Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its employment numbers for April. The summary is as follows:
Employment rose in April, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.2 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 274,000 over the month. Job growth was widespread, with gains in construction, mining, and several service-providing industries.Total employment grew by 598,000 in April to 141.1 million, and the employment-population ratio--the proportion of the population age 16 and over with jobs--edged up to 62.6 percent. The civilian labor force increased by 605,000 in April to 148.8 million; the labor force participation rate, at 66.0 percent, also was up over the month.
These numbers exceeded most estimates substantially with increase in total employment and total civilian workforce both exceeding industry observer's estimates.
What does this signal for staffing organizations. This is the part that is easier to read than tea leaves--the pool of easy pickins is getting smaller. It is time for staffing organizations to begin (or return to) innovative recruiting, and maybe even more importantly sourcing, techniques to woo candidates. The active candidate population is dwindling and we are closing in on sub 5% unemployment. It will become tougher and tougher to find candidates to fill open positions in the coming months.
All of us need to begin to get creative.