What is going on with the job market? Is it trending up, or still in big trouble? It seems the answer is yes.
Here I was, gathering some factoids and quotes for a post about how rosy the job picture looks, especially in IT.
Here is that part:
IT employment topped 4 million with an increase of 5,000 jobs in April 2011. In fact, due to upward revisions of data previously reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of IT jobs actually topped the so-called “magic” 4 million mark.
Then I read the quarterly IT Executive Outlook survey, conducted by TEKsystems in partnership with the Inavero Institute. They report 36% of IT leaders plan to add contingent IT headcount, and 41% plan to add permanent IT headcount.
I’m gonna run with that, right, and I’m making calls and doing some more research to support that take.
But a tweet by Kathleen Madigan of The Wall Street Journal kind of messed that up for me with her story featuring the headline, and the lead sentence, “Less Income, More Layoffs.”
It seems the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its calculation of first-quarter real gross domestic product, sitting at an anemic 1.8%.
Further, the BEA now says real disposable income barely grew over the past three quarters. Against that number, comes the figure that U.S. businesses are taking in lots of cash. The GDP report shows profits across the board jumped 8.5%.
Well, that’s okay, you say. At least they are either paying their current employees more, or using the money to make new hires, right?
Wrong and wrong.
Nationally, companies increased their nominal compensation to employees by just 3.7%.
New unemployment filings jumped 10,000 to 424,000 in the May 21 week. According to the feds, claims have been above 400,000 for seven weeks now. That mark is viewed by many analysts demarcation between a weak labor market and one with strong hiring.
If you take out a single company who went on a recent hiring binge, McDonalds, that number might even be higher. I heard someone say at a coffee shop that McDonalds is alone responsible for 1/4 of the new jobs for the month. He added, “We can't take any more of this recovery.”
Who is ready for some good news?
At a recent job fair in the Milwaukee area, 30 employers were represented, about triple compared to a year ago. And most of them were hiring, said Dennis Winters, chief economist for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
In St. Petersburg, Florida, previous job fairs at the Coliseum has seen lines of job seekers winding around the downtown complex on both sides of the street.
When the most recent job fair opened its doors, fewer than 100 people were waiting.
"This is the shortest line I've ever, ever seen," said Linda Williams, a city employee helping with traffic flow who has worked the twice-a-year fair for five years.