The State of the Market - Hiring & Recruiting
There are 3 main take-aways from our Q3 wrap up and Q4 forecasting Webinar. Tele-work and remote staffs are here to stay, the market conditions in the Mid-Atlantic and South regions are not just improving, but showing strength and social media and marketing is more important than ever.
In September, 22.7 percent of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 24.3 percent in August. These are some new statistics that the BLS is tracking. They refer to employed persons who teleworked or worked at home for pay at some point in the last 4 weeks specifically because of the pandemic. These supplemental data come from questions added to the household survey beginning in May to help gauge the effects of the pandemic on the labor market. At the height of the pandemic this number was near 44%. We expect this to stay at this level as many larger firms including Target, Amazon, Google and many financial firms have announced employees can remain in a telework environment through June 1. When you look at IT and professional services positions that require a Bachelor’s degree of higher, these numbers are around 70% of employees working at home.
The October labor numbers were positive with non-farm payrolls rising by 661,000 in September, lower than the 800,000 Dow Jones estimate but still adding positions each month. This brings the total number of jobs added since May to 11.4 million. In all, the U.S. economy is still down 10.7 million jobs from pre-pandemic levels in February (BLS) but the new unemployment rate was 7.9%, better than the 8.2% estimate.
According to large surveys by Manpower, Fortune and the BLS, 20% of businesses surveyed in the South expect to add to payrolls during the October to December period, while 8 percent expect to trim payrolls and 68 percent anticipate no change. The resulting Net Employment Outlook is +12%. Once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variation, hiring plans improve considerably in comparison with the third quarter of 2020, while declining slightly year-over-year. Capital spending is still on a roll, rising 1.5% in August, fully regaining its pre-recession level and then some.
Hiring prospects are considerably stronger in five industry sectors across our region when compared with the prior quarter: Construction, Leisure & Hospitality, Other Services, Professional & Business Services (including IT) and Wholesale & Retail Trade.