Here are our top staffing industry news picks for the month of May
The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept its benchmark interest rate in a range between 2.25% and 2.5%. Chairman Jerome Powell played down concerns about broader economic weakness due to recent soft inflation. He highlighted individual price declines that could prove transitory, pushing back against some market hopes the Fed might be preparing to lower interest rates later this year.
Employee productivity soared in the first quarter and brought the gains over the past year to the highest level since 2010, a potentially excellent sign for the economy. Productivity rose at a 3.6% annual pace from January through March, according to the federal government. That's the largest increase since the autumn of 2014.
Temporary help employment rose 0.6% (17,900 jobs) from March to April, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Note: initial BLS estimates on seasonally adjusted temporary help services employment data tend to be materially revised monthly and annually, according to an ASA analysis of BLS data).
Construction employment rose by 33,000 jobs in April and by 256,000 (3.5%), over the past 12 months, while the number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience fell to a record low for April, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America.
The U.S. technology sector added an estimated 18,900 new jobs in April, according to an analysis by CompTIA. New hiring in technology services, custom software development, and computer systems design led the April job growth, with an estimated 14,100 new hires. Also contributing to the April performance were employment gains in other information services.
The National Federation of Independent Business' Small Business Optimism Index ticked up 0.1 points to 101.8 in March, a historically strong level and an indication that small businesses continue to power the economy after being briefly shaken by January's government shutdown. Overall, the index anticipates solid growth, keeping the economy at "full employment" with no signs of a recession in the near term. Labor market indicators improved.
Industrial production was down 0.5% in April, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve. Capacity utilization dropped substantially to 77.9% from an upwardly revised 78.8%. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.1% decline in production and a drop in utilization to 78.6%.
The U.S. National Labor Relations Board has found that Uber's drivers are contractors, not employees. The conclusion deals a blow to drivers' efforts to band together to demand higher pay and better working conditions from Uber and its main rival in the ride-hailing business, Lyft.
Long and unpredictable hours have spread from professions such as law, finance, and consulting to many other jobs, both salaried and hourly. But with unemployment at the lowest point in half a century, more companies are turning to flexible work plans to help attract workers, particularly given the tight labor market.
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.
Although over fifty years has passed since the establishment of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, age discrimination still occurs in the workplace and in hiring practices, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and numerous studies.
A group of investors with more than $1 trillion in assets is seeking to use its influence to urge companies to hire more people with disabilities. The group led by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read is pressuring companies they're invested in to take a series of steps to better include job candidates with disabilities.
John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said yesterday that the central bank's perspective on how low the unemployment rate can go without igniting inflation has evolved. The fact the economy can operate with historically low unemployment levels without igniting inflation is "good".
The tight U.S. labor market is reducing the number of people dropping out of the labor force but is not drawing new people in, according to a paper by Regis Barnichon, a research adviser in the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's economic research department.
Some 60% of male managers say they are uncomfortable doing common workplace activities with women such as mentoring, socializing, or having one-on-one meetings—an increase from 46% in 2018, according to a survey from LeanIn.org, a women's self-empowerment organization.