The recent headlines are confusing: The U.S. economy has never been stronger; yet the stock market is at times volatile. How does this paradox affect a company’s 2019 HR goals such as hiring decisions and employee compensation? Here we’ll take a look at how your business might be influenced by the economy at this point in time and how you can navigate the sometimes tricky twists and turns to ensure you’re making the best choices for your company in the long term.
Historic Job Gains - And Some Losses
Job growth in America is on an unprecedented surge: April 2019 marked the 103rd straight month that the economy has added jobs, while the unemployment rate has remained under 5 percent for the past 31 months. In fact, the unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent in April, marking the lowest level since December 1969.
This is all great news for the job market, right? Well, yes and no. As the world’s largest economy shows continued signs of flourishing, all eyes are on the Federal Reserve. This Crain’s Chicago article asks: Will the Fed ease policy and create rate cuts to avoid sparking inflation and what some are predicting as an impending recession?
It’s helpful to take a closer look at where the gains are happening, as well as the losses, to better understand the current state of the U.S. labor market. The sectors that are experiencing the biggest growth include construction, healthcare and hospitality, while retail and the automotive industry continue to struggle, battered by store closings and manufacturing plants shutting down. All of this information should be factored into the larger economic picture.
Are There Enough Workers?
One of the ongoing concerns of the current employment situation is the lack of workers to fill all of these newly created jobs. As this CNN Business report states: The unemployment rate fell in April partly due to the shrinking size of the labor market. Other indicators of a potential slow-down include a slight decline in the average work week and a lower percentage of people either currently working or looking for work.
What About Wages?
While all of this talk about extraordinary gains percolates, many economists point out that the average worker hasn’t felt the surge in their paychecks. It’s true: Wages have largely stayed stagnant even during this historic period of growth, only recently showing a slight growth (3.2 percent) in April. With this in mind, how do companies attract and retain top talent while keeping an eye on the bottom line?
What This All Means for Your 2019 Hiring Practices
Watching the economy closely is a necessary evil — the inherent ups and downs can be both exhilarating and exhausting, especially if you work in an industry that hasn’t had the benefit of these historic gains. Evaluating your company’s specific goals and vision despite what the stock market might be saying on any given day is key to riding this wave.
“The midpoint of the year is a perfect time to revisit the 2019 initiatives you established for your company,” said 20/20 Foresight Executive Search Managing Director Robert Peck. “Are you hitting your financial targets, which allows for greater growth? Are your overall objectives being met, creating more opportunities and additional job openings? These are the internal indicators to assess despite external factors when making smart hiring and compensation decisions for the rest of the year.”
The 20/20 Foresight Executive Search team is made up of industry experts with in-the-field experience. We inherently understand your business to help you navigate the current economic outlook while making savvy executive placements that advance your company’s mission. Connect with us today by filling out the form at right or calling 708.246.2100.