Employment Summary for August 2022
Data released today by The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) aligned with the consensus estimate reporting a gain of 315,000 non-farm jobs, indicating continued strength in the job market despite overall economic headwinds.
The labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 percentage point over the previous month and the unemployment rate edged up by 0.2 percent to 3.7 percent. Among the civilian labor force over age 25, and with a bachelor’s degree and higher, the unemployment rate was 1.9 percent. This represents essentially full employment conditions among the MRINetwork’s primary candidate base.
Employed persons who reported some teleworking during the month decreased to 6.5 percent continuing the steady return to workplace trend.
“Today’s BLS jobs report continues to challenge the experts who try to analyze the impact of a whole new set of economic variables. Clouding their forecasts are disruptors like an economy continuing to rebound from an historic shut down, new technology that dramatically changed the remote-working environment, 40-year high inflation rates, a vast war in Ukraine, an improved but continued supply chain turmoil and a Federal Reserve on a mission,” said Bert Miller, President and CEO of MRI – a global Network of over 250 executive recruiting firms.
“Our advice to employers in virtually every industry is to focus on what you can control as a leader. We urge clients to incorporate six factors into a firm’s North Star vision. First and foremost continue to build a strong leadership team – hire top talent even in uncertain economic times. Then, ensure that each of a firm’s leadership teams bring subject matter expertise to the market. Elevate your organizations learning platform and become a true learning organization. Drive meaningful services to your firm’s market. Continue to relentlessly innovate. And finally, become the expert voice in your business sector with a compelling digital strategy.”
Characterizing the August BLS data, USA Today business correspondent Paul Davidson noted that his sources indicate “persistent labor shortages have made many companies reluctant to cut staffers and even encouraged some firms to bring on workers they don’t need in the current wobbly economy with an eye toward an eventual rebound. And some industries, like restaurants and bars, are still well below their pre-COVID employment levels and struggling to catch up as Americans resume dining out, traveling and other activities in larger numbers. For now, the robust job numbers mean more household income and spending, insulating the economy from a recession, at least in the short term.”
Sounding a bit of caution about today’s numbers Richard Flynn, managing director at Charles Schwab UK noted, “Unemployment remains relatively low, but the cause may be minimal labour force participation rather than a booming economy. Investors will be mindful that jobs reports are a lagging indicator that are often strong heading into a recession. Indeed, broader economic indicators have been weakening recently.”
Nonfarm employment has risen by 5.8 million over the past 12 months, as the labor market continued to recover the job losses of the pandemic-induced recession. This growth brings total nonfarm employment 240,000 higher than its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
Professional and business services added 68,000 jobs in August. Within the industry, employment gains occurred in computer systems design and related services (+14,000), management and technical consulting services (+13,000), architectural and engineering services (+10,000), and scientific research and development services (+6,000).
In August, healthcare employment rose by 48,000, with job gains in offices of physicians (+15,000), hospitals (+15,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+12,000).
Retail trade added 44,000 jobs in August and 422,000 jobs over the past 12 months. In August, employment increased primarily in general merchandise stores (+15,000) and food and beverage stores (+15,000).
Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in August (+22,000), with gains concentrated in durable goods industries (+19,000).
Employment in financial activities rose by 17,000 in August and by 200,000 over the year.
August employment increased modestly in wholesale trade, mining, and in leisure and hospitality. This follows average monthly gains of 90,000 jobs in leisure and hospitality in the first seven months of 2022.
In August, employment showed little change in other major industries, including construction, transportation and warehousing, information, other services, and government.
“It is vital that leaders build a platform that allows top performers to not just succeed, but to thrive. Embrace openness and honesty as the foundation of a supportive culture and clearly define that culture through core values that are understood by every team member. Provide a line-of-sight towards your firm’s North Star and a path for team members to influence the outcome. Today’s top performers want not just fair compensation and flexible work alternatives. They want to be part of an organization with purpose and a mission that aligns with their own core values,” noted Miller.
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- The full Bureau of Labor Statistics report can be downloaded here: