years.
Companies are hiring on the basis of skills versus open positions, according to a survey released by executive search firm Korn Ferry. Of the talent acquisition professionals surveyed, 57% have hired for a specific skill set even if even if they didn’t yet have a defined role for that candidate.
Jobless claims dropped by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 in the week ended Feb. 2, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had anticipated a reading of 225,000. The monthly average of new claims advanced by 4,500 to a two-month high of 224,750, but remains near historically low levels.
The nurse staffing crisis is continuing to challenge directors of nursing services, according to a survey of directors by the American Association of Directors of Nursing Services. Seventy-five percent of directors report staff shortages as their top challenge, followed by workload (73%) and stress or burnout (69%).
Consumer prices were unchanged for a third consecutive month in January, leading to the smallest annual increase in inflation in more than 1.5 years, which could permit the U.S. Federal Reserve to hold interest rates steady for a while. The Consumer Price Index was restrained last month by cheaper gasoline, which offset increases in the cost of food and rents, according to the U.S. DoL.
The labor market isn't booming, according to one key measure. Over the past 12 months, the share of unemployed people out of work for 52 weeks or longer has averaged 13.2%, which is higher than at almost any point in data from 1976 to 2008. Although the figure is down from a record 31.4% in 2011, it topped out at 12.8% in the 1990s and 2000s expansions.
According to ASA message testing research, the most appropriate terms to use to refer to staffing employees are "temporary" or "contract." The least appropriate terms, by far, are "freelancers" and "contingent workers."
Weekly jobless claims increased by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 239,000 in the week ended Feb. 9, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had anticipated claims would drop to 225,000. The number of people who applied for jobless benefits in the past month climbed to a one-year high, a potential sign the labor market could be weakening.
Business activity grew modestly in February for manufacturing firms in New York state, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The headline general business conditions index moved up five points to 8.8. New orders and shipments also increased modestly. Labor market indicators pointed to a slight increase in employment and hours worked. Firms were more optimistic about the six-month outlook than they were last month.
A federal judge in Pennsylvania found an employer, as well as individual managers, may be held liable for an employee's claim of a hostile work environment based on conduct by a nonemployee who had regular contact with the employee.
The Trump administration is denying and delaying more skilled-worker visa petitions than at any time since at least 2015, according to data provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In the 2018 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, the government issued “initial denials” to more than 61,000 H-1B applications.
The U.S. financial system remains “substantially” safer than before the 2007-09 recession, but business debt has significantly expanded and lending standards are weaker, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve's semiannual report to Congress.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently issued data showing average processing times per form and petition type for fiscal years 2014 to 2018. The normal pendency period for almost every type of case has increased since 2014, but there have been significant delays for certain types of petitions, such as foreign nationals seeking green cards.