Published on: Jul 30, 2013

More Hiring on the Horizon?

As President Obama prepares to address the state of jobs today in a speech from one of’s massive fulfillment warehouses, there are new signs that the nation’s job engine is steadily improving. The speech comes just one day after his host, the giant online retailer, announced that it will be adding at least 5,000 new workers to its warehouses to meet rising consumer demand. Meanwhile, a report in today’s Wall Street Journal points to increased hiring of teachers, firefighters, police officers and other civic workers in cities and municipalities across the country, as rising employment and home buying begin to refill local government coffers. The report cites the latest government data showing that local government employment has experienced a net increase of 46,000 workers since the beginning of the year. Not only is hiring up in the public sector, but job-cut tracking by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. indicates that the 7,727 layoffs announced by government agencies through the first half of 2013 is down 26 percent from 10,462 layoffs at the same point a year ago. According to Challenger, which also tracks hiring plans, employers have announced plans to add nearly 189,000 workers since January 1. “Of course, this represents just a tiny fraction of the actual hiring that has occurred this year, since most companies do not formally announce hiring plans. Employers are actually hiring more than four million new workers every month and, contrary to widely held misconception, not all of these new jobs are in fast food and retail,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The latest job openings and labor turnover survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that of the 4,441,000 new workers hired in May, 870,000 were in the professional and business services industry. Construction and manufacturing hired about 540,000 workers. Education and health care hired another 537,000. The same survey tracked just under 4.2 million separations in May. “However, it is important to note that more than half of those separations were people voluntarily quitting their jobs. The portion of people quitting has been steadily rising throughout the recovery, while the portion of those laid off or discharged has been declining. We are also seeing increase separations related to retirement, transfer, death and disability,” said Challenger. Why are the hourly-wage positions being created by Amazon just as important as jobs with more earning potential? What other areas of the economy are experiencing job creation? How can job seekers take advantage of new opportunities?