Reports Evidence Job Growth About to Begin

manpower“Job growth is about to begin,” The Conference Board declared Monday. In the second quarter, says Manpower. “We are already seeing evidence,” insists the Association of Executive Search Consultants.

Even coming upon the heels of a robust labor report last week (that fueled a Wall Street mini-rally) these pronouncements probably won’t do much for the pessimists, but for recruiters, consider the collective news a call to reveille.

The Manpower report in particular says the second quarter should see a “modest” increase in hiring, based on the company’s survey of 18,000 employers in the U.S. While 73 percent expect to keep staffing level, 16 percent expect to hire. Only 8 percent expect to cut. (The remaining 3 percent fall into the “don’t know” category.)

“We continue to see encouraging signs in hiring activity in the U.S.,” says Manpower Inc. Chairman and CEO Jeff Joerres.

If you read down in the release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you would have seen that temp jobs took a big jump in February. It’s a good sign. Employers may not be ready to commit, but at least they’re dating.

The leaders of two of the biggest staffing firms in the U.S., Tig Gilliam of Adecco, and Roy Krause, CEO of SFN Group (previously Spherion), expect to see 100,000 temp hires per month before much longer. Gilliam also says Adecco has seen a 50 percent increase in the number of its temps hired on full time.

Like the staffing industry, executive recruiters have seen improvement, though it has been more noticeable outside the U.S. As a whole, the industry took a 32.5 percent year-over-year revenue hit in 2009. But the 4th quarter brought revenue improvement and an increase in search activity.

Globally, Asia/Pacific, Central/South America, and Europe saw increases in executive search activity in the 4th quarter of 2009 versus the same quarter in 2008. Though the quarter was down over the 4th quarter of 2008 by .5 percent in North America (the U.S., represents the biggest share) there were 11.4 percent more searches started than in the third quarter of 2009.

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Add these reports to the other reports and data coming in and there’s little doubt that the world economy is improving, with the U.S. trailing, but moving forward nonetheless.

That this is no gangbuster recovery in the U.S. is evident from all the cautious comments and qualified statements. ERE member Keith Halperin has amassed a slew of estimates from well-respected sources suggesting it could take years before the 8.4 million plus unemployed are back to work. Scroll down to the comments to see his data points.

The Conference Board’s various surveys shows that confidence in the recovery is shaky and uncertain, even as its Employment Trends Index rises. Consumer confidence dropped big in February, mostly because of fears about job growth. Meanwhile Monday’s Employment Trends Index posted a sixth monthly gain, and the biggest overall percentage gain for a six month period since 1994.

The February rise to 93.5 from January’s 93.2, modest though it may seem, was enough to lead Gad Levanon, associate director, Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board, to say, “The continued rise in the ETI suggests that job growth is about to begin.”

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


4 Comments on “Reports Evidence Job Growth About to Begin

  1. 10% unemployment could remain for years, according to (are you ready for this?) Burau of Labor Statistics, projectonly only 10 Mil. new jobs by 2018. ONLY? – 10 Mil. sounds impressive until you realize 10 Mil. till the beginning of 2018 is about 100k a month, not even coving the generally accepted 100-150k a mo. estimates of folks joining the labor force, not counting ‘border flows’, which could soon reverse.

  2. Thank you for citing me, John. Here’s some more information about what new jobs are supposed to be created
    (not sure how up-to-date the source is, though…):


    Hottest Careers (
    Experts (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
    Predict Where the Jobs Will Be in 2016
    Government economists estimate which occupations will have the most job openings between 2006 and 2016. Openings occur because new jobs are created and because workers retire or leave the field for other reasons.

    Check out these top 10 lists of occupations, sorted by the level of education typically required:

    Occupations with the Most Job Openings: Graduate Degree
    Occupation Total Job Openings 2006-20016
    Postsecondary teachers 662,000
    Lawyers 228,000
    Doctors and surgeons 204,000
    Clergy 130,000
    Pharmacists 95,000
    Educational, vocational, and school counselors 84,000
    Physical therapists 68,000
    Mental health and substance abuse social workers 62,000
    Rehabilitation counselors 60,000
    Mental health counselors 50,000

    Occupations with the Most Job Openings: Bachelor’s Degrees
    Occupation Total Job Openings 2006-2016
    Elementary school teachers, except special education 545,000
    Accountants and auditors 450,000
    Secondary school teachers, except special and vocational education 368,000
    Computer software engineers, applications 300,000
    Computer systems analysts 280,000
    Middle school teachers, except special and vocational education 217,000
    Network systems and data communications analysts 193,000
    Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents 161,000 (I’d guess pre-Meltdown estimate. -kh)
    Network and computer systems administrators 154,000
    Construction managers 152,000

    Occupations with the Most Jobs Openings:
    Associate’s Degrees or Postsecondary Vocational Awards
    Occupation Total Job Openings 2006-2016
    Registered nurses 1,001,000
    Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants 393,000
    Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses 309,000
    Automotive service technicians and mechanics 265,000
    Computer support specialists 242,000
    Preschool teachers, except special education 187,000
    Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists 151,000
    Real estate agents 115,000
    Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers 107,000
    Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors 107,000

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