Here are our top staffing industry news picks for the month of June
The U.S. economy will continue to expand, according to the June 2019 NABE Outlook, which presents the consensus macroeconomic forecast of a National Association for Business Economics panel of 53 professional forecasters. The consensus forecast calls for real gross domestic product growth to slow from 2.9% in 2018 to 2.6% in 2019 and 2.1% in 2020.
The number of people who applied for jobless benefits increased a bit in late May, but not enough to affect the most robust labor market in decades. Jobless claims advanced by 3,000 to 215,000 in the week ended May 25, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast new claims would total a seasonally adjusted 215,000.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved in May, following an increase in April. The index now stands at 134.1, up from 129.2 in April. The Present Situation Index increased from 169.0 to 175.2. The Expectations Index increased from 102.7 last month to 106.6 this month.
The number of job openings was little changed at 7.4 million at the end of April, but the number of Americans seeking work declined to 5.8 million from 6.2 million a month earlier. The number of openings outnumbered the unemployed by 1.6 million in April, the largest gap on records back to 2000.
Small business optimism eclipsed levels from before the partial government shutdown, increasing 1.5 points to 105.0 in May, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. Six components in the Small Business Optimism Index improved, three were unchanged, and one dipped.
Employers are reporting the strongest nationwide hiring intentions in 13 years at +21%, according to the Q3 2019 ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. The last time the survey of more than 11,500 employers reported an outlook as high as +21% was in the third quarter of 2006.
Most economists expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to lower interest rates by the autumn, according to a survey of 59 economists by the Wall Street Journal. More than three-quarters believe the central bank's next move will be to lower rates, and nearly 40% of the 46 economists projecting a rate cut anticipated the central bank would act in July.
U.S. companies remain concerned about a shortage of talent and support immigration reform, both for high-skilled and seasonal and lower-skilled workers, according to a survey of more than 500 chief financial officers by Duke University. Difficulty hiring and retaining qualified employees remains the most-cited concern among CFOs (with 45% choosing it as their top concern).
The number of people who applied for jobless benefits in early June rose a bit to a five-week high, but that was not enough to portend any deterioration in the most robust labor market in decades. Jobless claims advanced by 3,000 to 222,000 in the week ended June 8, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The pace of growth in the U.S. economy in the first three months of 2019 remained at 3.1%, according to revised government figures, as more robust business investment offset a tepid rise in consumer spending. However, most economists forecast growth will taper off in the second quarter. The first quarter benefited from a surprisingly big rise in inventories of unsold goods as well as an improved trade balance, neither of which is expected to be repeated.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding employers to protect their employees from the dangers of working in hot weather. Employers should encourage workers to drink water every 15 minutes and take frequent rest breaks in shaded areas. Further, they should develop an emergency plan that explains what to do when a worker shows signs of heat-related illness; train workers on the hazards of heat exposure, and how to prevent illness.
Consumer spending increased at a healthy pace in May for the third consecutive month, suggesting the economy remains on solid ground even as growth has diminished. Consumer spending rose 0.4% last month, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. That's a bit below the MarketWatch forecast, but spending in April was revised upward to 0.6% from 0.3%.