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Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

What is one of the biggest challenges small businesses face?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Robert HalfIn an economic era marked by unemployment, you would think it would be relatively easy to hire a skilled team.  But it isn’t, say small business owners.

In a recent survey by Robert Half, six in 10 (60 percent) small business owners said the biggest challenge in hiring or managing staff is finding skilled professionals for the job. About one in five (19 percent) cited maintaining employee morale and productivity as the chief concern.

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 300 small business owners and managers from a stratified random sample of companies with less than 100 employees in the United States.

Small business owners and managers were asked, “Which one of the following is your company’s greatest challenge when it comes to hiring and managing staff?” Their responses:

Finding skilled workers 60%
Maintaining employee morale and productivity 19%
Managing difficult employees 8%
Retaining staff 7%
Something else 6%

“Large corporations often have established brand recognition and larger human resources budgets, which can provide an advantage when attracting talent,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director with Robert Half.

How to make your company stand out

“But small businesses may appeal to professionals who want to acquire a variety of experiences and move up quickly. These companies can level the playing field in their recruiting efforts by highlighting what makes their cultures unique and emphasizing opportunities for skills development.”

Human Resources Kit For Dummies®, 3rd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) by Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half, can help small business owners enhance their recruiting efforts and position themselves as employers of choice. Following are four tips from the book:

  • Make your company stand out. Small businesses offer advantages that larger companies cannot match. Emphasize the potential for new hires to wear multiple hats and advance quickly. Also, highlight the benefits of working with a small, close-knit group, which may be less common at bigger corporations.
  • Have an accurate job description. The description of your open position should be specific and identify the must-haves for the job. If a description is too broad or doesn’t adequately convey the position’s requirements, you run the risk of receiving an overabundance of resumes from unqualified candidates. It’s better to have five applicants who definitely deserve an interview than 100 who don’t.
  • Network. Participate in local professional association or community groups to build your personal network. Also, ask your existing employees to provide referrals. Employees tend to recommend strong candidates, since they don’t want to tarnish their reputation by recommending professionals who are unequipped for the job.
  • Work with recruiters. Professional staffing firms can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to find a qualified applicant. Look for ones that specialize in the field for which you are hiring. For example, if you are hiring an accountant, work with a firm that specializes in filling accounting and finance roles.

Companies plan hiring for new tech jobs, cloud, social, security

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

CareerBuilderAlthough companies are hiring more employees to keep up with demand for their products and services, they’re not looking at full scale expansion of their headcounts, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. Mobile, cloud, social media, data analytics and cyber security positions are all cited as among the hottest job prospects.

Robert Half Technology also reports that IT hiring is in session for more than one in three firms.Thirty-five percent of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed said they plan to hire new IT graduates in 2013, according to a recent poll by Robert Half Technology 

But not all CIOs polled give new graduates high marks when it comes to being ready for their first job. More than one in four respondents (26 percent) said entry-level professionals aren’t prepared to contribute right away. Among these executives, more than half (55 percent) said the reason is a lack of skills in areas such as communication and leadership.

Temporary hiring, which has been a mainstay for many companies during the economic downturn, will increase by 10 percent in the back half of 2013, the CareerBuilder survey suggests.

The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder from May 14 to June 5, 2013, included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

“Companies are adding more employees to keep pace with demand for their products and services, but they’re not rushing into a full-scale expansion of headcount in light of economic headwinds that still linger today,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.

Pace of permanent hiring stronger

“The projected surge in temporary hiring from July to December is evidence of both a growing confidence in the market and a recession-induced hesitation to immediately place more permanent hires on the books. However, the overall pace of permanent hiring is stronger today in various industries and geographies, and will continue on a path of gradual improvement for the remainder of the year.”

Economic Modeling Specialists (EMSI)1, a CareerBuilder company, found that temporary work accounted for 15 percent of all job growth nationally over the last four years, even though the industry makes up roughly two percent of the nation’s workforce.

The study conducted by Harris Interactive shows there will be a continued boost in temporary hiring activity as well as hiring for full-time and part-time positions, with 44 percent of employers planning on hiring fulltime employees, 25 percent part-time employees, and 31 percent temp or contract workers.

Many formerly fulltime employees moved to freelance, temporary and contract work when fulltime jobs were scarce but companies hired to fill specific short term needs.

This trend continues even as the economy improves.

Careerbuilder cites several hot ares for job-seekers, including: 

e following areas:

  • Jobs tied to mobile technology – 16 percent
  • Jobs tied to cloud technology – 15 percent
  • Jobs tied to social media – 13 percent
  • Jobs tied to managing and interpreting big data – 12 percent
  • Jobs tied to financial regulation – 10 percent
  • Jobs tied to health informatics – 10 percent
  • Jobs tied to cyber security – 9 percent

Small business hiring

The number of small businesses planning to hire over the next six months is trending up while the number for larger organizations declined slightly compared to last year. More than half (56 percent) of companies with more than 500 employees expect to add more employees by year end, down from 58 percent in 2012.

  • 50 or fewer employees – 24 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 21 percent in 2012
  • 250 or fewer employees – 34 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 31 percent in 2012
  • 500 or fewer employees – 37 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 34 percent in 2012

IT worker confidence fell, but year still looks promising

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

serversThe IT Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among U.S. technology workers, declined further—to 48.6—in the first quarter 2013, a 7.2 point drop from the fourth quarter of 2012.

Technology workers were much less confident across many aspects this quarter, including the strength of the economy, the availability of jobs and their ability to find a new job. Despite this, the index found that half (46 percent) of IT workers are likely to look for a new job.

Things should be looking up soon, though. Robert Half Technology says about 12 percent of CIOs nationally plan additional IT hiring in the next two quarters.

This online survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad Technologies in January, February and March of 2013, included 183 employees in the technology industry.

“Although we saw a fairly significant decline in the overall confidence levels among IT workers, we believe this decline to be an anomaly being driven by many macro-level economic conditions in the first quarter that have a trickle-down effect to the employee,” said Bob Dickey , EVP of Technologies at Randstad U.S.

Promising year for the industry

“In fact, several reports and projections point to a very promising year for the industry, with substantial growth on the horizon. According to TechServe Alliance, the number of IT jobs increased last month to just under 4.5 million, growing by 5.1 percent since April 2012.

“Part of the robust projections is due to an anticipated demand within the healthcare IT sector. Specifically, the mandate for healthcare entities to adopt ICD-10—an international disease coding system—by October 1, 2014 will require additional IT talent,” continued Dickey.

“Because IT is not part of most healthcare organizations’ core business, they will need to rely on IT vendors and suppliers that have the expertise and skills available in large application system migrations.”

Q1, 2013 Survey Highlights:

IT Worker Confidence in the Economy Declines in First Quarter

  • Technology professionals’ confidence in the overall economy declined by seven percentage points this quarter, with 27 percent believing the economy is getting stronger. Nearly half (46 percent) say the economy is getting weaker.

Fewer IT Workers Believe More Jobs are Available this Quarter

  • Less than a quarter (24 percent) of IT workers say more jobs are available this quarter, compared to 29 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. More than half (55 percent) of respondents believe that fewer IT jobs are now available.

Tech Workers Less Optimistic About their Employability

  • Dropping six percentage points this quarter, 38 percent of IT workers reported feeling confident in their ability to find a new job compared to 55 percent the previous quarter. More than one-quarter (29 percent) are not confident in their ability to find a new job this quarter.

IT Workers’ Confidence in Their Job Security Drops

  • Less than six-in-ten of IT workers report it is not likely they will lose their job in the next 12 months, representing a significant 15 percentage point decline from last quarter. Also, more than a quarter (26 percent) indicated it will be likely they will lose their job within the next 12 months, jumping 14 percentage points from the previous quarter.

More IT Workers Likely to Job Hunt

  • Nearly half (46 percent) of technology workers are likely to look for a new job in the next year, climbing 13 percentage points from the previous quarter.

To view the latest quarterly trends report, click here.

MBA grads still most likely to get the best jobs

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Association of MBAsMBA graduates are still the most likely of all grads to get good jobs, despite today’s economic challenges, said GMAC’s Regional Director.

In an exclusive interview with the ITN Education News Channel, Ben Glover said business school graduates do not to face the same problems as alumni in other disciplines, who often struggle to find meaningful work and go on to question the value of the course they’ve taken.

Speaking on the eve of the Association of MBAs’ (AMBA) International Conference for Deans and Directors, he told ITN: “92 per cent of graduates from business schools we surveyed were in work at the time of graduation.

That’s an all-time high. 72 per cent said that their new position met or exceeded their expectations and three quarters said that without the skills they learned at business schools they wouldn’t be in the position they’re in now.”

Future proofing the MBA to maintain these standards was the theme of AMBA’s annual conference in Warsaw (15 – 17 May).

On the other hand, here at the TechJournal, we’ve heard some venture capitalists worry that MBAs are making grads too risk adverse. They come out of school wanting to land a high paying job rather than with the desire to start a company, they say.

Speed of change outpacing teaching

Setting the tone for discussions about the virtual classroom of the future Nokia’s Education and Technology Specialist, Bhanu Potta told conference delegates of senior business school management: “The speed of change in student learning styles far outpaces the speed of change in teaching practices.”

In AMBA’s snapshot survey conducted during the three day conference, 65% of the delegates from the world’s leading business schools said online education and the changing attitudes of a new generation of learners would have the biggest impact on management education in the next five years.

We suspect that one way business schools will be able to broaden their reach globally is though online courses and programs. Some educators remain skeptical, but for many in the digital generation, learning in cyberspace is actually more efficient and productive than in a traditional classroom. And the truth is, many of these MBA grads will be spending a considerable part of their working lives in cyberspace.

(Editorial comments by TechJournal Editor Allan Maurer).

Top trending jobs on Twitter cited by Gozaik

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Twitter bird

Gozaik, a provider of talent acquisition tools for Twitter, has retrieved a first step in analyzing job industry data occurring on Twitter.

Joe Budzienski & Venkat Janapareddy , Co-Founders of Gozaik, started capturing this information when the company went live onMarch 28, 2013.

Some of the information includes trending cities for jobs on Twitter as well as the hottest jobs on 5/13/2013.

Top Trending Cities On Twitter w/jobs
1.New York, NY
2.Chicago, ILL
3.San Francisco, CA

Top Trending Job titles
1.Project Manager
2.Business Analysts
3.Account Manager

“This is only a taste of the job market data we will be capturing on Twitter,” said Venkat. “We will be analyzing lots of data over the next 6 months and making it available to both employers and job seekers.” “It’s exciting to see what jobs are being tweeted the most and what demographic is perusing them on Gozaik,” says Joe Budzienski .

“Twitter is taking the job market by storm and Gozaik is tapping in to the immense amount of data while providing a structured universe on our platform for job seekers and employed professionals.” Job search and job posting are getting more and more public every day. The private job board marketplace is dying. Employers have more choices today and Gozaik plans of bringing them the right mix of social and structure.”

Mobile marketing is a job-creating economic engine

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

digital devicesThe mobile marketing ecosystem generated $139 billion of incremental output to the U.S. economy in 2012, a significant surge from $48 billion in net sales previously reported in 2010.

While the Internet took a decade to begin fulfilling its early promise as an economic engine, mobile has exploded as a major force and an job-creating economic engine in just a few years – and it continues to flourish and expand.

Over the next five years, this figure is set to skyrocket to $400 billion representing an annual growth rate of 52 per cent. To accurately assess mobile’s economic impact, both consumer (B2C) and business (B2B) mobile sales were measured against total U.S. sales in 2012, approximately $33 trillion.

The data was reported in the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study,” commissioned by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), the leading global trade association for the mobile marketing industry.

“MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study” is the first objective and comprehensive overview of U.S. economic performance across the mobile marketing industry.

Key findings from the report indicate that mobile is an economic engine that will continue to stimulate nationwide growth as a vibrant and lucrative platform. Given that mobile enables marketers to move closer to consumers than ever before, the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study,” clearly proves the value and power that mobile marketing offers to marketers.

Mobile Marketing Sales Impact in United States ($Millions)

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 CAGR 2010-2015
Total Sales Impact 48,627 85,300 139,003 216,931 311,566 400,971 52%
Mobile Media Adv 25,530 46,814 73,811 115,010 163,052 204,345 52%
Mobile DR Enhanced Adv 2,705 5,694 10,280 18,866 30,059 36,682 68%
Mobile CRM 20,392 32,792 54,912 83,056 118,455 159,943 51%

Source: mLightenment

“Results from this study prove that mobile should not be underestimated as an economic stimulator. Only a few years ago, mobile’s impact was measured by its function as a basic phone and now it is impossible to envision a world without smartphones and tablets,” said Greg Stuart , CEO, Mobile Marketing Association.

“The health of the U.S. economy depends on platforms like mobile that offer unlimited potential for growth and innovation. No other media will evolve at this pace with unforeseen opportunities to reimagine the user experience.”

Mobile to create 1.4 million jobs

Despite a recessionary economy and unstable job market, mobile marketing created 524,000 jobs in 2012 from the combination of advertiser employment as well as product seller employment. Focusing on the next five years, mobile is predicted to generate 1.4 million jobs.

To drill down into mobile’s potential on the marketing ecosystem, mobile marketing spend was measured by industry category. In 2012, marketers and retailers spent $6.7 billion on mobile marketing.

The total expenditure for mobile marketing was calculated from mobile advertising, mobile direct response or enhanced traditional media, as well as mobile CRM. Combined spend across the three categories is forecasted to increase to $19.8 billion by 2015. Mobile advertising alone (includes voice, messaging, web, email, apps proximity and recognition) is projected to climb to $9.2 billion over the next five years.

Mobile Marketing Communications Spending in United States ($Millions)

$ Millions   2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 CAGR
Total Mobile Mktg Expenditure 2,405 3,957 6,693 10,456 15,162 19,806 52.5%
Mobile Ad Expenditure 991 1,743 3,060 4,871 7,078 9,207 56.2%
Mobile DR Expenditure 166 336 669 1,312 2,174 2,912 77.4%
Mobile CRM Expenditure 1,248 1,878 2,964 4,273 5,910 7,686 43.8%

Source: mLightenment

The study evaluated mobile marketing expenditure across 16 industry groups. Finance, retail (excluding CPG) and manufacturing (excluding CPG) were the three largest industries, resulting in $3 billion or roughly half of the total mobile expenditure in 2012. Surprisingly, the industries that spent more on mobile marketing and advertising also represent the largest markets for mobile employment.

Mobile transforming society

smartphones“Even in its infancy, mobile has irrevocably transformed society,” said Peter A. Johnson , Ph.D., mLightenment. “With the introduction of new technology to increased accessibility and connectivity, mobile has the ability to reinvent itself and remain indispensable to the consumer and marketer relationship.”

To further demonstrate mobile’s effectiveness as a marketing communications tool, Marketing Impact Ratio (MIR) was calculated by measuring mobile sales impact against marketing expenditure. In 2012, mobile MIR peaked at $20.77.  After reviewing MIR data, an unexpected insight was raised; mobile marketing has yet to experience the law of diminishing returns.

By reviewing MIR figures for the top four mobile marketing spenders, data indicated that spending more across mobile marketing platforms does not decrease the impact rate. In fact, those that spend more on mobile achieved the highest impact ratio and thus gained the most value for their mobile marketing investment.  While this observation requires additional exploration, it has the potential to further distinguish mobile from other media.

A mobile-enhanced economy

Looking beyond the numbers, insights from the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study,” clearly indicate that mobile has sparked a “mobile-enhanced economy” in which mobile converts every object into a medium and every place into an opportunity for a message. By empowering the “always on, always on the go” consumer, mobile has transformed people into interactive, creative, and responsive partners in the marketing process.

“While mobile’s economic value is the heart of this study, mobile is also inspiring the industry to rethink their discipline for a world that is no longer static,” said Joseph Plummer , Ph.D., mLightenment. “As people rely more on mobile devices, they will become ‘co-creators’ in the marketing process and control both the context and content of the overall brand experience.”

It would be impossible to evaluate mobile’s economic impact without addressing privacy and the current legislative climate. In recent debates, government authorities have discussed restricting or limiting the trail of information that mobile offers to marketers and publishers.

The MMA supports self-regulation and transparent communication to consumers about when and how mobile data is collected. There is a risk of overregulating the mobile marketing industry and stifling innovation if some measures being considered go into effect.

Room to evolve and innovate needed

mobilephonesIn order for mobile sales, employee resources and marketing spend to continue to grow, as the “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study” strongly suggests, mobile marketing needs room to evolve responsibly and foster innovation without undue constraint from legislators, regulators or private sector bodies.

“Mobile’s influence extends far beyond the device. It is a catalyst supplementing the growth and revenue across all other mediums, traditional and digital,” said Stuart. “Currently, mobile is at a tipping point. It is not just how big mobile is and will continue to be, but it has triggered a ‘mobile-enhanced economy’ that redefines the entire marketing industry. Restricting its development by overregulating the industry would cause irreparable damage and thus reverse progress.”

Google, mBlox, The Coca-Cola Company, ExactTarget and Target assisted by underwriting the research for the  “MMA Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study.”

Top 10 markets and occupations for IT workers

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Monster.comA “Recruiting for IT Talent” survey of U.S. companies conducted by Monster, the worldwide leader in successfully connecting people to job opportunities and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW), revealed a large majority of employers who hire for IT professionals are likely to hire in the next 60 days.

Their hiring activity is primarily driven by staff increases (60%) and company expansion (45%).

Employers of all sizes are focused on IT roles that support aligning business and technology goals with primary hiring needs; this includes application development (72%), database analysis and development (58%), web design/development (57%), networking (56%), and business intelligence/analytics (55%).

IT demand remains stable

“The demand for IT expertise remains relatively stable with employers confident that they will look to fill these types of roles in the near-term,” said Jeffrey Quinn, Vice President of Monster’s Global Insights. “Meanwhile, on the job seeker side, the IT jobs viewed on Monster see millions of views each month, indicating high interest by, if not volume of potential candidates seeking employment in this field.”

While the survey revealed nearly one-half (49%) of employers were confident in their ability to find the talent they need for all these roles, some hiring challenges remain, including:

  • A skills gap, with 70% of employers reporting the number of qualified candidates available to fill all the opportunities as smaller than the total opportunities, creating increased competition for talent;
  • Specialized requirements, with 52% of employers reporting many of these technical roles are increasingly defined by highly specific skills further limiting the number of qualified candidates;
  • An inability to attract talent due to compensation. 52% of employers report they are unable to compete on salary alone.

More than one-half (53%) of employers responded that there are fewer IT Professionals searching for jobs in the U.S. And, nearly half of employers (48%) believe IT jobs continue to be outsourced to other countries, a contributing factor to a shrinking number of U.S.-based IT jobs to be available.

For those who may be seeking employment in the IT fields, it’s important to note that the majority of employers (92%) feel that careers in IT are promising and rewarding.

Additionally these companies believe academic training is not enough (40%) while certifications provide an advantage (85%). Employers also report that qualifications beyond technical skills that are critical to the assessment of IT talent include: communication skills, personality/cultural fit, type of work experience and interpersonal skills.

Here are the top occupations and markets for IT jobs by volume1:

Top 10 Occupations:

1. Software Developers, Applications
2. Web Developers
3. Computer Systems Analysts
4. Network and Computer Systems Administrators
5. Computer User Support Specialists
6. Information Technology Project Managers
7. Computer Programmers
8. Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers
9. Computer Systems Engineers/Architects
10. Database Administrators

Top 10 Markets for IT:

1. New York
2. Washington DC
3. Boston
4. Los Angeles
5. Dallas-Fort Worth
6. Chicago
7. Atlanta
8. San Francisco
9. San Jose
10. Philadelphia

For a copy of the full report, visit the Monster Resource Center.

Need a job? Try a tech startup

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Silicon Valley BankEighty seven percent of technology startups plan to hire new employees in 2013, according to an interactive report bySilicon Valley Bank, financial partner to technology, life science and cleantech companies and their investors worldwide.

In the US, this is up 14% from four years ago when the annual survey began. SVB’s Startup Outlook study, conducted in the US and the UK, also reveals that software companies plan to do the most hiring, with 90% planning to increase the size of their workforces this year.

The Startup Outlook report is based on a survey of more than 750 startup executives across the US and 125 in the UK.

See Interactive Report and additional Startup Outlook reports here.

Sectors, geographies for job hunters

The interactive report details the technology sectors and geographies in the US and the UK that are looking for employees with both STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and general business skills.

Job seekers will find locations with the greatest need and job types in particularly high demand. Eighty-two percent of startups in the US, and 77% in the UK, said that they are looking for people with STEM skills.

One place to hunt for these jobs is via the portfolio listings of Venture Capital firms, which generally include links to the startup websites.

A bright spot in the economy

“Tech companies are a bright spot in the economy worldwide, which is evident from the significant number of startups in the US and the UK that expect to grow and hire this year,” said Greg Becker, president and CEO of Silicon Valley Bank.

“There is a lot of opportunity to put people to work at startups, which is particularly welcome news since jobs in general are recovering slowly. Investments in STEM education and policies that support tech businesses will help people take advantage of jobs, and benefit economic growth overall.”

Yet nine in 10 reported difficulty finding workers with the skills they need. For more detail on the hiring challenges startups face, visit Startup Outlook: The Issue of Talent.

Tech hubs report talent search challenges

In the US, startups in major technology hubs nationwide reported challenges finding workers with the skills they need and those numbers were highest in Texas (94%), followed by Washington (91%). In the UK, 69% of startups reported trouble finding qualified engineers.

Silicon Valley Bank conducted its fourth annual Startup Outlook survey in the US and its first survey in the UK in December 2012.

For the purposes of this study, startups are primarily defined as companies in the innovation sector with less than $100 million in annual revenue and fewer than 500 employees (US) or less than £25 million in annual revenue and fewer than 100 employees (UK). Just over 40% of the startups that are hiring in both the US and the UK had fewer than 10 employees at the time of the survey.

Results of the survey are being released in a series of reports, which are available at . Follow the conversation on Twitter at @SVB_Financial and @SVB_UK #StartupOutlook.

More than a third of employers plan hiring, survey says

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

express prosEmployers plan to continue hiring new employees in the second quarter of 2013, according to the results of a hiring trends survey conducted by Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest privately-held staffing company.

According to 566 employers across the U.S. and Canada, 38 percent of respondents plan to hire for commercial and light industrial staff – a seven percent increase from the first quarter.

Additionally, 19 percent of respondents anticipate hiring administrative and clerical employees, surpassing last quarter’s numbers by three percent.

A strong year for employment growth?

“These survey results suggest that 2013 will prove to be a strong year for employment growth in general, as well as for the staffing industry,” said Bob Funk , CEO and chairman of the board for Express Employment Professionals.

“In today’s economy, it’s more important than ever for companies to retain their top talent because of the difficulty in finding skilled workers.”

Some still finding it tough to fill new openings

According to the hiring trends survey, 43 percent of respondents said it was, “somewhat easy to very easy” to fill new staff openings in their companies – an increase of seven percent compared to last quarter.

However, 54 percent of respondents indicated that they are still having some difficulty recruiting for and filling positions, up three percent from the last survey.

Employers cited work ethic and integrity, attitude, and a credible work history as the most important considerations when interviewing and hiring new candidates, following the same patterns as last quarter.

Other studies we’ve seen here at the TechJournal suggest that certain IT positions are particularly hard to fill. Competition for employees with specialized skills is strong.

Hot spots: where the jobs are and who’s hiring

Monday, April 8th, 2013

ManpowerCompanies that are quickly expanding in growth hot spots, such as North Dakota and Montana should prioritize hiring workers with knowledge and skills demanded across industries.

Only 88,000 jobs were added in March, 2013 across industries.

Professional and business services added 51,000. Construction increased by 18,000. And, health care added 23,000. Also, February’s overall figure was revised up to 268,000 from 236,000, while the January figure was revised up to 148,000 from 119,000.

Hot spots are characterized as having the perfect factors in place to accelerate the growth of interconnected industries – such as engineering, manufacturing and construction.

Where the jobs are

ManpowerGroup’s “Where the Jobs Are” infographic diagrams which industries are hiring and where. It is based on the U.S. results from the Quarter 2, 2013 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey results.

“While employers are forced to hire at an accelerated rate in talent-starved growth regions, they still must thoroughly screen and recruit the right workers in order to wisely sustain regional growth,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres , ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO.

“And workers possessing the right knowledge and skills to function in all of these industries should be on the shortlist.”

The future manufacturing workforce

ManpowerGroup recently illustrated the advent of the grey collar worker, who effectively merges plant floor functional skills with macro industry knowledge, in the infographic “Manufacturing’s New Working Collar.”  Learn more in this thought leadership piece,“The Future of the Manufacturing Workforce.”

“Across trade jobs, multi-sector knowledge plus functional skills are today’s new essential skill set,” said ManpowerGroup President Jonas Prising . “Workers need to seamlessly move between the field and management offices where instant decisions about improving processes, services and products are made. This unique skill set is in high demand, particularly in hot spots that lack onsite job training options. Faced with low supply, employers are turning to recruiting experts to accelerate their search for employees with cross-functional knowledge.”

Of the more than 18,000 U.S. employers surveyed in the Quarter 2 2013 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey results, 18% expect to add to their workforces, while 5% expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of +13%. When seasonally adjusted, the Net Employment Outlook is +11%, a 1 percentage point decrease from Quarter 1 2013 and slightly elevated from +10% during the same period last year.

Also, 73% of employers expect no change in their hiring plans. For more detail on the survey results, visit.

American workers insecure over jobs and benefits

Friday, April 5th, 2013

The Harris PollThe gradually falling unemployment rate is not yet providing American workers with a sense of security about their current employment status. In fact, the majority (56%) of employees are worried about job and benefits security as they watch the inner working of their employers’ daily decisions about these critical issues.

These are among the findings of the new Harris Poll Job Security Index which forms a baseline score that will be measured monthly to track the changing sentiment of today’s American workers. Full findings and data tables are available here.

The new Harris Poll Job Security Index offers an internal view into today’s American workplace by reporting on the job/benefits security pulse of the worker.

In another report today, Glassdoor’s confidence survey reports that one in five employees fear being laid off in the next six months and one in four, including self-employed workers, fear they would not be able to get another job soon.

This despite increased optimism regarding their company business outlook.

The Harris Poll online survey of 1,014 American workers conducted between March 19 and 21, 2013 by The Harris Poll, found that:

  • More than three in four (77%) workers believe their benefits will be reduced, especially health benefits.
  • More than three in five (64%) believe their salaries will not increase.
  • Half (50%) believe they will be asked to do more work for the same pay.

This month’s data also shows 14% of employees worry that they will lose their job in the next three months, and one in five (20%) say it is likely they will have their salary or hours reduced.

In addition, 32% of American workers say that if they were going to look for a new job in the next three months, they would not be likely to find one.

So What?
According to Al Angrisani , President and Chief Executive Officer of Harris Interactive and former Assistant Secretary of Labor for President Reagan, the reason the Harris Poll Job Security Index is an important new metric is that it offers insight into the culture and current state of job creation in the American workplace that might not otherwise be measured.

“Employers have all the leverage in today’s job marketplace and will continue to push productivity gains and the elimination of jobs or replacement by lower paying jobs until the supply and demand for labor changes,” commented Angrisani.

“The Harris Poll Job Security Index is a way to measure where the leverage in the job market is today. Until there is more employee leverage in the system, it is unlikely that you will see meaningful job creation,” Angrisani concluded.

Personally, we suspect that a lot depends on which skills a worker has. People with certain in-demand tech skills can pretty much write their own ticket. The unemployment rate for college graduates is something like half of that for non college grads, and engineers don’t seem to be out of work.

Small biz outlook brighter, but hiring plans delayed

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

pncU.S. small and mid-sized business owners plan to delay hiring new employees or seek new loans amid cautious optimism about the economy, according to the latest findings of the PNC Economic Outlook survey.

The spring findings of PNC’s biannual survey, which began in 2003, reveals about one in four are highly optimistic about their own company’s prospects during the next six months, up from 23 percent last fall. Nearly half expect sales to increase during the next six months – on par with the previous 46 percent.

Outlook brighter

Their outlook has brightened about the U.S. economy during the next six months as 58 percent are optimistic and 41 percent are pessimistic in a turnaround from fall’s 42 percent and 57 percent, respectively. Regarding their local economies, 71 percent are optimistic and 28 percent are pessimistic – improved from 59 percent and 39 percent last fall.

This is the latest in a recent series of reports the TechJournal has run on small business owner attitudes. Others show tepid hiring and a similar optimistic outlook tempered by fears of economic uncertainty.

“The powerful engine of the U.S. economy is not firing on all cylinders, but there are sparks of optimism related to sales, profits and housing prices,” said Stuart Hoffman , chief economist at PNC. “These findings support our baseline forecast that the moderate U.S. economic and jobs expansion will persist in 2013.”

Hoffman added that three factors are holding back the economy: Continued uncertainty about federal spending, tax and deficit actions; hiring freezes and ongoing layoffs, particularly at the federal level; and continued limits on U.S. exports to Europe.

Highlights: Waiting to Hire, Seek Loans
Three out of four small and mid-sized businesses expect their staffing to remain unchanged for the next six months. Asked for reasons, nearly one out of three say they will choose to do more work with fewer employees. Only 41 percent think the federal government could take actions that would positively influence their hiring plans, most notably fewer business regulations.

Other findings about the next six months include:

  • Little Demand for New Loans: Only 18 percent will probably/definitely take out a new loan or line of credit compared to 15 percent one year ago. More than half (58 percent) plan to spend on capital investments, the same in the fall but down from 70 percent a year ago. Technology equipment remains the top priority.
  • Housing Rebound to Continue: Building on the dramatic turnaround first seen in PNC’s fall survey, 48 percent expect home prices in their local markets will rise over the coming year compared to 26 percent one year ago. This expected house price rebound is reinforced by sizable house price gains in 2012.
  • Consumer Spending Supports Price Hikes: One-third plan to raise their selling prices and only five percent intend to cut their prices, signaling potential pricing pressures.

Three-quarters of job-seekers never hear back from employers

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

CareerBuilderIt’s a frustrating element of job hunting: you send a company your cover letter and resume for a position where you know you’re ideal, but you don’t even hear back from the employer.

You’re not alone. he vast majority (75 percent) of workers who applied to jobs using various resources in the last year said they never heard back from the employer, according to a nationwide CareerBuilder survey.

While this is discouraging to the job seeker, it also negatively affects the employer.

The survey shows candidates who have had a bad experience when applying for a position are less likely to seek employment at that company again and are more likely to discourage friends and family from applying or purchasing products from that company.

The study of more than 3,900 U.S. workers was conducted online by Harris Interactive from November 1 to November 30, 2012.

How important is it to acknowledge every job applicant?
Eighty-two percent of workers expect to hear back from a company when they apply for a job regardless of whether the employer is interested.  Nearly one-third (32 percent) of workers said they would be less inclined to purchase products or services from a company that didn’t respond to their application.*

What constitutes a bad applicant experience?
Twenty-six percent of workers have had a bad experience as a job applicant, citing a lack of follow through, inconsistencies from the employer or poor representation of the company’s brand as the primary culprits.

  • Employer never bothered letting me know the decision after the interview – 60 percent
  • Found out during the interview that the job didn’t match what was written in the job ad – 43 percent
  • Company representative didn’t present a positive work experience – 34 percent
  • Company representative didn’t seem to be knowledgeable – 30 percent
  • Employer never acknowledged receiving my application – 29 percent

What would workers do if they have a bad applicant experience?
The effects of one candidate’s negative experience can lead to a broader impact on the employer’s ability to recruit or sell products.  Workers said if they are dissatisfied with the way their application is handled by an employer, they would:

  • Never seek employment at the company again – 42 percent
  • Tell others not to work there – 22 percent
  • Tell others not to purchase products or services from the company – 9 percent

What would workers do if they have a good applicant experience?
The study found that a good applicant experience can have positive long-term effects for organizations regardless if the candidate was actually hired.  Workers said if they are happy with the way they are treated by an employer when applying for a job, they would:

  • Consider seeking employment with the company again in the future – 56 percent
  • Tell others to seek employment there – 37 percent
  • Be more likely to purchase products or services from the company – 23 percent

“From the second job seekers are viewing your job ad and applying to your company, they are forming an opinion of who you are as an employer and as a business,” said Sanja Licina , Ph.D. and Senior Director of Talent Intelligence at CareerBuilder.

“One bad applicant experience can have a ripple effect with candidates not only vocalizing their dissatisfaction with how they were treated, but encouraging others not to apply or even buy products from that company.  It’s so critical that your employment brand effectively carries through at every touch point with candidates.”

Nationwide, jobs openings continued to grow in January

Friday, February 1st, 2013

SimplyHired The new jobs report had some good news: job growth was steady in January and much better than reported at the end of 2012. Another report out today also saw continuing job growth this year.

Simply Hired, a technology company that operates one of the world’s largest job search engines, today reported that nationwide job openings continued to grow, with a 1.1 percent increase in January.

Meanwhile, year-over-year job openings increased 7.6 percent. Nationwide job competition held steady at a ratio of three unemployed persons for every one job opening. These findings are part of Simply Hired’s February 2013 Employment Outlook, which highlights job industry and employer trends in national and regional U.S. markets.

“As many seasonal jobs come to a close in January, it is encouraging to see job opening growth continue this month,” said James Beriker, president and CEO of Simply Hired.

“January marks the eighth time in nine months that we have seen an increase in nationwide job openings. It is even more encouraging to see some of the slower areas in the country showing year-over-year growth.”

Hiring increases in 80 percent of major metros

Job openings increased in 40 out of 50 major metros in January. West Palm Beach (6.0 percent), Seattle & Tacoma (4.2 percent), Las Vegas (4.1 percent) and Atlanta (3.3 percent) experienced the largest gains. In addition, the ratio of job seekers to job openings held relatively steady in the majority of metro areas.

Half of all industries see job openings increase

Job openings increased in 9 out of 18 industries in January. The agriculture (21.1 percent) and technology (13.7 percent) industries showed the largest gains. However, industries that decreased include non-profit (-30.0 percent) and legal (-22.6 percent). Year-over-year, sixty percent of industries are have experienced growth.

Which states lead in the job-creating app economy?

Friday, October 5th, 2012

mobile devicesThe app economy has created 519,000 jobs nationwide and is a significant economic driver for a number of states, according to a study released today by CTIA-The Wireless Association and the Application Developers Alliance.

The report, entitled “The Geography of the App Economy,” also calculates the number of app economy jobs in each state, the “app intensity” (share of app economy jobs relative to overall jobs) and the economic impact for states. The research was conducted by Dr. Michael Mandel andJudith Scherer of South Mountain Economics, LLC

Some unexpected states on top in app economy

While app innovation is occurring across the country, particularly in renowned high-tech areas such as California and Washington, some unexpected states have emerged to the top app economy states.

For example, Virginia and Maryland have close ties to government agencies and the military thus are developing apps for those sectors. Massachusetts’ app developers are making higher education more accessible, while one Colorado app developer created the iTriage app, which helps people identify what could be wrong based on their medical symptoms.

The app economy is in its infancy, but is growing at an exponential rate. Apple iTunes and Android Market application stores first opened in 2008. According to CTIA’s research, there are more than 2.4 million apps available on more than 11 different operating systems from more than 28 independent non-carrier stores. In 2011, the mobile app revenue was almost $10 billion[1], but by 2016, it’s expected to be more than $46 billion.[2]

The top 10 app economy states, ranked by economic impact (per million each year), are:

  1. California = $8,241
  2. Washington = $2,671
  3. New York = $2,313
  4. Texas = $1,183
  5. Massachusetts = $1,143
  6. New Jersey = $1,087
  7. Georgia = $1,062
  8. Illinois = $847
  9. Virginia  = $788
  10. Pennsylvania = $632

The “app intensity” is determined by taking the percentage of app economy jobs in a state as a share of total jobs, which measures the importance of these jobs to a state. The national average is 1.

The top 10 “app intensity” states and intensity figures are:

  1. Washington = 4.47
  2. California = 2.71
  3. Massachusetts = 1.71
  4. Oregon = 1.70
  5. Georgia = 1.56
  6. New Jersey = 1.29
  7. New York = 1.16
  8. Virginia = 1.04
  9. Delaware = 0.93
  10. Colorado = 0.90

Apps are increasingly a part of consumers’ everyday lives. Consumers’ insatiable demand for apps is driving the app innovation across the country.

An example of the rapid growth of innovation, Applico, a New York-based app development firm and board member of the Application Developers Alliance, hired its first employee in May 2010 and expects to employ as many as 150 by the end of 2012.

“The app economy took off in 2008 and shows no signs of slowing down. It’s a significant driver of great jobs that pay well while fostering and creating truly revolutionary and innovative ideas, products and services. Few could have known four years ago that we’d use our wireless devices to improve efficiency and effectiveness in industries such as health care, education, transportation and utilities.”

He adds, “Precisely predicting what those capabilities will be four years from now is just as challenging, but I’m confident that the wireless industry’s competitiveness and customer service-driven focus will lead to more awe-inspiring and innovative wireless devices and apps,” said CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent.

“The app industry is a borderless economic force, providing opportunity across the country–even in places we might not expect.  In a challenging economic environment, the app industry has created more than a half million jobs in the five years since Apple’s iPhone launched. This new industry is propelling innovation and jobs in urban centers and rural states. And this is just the beginning,” said Jon Potter, President of the Application Developers Alliance.

“The mobile app economy is still in its infancy and it’s accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Mobile apps are creating a tectonic shift in how everyone lives their lives and operates their businesses. As a result, jobs are being created across the spectrum – both technical and non-technical,” said Alex Moazed, President and CEO of Applico and member of the Alliance Board.

Building on the February 2012 study by South Mountain Economics that measured the total number of app jobs nationwide, this study delves deeper into the App Economy.

Researchers examined The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) database of help wanted ads in each state to calculate the number of app jobs as well as the economic impact of each state’s app economy.

Americans optimistic about getting ahead, but have lowered expectations

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Americans are a resilient people. Despite five years of a down economy that seems to take one step back for every two going forward, they remain optimistic about their ability to “get ahead,” according to a new poll from Allstate Corp. and National Journal.

While optimistic, they have, however, lowered their expectations about just what it getting ahead means.

Nearly half (48%) of Americans say they have more opportunity to get ahead than their parents did, and 73% say they expect to reach financial security and comfort in their lifetimes.

Today, three in four Americans say getting ahead is harder than in the past, but an equal proportion have been able get ahead in their lifetime, according to the Heartland Monitor Poll.

“Americans continue to hold an aspirational view of their own ability to get ahead in the future and the ability of the country to rebound, but they believe that achieving their life goals is harder than it used to be and the path to those goals is more uncertain,” said Joan Walker, executive vice president of corporate relations for Allstate.

“At the same time, the economic and psychological impact of the Great Recession clearly continues as Americans are recalibrating the very definition of what getting ahead means and increasingly seeking stability and security over riskier chances for upward mobility.”

He added, “Managing through a protracted period of stagnant job growth and depressed wages, reducing personal debt and grappling with higher education costs are all significant components of the new social and economic paradigm for middle-class families.”

Key findings from the 14th Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll (PDF) include:

1)    The overwhelming majority of Americans believe they live in the “land of opportunity,” and most believe they are living the American Dream. However, they are less certain about the opportunities the next generation will have.

  • 86% agree that America is the “land of opportunity,” and 61% say they are living the American Dream.
    • 72% of college graduates say they are living the American Dream, but only 46% of those with high school or less feel this way.
    • Perceptions of “living the American Dream” increases with each higher income bracket, from 39% of those in households earning under $30k to 81% of those in $100k+ households.
  • 48% of Americans say they have more opportunity to get ahead than their parents did, while 23% say they have less opportunity and 28% believe they have about the same opportunities.
    • Consistent with previous Heartland Monitor Polls, African-Americans (75%) are far and away the most likely to believe they have more opportunity than their parents had.
    • The biggest reason given by respondents when asked why they have had more opportunity than their parents is an improvement in education. 33% credit better schools, colleges and universities while others cite advances in technology and new opportunities in a changing economy.
  • 32% of Americans believe the next generation will have more opportunities, 32% believe they will have less, and another 31% say they’ll have about the same amount of opportunity.
    • 63% of African-Americans believe the next generation will have more opportunities, compared to just 25% of whites and 49% of Hispanics.
    • Those who worry about today’s children having less opportunity cite poor government performance, rising national debt, and jobs going overseas as their biggest concerns.  Those who are confident in the next generation’s opportunities say they’re encouraged by opportunities through better education and advancing technology.

2)    Most Americans report having gotten ahead throughout their lives, and they are confident in their ability to do so in the future. But they also believe it is harder now than it has been in previous generations.

  • 76% of Americans say they have been able to get ahead financially over the course of their lives.
  • 66% of Americans, including 92% of African-Americans and 79% of Hispanics, say that they expect to get ahead over the next five-to-ten years.
  • 75% of Americans believe that getting ahead is harder today than it has been in previous generations.
    • Those who say that getting ahead is harder tend to attribute this change to “wages and income not keeping up with costs” (35%) and an uncertain economy (28%).
  • 41% of Americans say their own skills and hard work play the biggest role in providing opportunity for them to get ahead and another 23% say their educational background plays the biggest role. These two personal attributes score higher in terms of opportunity potential than external factors like the state of the economy (18%), government policies (5%), income level (6%) and racial background (4%).
  • More than half of Americans (53%) believe that anyone who works hard still has a chance to succeed and live a comfortable life in America today. A sizeable minority feels otherwise – 43% believe that today’s economy mostly rewards the rich and it’s difficult for average people to get ahead.
    • 56% of those making under $30k per year believe today’s economy rewards the rich, but a majority in all higher income brackets takes the other side.
  • 41% of Americans believe that a 4-year college or university provides a better opportunity to get ahead than either a technical/vocational education (27%) or on-the-job experience and training (24%). However, more than half of Americans (54%) believe a college education is an economic burden that is often too expensive and requires taking on debt.

3)    More than half of Americans believe that the economic downturn has redefined what it means to “get ahead,” and nearly half expect the nation’s income gap to continue growing.

  •  51% of Americans believe that the economic downturn has redefined what it means to “get ahead,” believing that success today is about holding a job, paying bills, avoiding debt, and saving a little for the future, rather than about steady increases in income, buying a home, or saving and investing more each year.
  • Americans mostly see economic forces as the major obstacles to getting ahead:
    • 79% – Companies sending jobs overseas
    • 71% – Rising prices that make it harder to save and make investments
    • 70% – The cost of college and graduate school education
    • 65% – Competition for work from other countries
    • 62% – Too many gains from economic growth are going to big companies and the richest Americans
    • 61% – An education system that doesn’t provide enough skills
    • 58% – Taxes and government regulations
    • 44% – Americans don’t work as hard today as previous generations did
    • 38% – Immigrants coming to this country and competing for jobs
    • 34% – Unions aren’t as strong as they used to be
  • 47% of Americans believe that the income gap between the wealthiest Americans and average Americans will continue to grow over the next four years. 33% believe it will stay about the same, and just 13% believe it will get smaller.
  • Regarding government policies related to the economy, 39% believe that policies benefit mostly the wealthiest Americans, 17% believe they benefit the Middle Class, 12% believe they mostly benefit low-income Americans, and 24% believe they benefit all Americans.

4)    Americans continue to grow slightly more optimistic about the direction of the country and they have a slightly more positive economic outlook.

  • 35% of Americans now believe the country is headed in the right direction, the highest the Heartland Monitor Poll has tracked since September of 2009, when it hit 38%.
    • 45% expect their personal financial situation to improve by this time next year, the highest percentage measured in the history of the Heartland Monitor Poll.
    • 57% believe the economy will improve over the next 12 months, a slight dip from the Heartland Monitor Poll’s earlier 2012 numbers but 7 points higher than measured in October of 2011.
  • 49% of Americans approve of the job President Obama is doing, while 45% disapprove.  These numbers are more positive for the president than the poll measured in May 2012, but his approval rating has still held between 44% and 51% for 11 straight Heartland Monitor polls.
  • In the race for president, Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney among likely voters by a margin of 50% to 43%. Obama leads by 8 points among Independents and by 14 points among women. Romney leads by 13 among seniors and takes 51% of the white vote.

Good news and bad seen for small businesses on Intuit Index

Monday, October 1st, 2012

IntuitU.S. small business employment continued to grow slowly in September, while hours worked and compensation rose. Revenue in August declined for the sixth consecutive month.

These are among the results for the monthly Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes, which together provide a current picture of the economic health of the nation’s small businesses.

The Small Business Employment Index shows that employment rose by 0.2 percent in September, which is an annualized growth rate of 2.5 percent. The growth equates to approximately 40,000 new jobs created in September, although Intuit is recalibrating the employment index and expects these numbers to change. Average monthly compensation grew by 0.6 percent, or $17, an increase from the growth of $2 seen last month. Average monthly hours worked increased by 0.18 percent, or 12 minutes. The index is based on data fromIntuit Online Payroll and covers the period from January 2007 through Sept. 23.

The Small Business Revenue Index indicates that August small business revenue fell by 0.4 percent from the previous month. Continuing July’s trend, the retail industry, along with the accommodation and food services sector, saw the biggest declines at minus 0.7 percent respectively. Construction followed with a decline of 0.6 percent. The index is based on data from QuickBooks Online and covers the period from January 2005 through Aug. 31.

“This month’s indexes bring both good and bad news,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the indexes.

“The bad news is that while revenue rose earlier in this tepid recovery, they are now dropping for most industries. In addition, small business employment is growing very slowly, and is essentially flat.

“Couple that with the slow employment growth of less than one-tenth of a percent for big businesses, and we see a slim chance of full employment anytime soon.

Big comeback for startups seen

“The good news is that more people are going into business for themselves. After five years of declining self-employment beginning in January 2007, we began seeing a big comeback starting in November 2011.

“Nearly 600,000 additional self-employed folks have been added since then, and there are now 14.2 million people who are self-employed. One theory is that the decline in revenue per business may reflect the entry of these new businesses into the economy.”

Small Business Revenue Index

Small businesses overall saw a decline in revenue in August. The health care and social assistance saw the smallest decline of all the industries, at minus 0.3 percent, which is slightly less than the 0.4 percent decline seen in the previous month. The health care sector, has however, had the longest decline, starting in November 2011.

Sector August Change in Revenue
All - 0.4%
Accommodation, food services and drinking places - 0.7%
Retail trade - 0.7%
Construction - 0.6%
Professional, scientific and technical services - 0.5%
Real estate and rental and leasing - 0.5%
Other services - 0.3%
Health care and social assistance - 0.3%

The Intuit Small Business Revenue Index is based on data from more than 100,000 small businesses, a subset of the total QuickBooks Online financial management user base.

Small Business Employment Index

Based on September’s numbers and revised national employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Intuit revised upward the previously reported August growth rate to 0.2 percent from 0.16 percent. This equates to 50,000 jobs added in August, up from a previously reported 30,000 jobs, though these numbers are expected to change once the index is recalibrated.

Increase in Hours Worked, Increase in Compensation

Small business hourly employees worked an average of 107.2 hours in September, an increase of 0.18 percent, or about 12 minutes, from the revised figure of 107.0 hours in August, making for a 24.7-hour workweek.

Average monthly pay for all small business employees rose to $2,768 in September, an increase of 0.6 percent, or $17, from the August revised figure of $2,751 per month. The equivalent annual wages would be about $33,200 per year, which is part-time work for many small business employees.

Small Business Employment by Geography

The Employment Index showed growth in overall employment in September for all regions except for the West North Central and the Middle Atlantic divisions, which fell by 0.13 percent and 0.05 percent respectively. A state-by-state breakdown showed the largest employment increases in Washington and Michigan, a trend that continued from last month. New York and Oregon saw the largest decreases.

U.S. Census Division Percent Change in Employment
East North Central + 0.3%
West North Central - 0.13%
Middle Atlantic - 0.05%
Mountain + 0.10%
New England + 0.12%
Pacific + 0.3%
South Atlantic + 0.3%
East South Central + 0.14%
West South Central + 0.4%

Small Business Employment by U.S. Census Division continues to grow in most parts of the country. The data reflects employment from approximately 84,000 small business employers, a subset of small businesses that use Intuit Online Payroll. The month-to-month changes are seasonally adjusted and informative about the overall economy.

State Change in Employment
Arizona + 0.02%
California + 0.40%
Colorado + 0.30%
Florida + 0.50%
Georgia + 0.20%
Illinois + 0.20%
Maryland + 0.40%
Massachusetts - 0.04%
Michigan + 0.80%
New Jersey + 0.16%
New York - 0.20%
North Carolina + 0.02%
Oregon - 0.13%
Pennsylvania - 0.09%
Texas + 0.40%
Virginia + 0.18%
Washington + 0.50%

Small Business Employment increased for most states in which Intuit Online Payroll has more than 1,000 small business firms. The month-to-month changes are seasonally adjusted and informative about the overall economy.

Need tech talent? Hacker Tour connecting startups and students

Friday, August 24th, 2012

hacker tour busIt can be tough for tech start-ups to recruit engineering and science students for internships and jobs without brand recognition. The Readyforce Hacker Tour 2012 is intended to help remedy that via an eight-week national bus tour designed to connect students and startups.

The Hacker Tour includes campus career fairs, CEO/CTO speakers, meetups, coding competitions and “maybe a party or two.”

It will stop at schools across the country, many in tech hubs from the San Francisco Bay Area to The Research Triangle, NC. It will visit Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Other stops include Boston, Austin, and San Diego.

Stops on the Hacker 2012 Tour:

hackerforce tour map

Companies invited to sign-up

Readyforce invites companies interested in joining Hacker Tour 2012 to learn more and register at:

Sponsors include early stage companies like Red Owl Analytics, Codeacademy and Quixey and later stage organizations like Etsy and Sonos.

It seems to be helping start-ups looking for talent.

“Partnering with ReadyForce on the Hacker Tour will expose ZestFinance to thousands more students across a much more diverse set of universities than we would be able to accomplish on our own,”  says Adam Redlich, Head of Talent Acquisition at ZestFinance.

“At Elance, we create opportunities for students to work for themselves while they build an online portfolio that gives them an edge in the competitive job market,” said Rich Pearson, Chief Marketing Officer, Elance. “We are excited to be a part of the inaugural Hacker Tour because it is a unique way to tell students about a unique job opportunity.”

“At SoundCloud, we are always looking to hear from talented and motivated individuals across all disciplines, so sponsoring Readyforce’s Hacker Tour represents a natural fit for us,” said Eric Wahlforss, CTO and co-founder, SoundCloud.

 Colleges like the program

Colleges and universities are also enthusiastic.

Corbett Morgan,  startup analyst at the Technology Commercialization & Knowledge Transfer Office, The Ohio State University, says,  “Readyforce is the progressive, soon to be widely adopted, method for students to interface with startups; the Readyforce Hacker Tour makes this opportunity tangible.”

He adds, “Telling a talented student, ‘Startups want you and your skills. They are coming to you and they want to meet YOU,’ is a powerful message and undoubtedly bridges the disconnect inherent in the outdated apply-online recruitment method.”


More than one-third of small businesses understaffed, but fewer plan hiring

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

TD BankDespite more than one-third of polled small business owners reporting that they are somewhat or significantly understaffed, most don’t plan to hire in the upcoming months, according to a new survey by TD Bank.

Economic Confidence Affecting Hiring

TD Bank’s survey – which polled more than 500 small business owners across the bank’s Maine to Florida footprint – found that although 35% of surveyed small businesses report being somewhat or significantly understaffed, only 21% plan to hire one or more employees in the upcoming months. A majority (70%) plan to maintain their current employee levels.

“Our survey results indicated that over half (51%) of polled small business owners are not optimistic about the U.S. economy,” said Fred Graziano, Head of Regional Commercial Banking, Government Banking and Small Business, TD Bank.

“According to our partners at TD Economics, uncertainty about the future path of fiscal policy and the outlook for the global economy will keep businesses cautious about investing and hiring in the upcoming months. However, for businesses that are looking to grow for the long term, it’s a great time to take advantage of the low interest rate environment.”

Biggest Challenges: Finding Qualified Employees and Declining Sales

The survey asked small business owners to identify their biggest human resources challenges. According to the results, when small businesses are in a position to hire, they struggle to find qualified candidates to fill open positions.

The biggest challenges in employee management include:

  • Finding new qualified candidates (42%)
  • Training existing employees (23%)
  • Offering competitive compensation (22%)
  • Laying off inadequate employees (8%)
  • Continuous employee turnover (5%)

TD Bank’s survey also asked small business owners to identify their biggest challenge in the next six months. Declining sales (29%) topped the list, followed closely by rising healthcare and insurance costs (27%) and cash flow concerns (23%). The other challenges were pressure from larger competitors (12%) and rising energy costs (10%).

“Identifying creative ways to boost sales revenue while keeping an eye on expense growth and cash flow is a good strategy to follow for managing a business in this current economy,” said Graziano. “That’s why it’s important to lead a strong and innovative team of employees that positively contribute to a business’ goals and objectives.”

Defining Success as a Small Business Owner

According to the survey, there are different opinions when it comes to best defining success as a small business owner. Doing something they enjoy (24%) and having a stable work/life balance (23%) were the top responses, followed by being one’s own boss and earning enough money to live a comfortable lifestyle (17% each). The remaining responses were continuous increases in business profitability (10%) and creating jobs in the local community (9%).

“Entrepreneurship helps people fulfill their dreams of turning a creative idea or passion into a successful business, regardless of how they best define it,” said Graziano. “Whether it’s applying for financing or opening one of our new small business checking accounts, TD Bank’s team of small business lenders and bankers are here to provide professional advice and legendary customer service.”

Job creation blueprints needed to bolster disappointing job growth

Monday, July 9th, 2012

ManpowerMore than half last month’s small job growth of only 80,000 new jobs, was generated by professional and business services, which added 47,000 jobs – with temporary workers accounting for 25,000 of this sector’s increase.

“We remain in a unique long period of unemployment and underemployment, during which skills requirements are moving fast,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres, ManpowerGroup chairman and CEO. “We still have demand, but employers face heaping amounts of uncertainty that stems from what’s happening with Europe, China, Obamacare, the upcoming U.S. general election, etc.”

Manpower urges U.S. businesses, governments and educators to focus on master blueprints for boosting job creation.

Job creation blueprints

Job creation blueprints that ManpowerGroup endorses include the HR Policy Association’s U.S. Blueprint for Jobs in the 21st Century and the Business 20 (B20) Task Force on Employment master plan for boosting global employment.

These plans identify public-private sector initiatives for upskilling and placing talent into growing industry sectors. A co-chair on the new B20 task force, Joerres delivered its priority actions to the G20 last month.

“Stakeholders in the U.S. economy cannot wait for jobs to be created,” Joerres added.

“All employers, educators and levels of government, and individuals play a critical role in creating jobs. The right blueprint and scalable model initiatives exist. What’s needed is for businesses, educators and governments to intricately collaborate in mapping how to sustain the U.S. talent pipeline.”

Of course, little is likely to get done on the the federal level, with the U.S. government mired in senseless partisan bickering such as yet another useless and only symbolic vote on repealing the Affordable Healthcare act (the 31st time the GOP led House has taken such a vote, which is doomed to die in the Senate).

But perhaps states and local governments and educators can play a greater role.

According to ManpowerGroup’s 2012 Talent Shortage Survey results, 49% of U.S. employers struggle to fill mission-critical positions. Skilled trades, engineering and IT positions continue to place on this list year after year.

Training and education programs could go a long way toward alleviating the lack of workers with appropriate skills.

As editor of several regional business publications, we covered many such programs and they were often successful not only in getting people back to work in states such as North Carolina, but also in attracting new businesses and economic development.

Also, 56% of employers, worldwide, indicate unfilled positions are expected to have little or no impact on key constituents, such as customers and investors. This proportion has grown considerably worldwide from 36 percent in 2011 to 56 percent in 2012