November 2014 Labor Report: Big Numbers

December 9, 2014 | Leave a Comment By Gary Pollard

US Jobs Report Beats Forecasts Big Time

Lots to Like in the November Numbers
The November BLS Employment Situation Release was a welcome surprise. The 321,000 new jobs far exceeded expectations, handily beating the average of 224,000 over the prior 12 months. The new job creation numbers for September and October were revised upward 15,000 and 29,000, respectively. Unemployment, which is measured by a separate survey, remained unchanged at 5.8%. The participation rate was also flat at 62.8%.

Additional strength was evident in the measures of existing employment. The average workweek increased by a tenth of an hour. Average hourly wages also increased, rising $0.9. Annualized, this doubles the 2.1% rate of wage increase recorded over the past year.

New Jobs Creation: Widespread and Robust
Most industry categories reported substantial job creation. Professional and Business Services, of which Temporary Employment is a subset, added 86,000 jobs. Health Services, Manufacturing, Construction, and Financial Services all saw substantial employment growth. Industry segments with a seasonal influence, including Retail, Leisure and Hospitality, and Transportation and Warehousing, all contributed to the strong new job creation total. Continue reading

VMS 101: Connecting Business to Temporary Labor

December 8, 2014 | Leave a Comment By Louay Bachir

vms101My mission: Educate you on VMS as I, being “the new guy” to this industry, learn about it myself. What better way than a VMS 101 Blog Series!

A little bit about me before we jump in: My name is Louay Bachir. My background is in technology and software marketing and sales (both by education and trade). I am a Colorado native, but I don’t flaunt it with a bumper sticker! I joined IQNavigator in July of 2014. Being new to the company and the industry, I have learned a lot in a short amount of time and am still picking up more each day. There’s a lot to learn in the Vendor Management System (VMS) industry, and I thought it would be helpful to write about the journey for others who are on the same path. So, let’s jump in to the first installment of the VMS 101 Blog Series.

So You Think You Can Dance…With a Contingent Worker?

So you think you can dance with a contingent worker? What about 5,000? If you answered “no,” you may just change your mind after reading this. If you answered “yes,” well, I hope you don’t get your feet trampled!

This blog series isn’t about dancing (sorry if I let you down), but rather, how to understand, manage and control your company’s growing contingent labor program. Think this doesn’t apply to you? Read on! Continue reading

October 2014 Labor Report: More Good News

November 13, 2014 | Leave a Comment By Gary Pollard

Job Market Shows Moderate Improvements Across Many Measures

Hard to Complain

The October BLS Employment Situation Release was no blockbuster. The 214,000 new jobs created by the U.S. economy was on the low side of expectations. That said, this report was positive and well-rounded in a variety of ways:

  • Unemployment declined to 5.8%
  • Participation rate was up slightly, showing job gains were real
  • Employment estimates for August and September were raised a combined 31,000
  • Average work week increased
  • Workers were better able to find full-time jobs

The job market is still not fully recovered from recession, but the gains reflected in the October job numbers give further evidence of long-term, gradual improvement of the employment picture. Continue reading

Visibility, Control, Strategy… In That Order!

November 11, 2014 | Leave a Comment By Michael Matherly


Isn’t this so true of how people often approach business problems? Most of us have no shortage of good examples where well-intentioned efforts to solve a problem in a hurry before fully understanding the root problem just made things worse (or at least delayed the desired outcome). Often this is a symptom of panic in the light of inexperience, combined with the strong instincts most business leaders have to “fix the problem.”

The spend management equivalent to this phenomenon is “strategy, control, visibility.” Having been on the procurement side of an unsegmented, out-of-control spend category, I appreciate that there is a tendency to want to be strategically minded right out of the gate. Only one problem: like firing blindly into the air, setting strategies too soon has little chance of hitting the target. I myself (early in my career, mind you) have made the mistake of putting strategy before visibility and control and paid the price: wasted time and effort, frustrated business managers and suppliers, and anemic compliance and adaption. I can still feel the bruises!


I like to think I am a little wiser now than when I entered the sourcing and procurement space 15+ years ago. So today, when I am asked for guidance on how to quickly or easily identify spend management opportunities or how to assess an organization’s readiness for program expansion (i.e. from temporary labor into SOW-based services) my first response is “what questions do you have?” And I mean that literally.

The type of spend or vendor-related questions being asked in an organization is the tell (a behavior, manner of speaking or words used that gives clues to the underlying condition). To demonstrate this point, look at these two different sets of questions: Continue reading

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