It’s a Job Seeker’s Market – And Here’s the Data to Show It

Nolan Gray Market Trends, Staffing

Staffing professionals know the job market is different now in the wake of the recession – but they may not know just how different it is. To truly understand what it means for the job seeker to now have the advantage, it's important to look at some recent statistics. The data reinforces the importance of the right staffing software solutions to meet today's challenges – and there's a lot of information that tells us what the job market looks like now.

The State of the Job Market
According to the most recent ADP employment report, the private sector added 213,000 jobs in the month of September. This is an increase over the 204,000 jobs added in August.

"Job gains remain strong and steady," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said in a press release. "The pace of job growth has been remarkably similar for the past several years. Especially encouraging most recently is the increasingly broad base nature of these gains. Nearly all industries and companies of all sizes are adding consistently to payrolls."

Zandi's words are borne out by the data, which showed small, midsize and large businesses all added significantly to their payrolls. Service-providing jobs grew by 155,000, while goods-producing positions increased by 58,000. This is the sixth month that the ADP employment report has shown employment gains over 200,000.

Career counseling firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. recently reported companies are planning the fewest layoffs for September than they have in 14 years. The firm said the U.S. is on the path to the year of the fewest layoffs seen since 1997.

"Job security is being helped by the fact that corporate profits remain near record highs," John A. Challenger, the company's chief executive, said in a release. "So, we may see some ebb and flow in the rate of hiring, but employers, at this point, are reluctant to make any over-correction in workplace levels."

The positive job market news continued, as the U.S. Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell 8,000 last week to 287,000, near the mid-July low. All of this data combined means fewer people are unemployed, and fewer stand to lose their current positions.

It's a Job Seeker's Game
In this environment, it's obvious job seekers have a lot of choices. Those who want to stay at a position will likely be able to. Most prospective candidates are probably looking while employed, giving them the opportunity to be selective in what offers they take. Offering a competitive candidate experience and a superior working relationship with candidates is crucial for every staffing firm that wants to retain its advantage in the market. When candidates have so many choices, staffing firms must make themselves the most attractive option.

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