Aiming hire?

Here’s the good news: hiring has picked up nationally, showing some signs of coming out of a sluggish and inconsistent post-recession lull. Since March the economy has averaged more than 160,000 new jobs per month and, while that’s not exactly explosive job growth, it’s certainly an encouraging trend. Questions remain, however, about just how meaningful that job growth may be, and what the between-the-lines numbers about the employment landscape might tell us about what employers are thinking.

When Treasury Secretary Lew appeared on Meet the Press recently, one of the issues that came up in the discussion was the fact that, while employment is growing, it seems as if a great deal of that growth is due to seasonal employment or part-time job increases. That reflects a larger conversation I’m hearing: There are doubts about whether or not the modest job gains we have seen in recent months constitute “real”, sustainable growth.

The other issue is inconsistency. While the overall trend has been fairly encouraging, we are still seeing a lot of variation from week to week and from month to month. The story seems to change from one week to the next: jobless claims are up, then they are back down. To me, that volatility is indicative of uncertainty. A slowly improving economy means that organizations are experiencing an uptick in their employment needs, but lingering uncertainty about the strength and sustainability of the recovery means that many of those same employers are still not willing to take the plunge and make significant long-term hiring commitments.

The hesitation on the part of employers to jump in with both feet and hire more full-time employees is understandable—and it is also where Powerlink can help. Our staffing options give employers the flexibility they need to build their business and take on promising opportunities, all without making a significant hiring commitment in a still volatile economy.

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