JOB GROWTH: As expected, this month’s employment report reflects a stunning loss of 20.5 million jobs, due to the pandemic. This included 18 million people who reported being on “temporary layoff” and two million people reporting permanent job loss.
TOP INDUSTRIES: While nearly every industry has experienced job loss due to the pandemic to one degree or another, the hardest hit is the leisure and hospitality sector.
UNEMPLOYMENT: Although the unemployment rate increased sharply in March, massive job losses in April contributed to the steepest rise ever recorded, when the rate hit 14.7%.
WAGES: April recorded an increase in average wages in the private sector of 4.67%, which was less about a pay bump and more about the loss of so many lower-wage jobs, due to the pandemic.
WORK WEEK: The work week increased in April, with average hours at 34.2.
TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: The temporary help sector recorded a loss of 842,000 jobs in April, returning to a level not seen since coming out of the Great Recession in 2010.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? With so many people anxious to return to work, employers can expect a flood of candidates for every open position. Knowing this, maintain contact with furloughed or laid off employees to keep them engaged. Then, rehire them first, before other employers jump in. That will ensure the smoothest reopening for your business. Keep in mind that following the Great Recession, we can expect that some people will look for new opportunities; others will opt to freelance; still others will need to pick up multiple jobs to make ends meet. The result will be an employment landscape that further defies tradition and requires new approaches to recruiting, engaging and retaining the best talent.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, CNBC, Staffing Industry Analysts, American Staffing Association, The New York Times, Business Insider, USA Today, MarketWatch