What Does a 5% Unemployment Rate Really Mean to Companies Looking to Hire?

unemploymentThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released their monthly jobs report – a review of working, unemployed, seasonal, non-farm and part-time employees that make up the US Labor Force.  The report opens with a 5.0% unemployment rate, even though 271,000 more people went to work in October. What does this monthly report mean?

The professional and business services category, which includes computer systems and engineering services, increased their monthly employment number more than other months. Anyone trying to fill positions in engineering and IT related fields knows the difficulty of finding the right candidates. This talent pool has a national unemployment rate that’s less than 5%. In fact, certain areas of the country are closer to 2% unemployment.

This information aligns with a Staffing Industry Analysts report that companies hiring engineering contingent workers spent more than double the amount of money than those utilizing industrial staffing. IT staffing spend came in at a 50% more than industrial.  It is important to note that engineering and IT assignments tend to have a longer duration and higher pay rates, which is a contributing factor to the difference in spend.

As a staffing company, we can attest to the fact that quality, experienced candidates are getting new positions quickly. Especially in STEM trades, top quality talent is very hard to find.

So 5% unemployment means, good people are hard to find and they are off the market quickly.  Does this mean there’s no one to fill your open positions? Absolutely not. It means that creativity in sourcing and finding candidates is required. The days of relying on job boards to fill your open jobs are long over. Networking, thought leadership, and niche-focused staffing companies are the way to get your positions filled.

As you plan for 2016 and your hard-to-fill positions, realize that there are staffing companies that understand your world. Niche agencies speak your language, know your technology and can deliver you the right candidates, at the right time.

 

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