March 2014 Jobs Report

The unemployment rate remained stable at 6.7% in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Situation Summary. Some 192,000 jobs were added to nonfarm payrolls, making March another month of little change for the United States' employment situation.

Several industries added jobs in March with the most notable being professional and business services (+57,000). Within that category, temporary help services added 29,000 jobs. Health care also added 19,000 jobs, while food services and drinking places (+30,000) and construction (+19,000) also had substantial gains.

Government employment as well as manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and financial activities remained unchanged from February.

February 2014 Jobs Report

According to the Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate rose for the first time in over a year from 6.6% in January to 6.7% in February. This may be due to continuing layoffs of seasonal workers after the holidays. 175,000 jobs were added in the month of February, and the number of long-term unemployed persons increased by 203,000, accounting for 37.0% of the total unemployed.

Employment in professional and business services rose by 79,000, and within that category temporary help services added 24,000 jobs. This continual rise in temporary services can likely be attributed to the ever-approaching employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act, making temporary help a viable solution for many businesses. Wholesale trade rose by 15,000 with most of those gains being in durable goods (+12,000). Food services and drinking places trended upward by adding 21,000 jobs.

Construction (+15,000), and health care (+10,000) each added some jobs, but made no notable change in employment for the month. Retail trade lost 4,000 jobs in February, and information declined by 16,000 jobs.

January 2014 Jobs Report

The unemployment rate in the United States continued to tick downward slightly from 6.7% in December to 6.6% in January and added 113,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Situation Summary. The number of long-term unemployed declined also by 232,000 and accounted for 35.8% of the total unemployed.

The construction industry added 48,000 jobs in January, more than any other industry. Manufacturing also added 21,000 jobs, and wholesale trade added 14,000 jobs. Other industries with gains include professional and business services (+36,000) and leisure and hospitality (+24,000).

The health care industry remained unchanged in January, and retail lost 13,000 jobs. Federal employment also declined by 12,000, but the U.S. Postal Service accounted for most of this loss.

Temporary help services added 8,000 jobs in January, and this industry is showing year-over-year growth with 9% more employees than in January of last year.

December 2013 Jobs Report

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Situation Summary showed another drop in the unemployment rate from 7.0% to 6.7% in December, dropping the United States' unemployment rate down by 0.6% since October. Approximately 74,000 jobs were added in December. The long-term unemployment rate showed little change.

Retail trade added 55,000 jobs in December, and wholesale trade added 15,000 jobs, likely due to the holiday shopping season. Temporary help services also had a strong gain of 40,000 jobs. Professional and business services added 19,000 jobs, while manufacturing added 9,000 jobs. Employment also increased slightly in mining, adding 5,000 jobs.

Health care employment saw a loss of 6,000 jobs, but this is a small change. Information had a greater loss of jobs (-12,000), and construction lost 16,000 jobs.

While the unemployment rate has seen a great amount of recovery in the past couple of months, stocks have remained fairly stagnant. Some retailers cut their earnings forecasts, and hiring did not actually pick up in December as much as Wall Street had anticipated. According to Reuters, 196,000 jobs were expected to have been added to nonfarm payrolls in December, making the actual number of 74,000 a large disappointment (Reuters, 1/9/14).

November 2013 Jobs Report

The United States jobs market looked great in November as 203,000 jobs were added to nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate fell from 7.3% to 7.0%, according to the November Employment Situation Summary released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Part of this reflects the return of federal workers after the October 2013 furlough, and the number of long-term unemployed accounted for 37.3% of the total unemployed, a number that has remained static since October.

The industries with the greatest gain in jobs included transportation and warehousing (+31,000), health care (+28,000), manufacturing (+27,000), and professional and business services (+35,000). Retail also had a significant gain at 22,000 jobs added, with 14,000 of those being in general merchandise stores.

Other notable gains in jobs include food services and drinking places (+18,000) and construction (+17,000). Temporary help services also gained 16,400 new jobs in November. Government employment declined by 7,000 jobs. The average hourly earnings for employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by $0.04 to $24.15.

October 2013 Jobs Report

The Employment Situation Summary released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated a surge in job growth, as the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs to the nonfarm payroll. In addition, revisions to past reports showed an extra 60,000 jobs were created in August in September.

There was a small uptick in the unemployment rate, from 7.2% in September to 7.3%, that can be partially explained by the nearly 450,000 workers furloughed during the recent Federal government shutdown. The number of long-term was little changed at 36.1 percent.

A few industries had significant gains in jobs in August, including leisure and hospitality (+53,000), retail (+44,000), food services and drinking places (+29,000), professional and technical services (+21,000), manufacturing (+19,000), and health care (+15,000). Employment in most other major industries was little changed.

Average hourly earnings for private sector nonfarm payrolls rose by 2 cents in October to $24.10 per hour. The average workweek for those employees was unchanged at 34.4 hours.

Temporary services added 3,300 jobs – up 0.1% from September. The year-to-year increase for staffing employees is 8.2%.

Getting Your Staff into the Giving Spirit

It is the holiday season yet again, and family time, gifts, and great food is on everyone's minds! We think it is very important for us all to celebrate and be thankful for what we have, but we also want to take the time to help others who are less fortunate and may be in need of assistance to be able to enjoy the holiday season. Although we believe this is important throughout the year, the holidays are a great time to get together to give a little. Whether you are considering doing a charitable event now or at another time during the year, we have some tips for you and your staff to organize and help others.

  • Brainstorm with your team about charitable events or organizations to help. You may want to consider doing something that relates to your company's mission or business. For example, if your business is a hat store, you could help a local organization give hats and other clothing items to local families and the homeless. This can help you narrow down which charity to help, and it can help your business by tying your name to an organization who will benefit from what you do.
  • Make sure that the charity you are helping really helps those in need. It is a sad fact that many charitable organizations do not actually donate most of the proceeds to those who need help. There are ways to track down those that really make a difference, and it can help to start locally. You can search for local organizations, such as homeless shelters and food banks, and find out how much of your donations or work will benefit those in need. You can also use charity watchdog sites, like, which evaluate charities for their effectiveness and trustworthiness.
  • Delegate responsibilities to your team. Have everyone on your team be involved in planning, and delegate tasks based on your team's strengths. Johnny may be a great communicator, so have him be the point person of coordination between your team and the organization. Suzie may be very creative, so have her make up some signs and advertising copy to help get others involved. Everyone can help, and this will help your team to bond more.
  • Come with a great attitude. Ask your team to think about why you are all helping others. Perhaps everyone can come up with a list of reasons why they think helping the community is a great responsibility. Post that list on your bulletin board or in the meeting room. This will remind them all that they matter and can make a difference, and it will inspire them to help more.
  • Have fun! During the period of time you are collecting donations, or on the day of the event your staff has coordinated, make sure everyone is smiling and having fun helping others. Encourage them to talk to some of the people they are helping. Hearing the stories of those in need will drive them to care more about others in the community and want to help more on their own.

We enjoy the spirit of giving here at The Select Family. One of our brands, Select Staffing, sponsors the Santa Barbara International Marathon each year. Check out our latest press release for the marathon coming up on Saturday, November 9!

Also, for more tips on organizing your company's charitable event, read our friend Anita Clew's recent post, Charitable Involvement in the Workplace, on how to motivate your employees to get involved.

Readers: Does your company help with any charitable causes? Can you offer tips for strategy and organization?

September 2013 Jobs Report

Since the government was temporarily shut down for two weeks, the September Employment Situation Summary was delayed. However, the jobs report was released this morning from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and showed an increase in 148,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate continued to tick downward to 7.2% from 7.3% in August. The number of long-term unemployed persons changed very little from 37.9% in August to 36.9% of the total unemployed in September.

Gains in jobs occurred over several industries, most notably construction (+20,000), wholesale trade (+16,000), transportation and warehousing (+23,000), professional and business services (+32,000), and temporary help services (+20,000). Other industries showed little change for the month of September, including health care (+7,000), leisure and hospitality (-7,000), and mining and logging, manufacturing, information, and government jobs.

Note: This data was collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics prior to the government shutdown, but the release of this data required processing only possible once the government reopened, delaying this report.

September 2013 Jobs Report

Due to the shutdown of the Federal government, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has produced no jobs report for the month of September. However, we would like to still share some great jobs statistics from our friends at Bloomberg who produced an article as a result of surveys conducted by them. According to payroll reports, the projected number of jobs added last month was 182,000, and this is backed Bloomberg's survey median. Jobless claims also rose by 1,000 in September to 308,000.

Compromise – An Important Word for Businesses

This week has been both exciting and upsetting for the American people as the government shutdown has become a reality. No matter how long such a situation lasts, citizens are upset that our country has reached this point, as Congress has had many opportunities to come to an agreement about the federal budget. While we at TradePost understand that reaching compromises is not easy, especially when the stakes are so high, we still believe there are some great lessons to learn from our lawmakers about how not to behave when trying to reach compromises and work together.

  1. Know your facts. In order to have the tools necessary for compromising in the workplace or in a business deal, you must be armed with all of the facts you may need. Overeducate yourself on all the aspects of the deal and be sure to have a good idea of all consequences. Having facts and foresight will always help you to make better decisions.
  2. Be prepared for undesirable counteroffers. While negotiating, it is almost always the case that you will not get your way in the first round. You must prepare to turn down the other side while simultaneously offering another solution. Being able to anticipate what the other side wants and being prepared to offer a solution that benefits both sides, even if you do not plan to fully give in, is a key to good negotiation.
  3. Give yourself plenty of time, and stick to your deadline. If you know that you have an important project due and you must work with a difficult coworker, or you have a set amount of time to reach a deal with a potential client, start early and do not procrastinate. Congress has known all year that the government was only funded through the end of the fiscal year, which ends on September 30. While efforts to reach a compromise have been in the works, the option to go beyond the deadline should not exist. In business, when we miss deadlines, we lose valuable customers and opportunities to better our companies. When you begin negotiating, know that at some point you must reach a deal or be able to work together.
  4. Stubbornness usually doesn't win. Do not simply put your foot down and never budge. While there are some deals that will never reach a compromise, most situations require a decision. You may not end up working with that most difficult client because of a huge pricing discrepancy, but most of your efforts will require some sort of compromise. Sometimes you must be willing to give in, especially if you have tried many times before to get your way to no avail. You cannot always win, but that does not mean that you should cease operations each time you are not able to reach an agreement that satisfies you fully. At some point, you will be wasting valuable time and money on efforts that will get your business nowhere.

Readers: What is your number one tip for better negotiation?

More Entries