For November 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation Report indicated an unemployment rate decline from 7.3 to 7.0 percent and a rise of 203,000 in total nonfarm payroll employment. The overall number of unemployed persons declined to 10.9 million, which was partially attributed to furloughed federal employees (counted amongst the number of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks) returning to work in November after the government shutdown. Although the labor force participation rate (which takes into account those not looking for work) remained virtually unchanged at 63.0 percent, the employment-population ratio increased by 0.3 percentage point to 58.6 percent in November, reversing a decline of the same size in October. The 7.0 percent unemployment rate represents the lowest level since November 2008. Continue reading
The beginning of October marked one year since legislation came into effect in the UK requiring employers to enroll their employees into a pension scheme. Before we examine the impact, a bit of background.
The Pension Act requires employers to automatically enroll all their employees (both permanent and temporary) in a pension scheme in which the employee would contribute an initial 1% with a matching contribution from the employer. The opt-in is perhaps the most significant part of this as employees have to consciously choose to opt out. The hope behind the policy was that this would lead to a much higher number of people saving.
The change was met with an air of indignation from the recruitment industry, fresh off the back of implementing the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR), with a strong concern that they would end up having to shoulder increased administrative costs tracking which employees enrolled and who opted out. Continue reading
The end of the year is approaching and with the cool weather, holiday cheer and festive decorations it makes it easy to become influenced to do something special such as volunteering your time and giving back to your community. This year, IQNavigator employees took time out of their busy day or time in-between holiday shopping to donate their time and make those who are less fortunate have a happy holiday season too.
Last week, the IQNavigator IQNcares program, aimed at sponsoring community involvement, partnered with the Denver Rescue Mission to help serve lunch and dinner. I was eager to participate for two reasons: I believe in giving back to the community and, volunteering with co-workers is a lot of fun and helps us to get to know each other better.
After talking with other volunteers at the conclusion of the meal, we agreed that volunteering together left us feeling grateful that we were able to spread at least a small measure of happiness to everyone around us.
Because of our IQNcares program and the volunteer opportunities it offers to our employees like the Denver Rescue Mission, we have seen a boost in employee morale and a greater connection to our community. Now that is something to be thankful for.
Are you interested in volunteering with the Denver Rescue Mission? Find out how you can help…
Following up on themes from the 3Q IQNdex white paper and last week’s blog on the BLS Employment Situation Release, I wanted to provide some additional perspective based on further analysis and some new data released yesterday (November 19th, 2013).
Announcing the creation of 204,000 jobs, the October jobs report was received with acclaim and relief. There had been widespread concern that the federal government shutdown would dampen hiring and artificially exaggerate unemployment. Instead, October job creation was the third strongest month in 2013, so far.
Lost in the glare of the spotlight placed on the new job figure was a seemingly trivial 0.1 of an hour decline in the average work week for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls. That category encompasses almost 70% of US workers, 94.7 million out of an employee base of 136.6 million. The impact of shortening the average work week for this group by six minutes, from 33.7 to 33.6 hours, is not immediately apparent until you do the comparison:
One must be a little skeptical when multiplying averages, but the reported statistics support the idea that when measured by hours worked, the US labor market shrank by almost 65,000 Full Time Equivalents in October. Continue reading
Our latest IQNdex report has revealed some interesting findings. First, contingent labor bill rates remained unaffected in the third quarter despite the record level of hiring of temporary and contingent workers in the US. This is primarily because the number of people seeking jobs remained high as well. But what makes this rate stability even more remarkable is that this “hiring spree” for non-permanent workers is occurring in parallel to a prolonged period of direct employee hiring, as reported in the most recent BLS jobs report.
The Q3 2013 IQNdex also suggests the US is undergoing a fundamental change in the composition of the workforce – placing much greater emphasis on contingent labor. Ongoing economic uncertainty is one factor driving this trend – businesses want to keep flexibility in their cost structure. Increased legal and administrative burden in both hiring and terminating a direct employee is an additional inducement to rely on temps. More recently, the regulatory turmoil surrounding Obamacare has been a further consideration. Together, these market forces have led to an increased reliance on contingent labor by businesses and to record levels of temporary staffing employment. Continue reading