There are several indications that the economy is beginning to improve.
A quick look at the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that GDP has remained positive for 15 of the last 16 quarters (even though seven of those quarters had growth of two percent or less); the trade deficit is declining; and personal income is going up.
On the labor side, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in their most recent report, stated that in the third quarter of 2016 there was a net gain of nearly 700k jobs. They also report that job gains exceeded job losses in 39 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Regarding staffing, G. Palmer & Associates is predicting that in the second quarter of 2017, the demand for temporary labor will increase 3.6 percent when compared with 2016. They had predicted a 2.9 percent increase in Q1, but BLS discovered that the actual increase was 3.5 percent.
“2017 first quarter marks the 29th consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases in demand for temporary workers, and our forecast for the second quarter predicts a similar rate of growth,” said Greg Palmer, founder and managing director of G. Palmer & Associates, an Orange County, California-based human capital advisory firm that specializes in workforce solutions. “The data shows that temp help as a percentage of new job growth remained constant in Q1 while wages were up nearly 2.7%.”
This is also consistent with the American Staffing Association’s Staffing Index, which closed its Apr. 16 report at an average of 93.43 over the past four weeks. Staffing employment grew 1.82% year-to-year over the same period.
In whole, this is all very good news for the economy and indicates that the staffing industry is very much involved in the recovery.
“Our economy has been slowly improving since the ‘Great Recession’ of 2008,” said Tom Sarach, Jr., president and CEO of COATS Staffing Software. “But it would appear that we’re starting to see an acceleration. We’re seeing increasing demand for good talent, increasing wages, and a willingness by clients to pay a margin consistent with the service they are getting from staffing firms.”
With this growing demand for talent, there is also the imperative to track talent. And, earlier this month, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) of the IRS announced that they have discovered and are fixing system errors associated with levying a penalty on applicable large employers who failed to comply with the Affordable Care Act.
When you couple the two factors – an accelerating economy and the government getting more prepared to enforce penalties for one of the most encompassing labor laws passed in a generation – now, more than ever, it’s important for companies to have reliable and efficient means of monitoring, tracking, and generating reports.
“The reality is that clients and employees will need staffing more not less in this new economy,” said Sarach. “And it’s extremely important to have software that can manage the volumes on both sides of the need.”