How is the labor market doing in this somewhat unpredictable economic recovery? We will have the big monthly report from the Ministry of Labor on Friday.
But in the meantime, we got an idea of how that might end on Wednesday, when payroll processor ADP announced that private sector employment increased by 568,000 in September.
This could indicate a rebound from the mediocre August numbers.
We know from recent reports – from the Federal Reserve, purchasing managers and job search sites – that this is not an easy job market to navigate, for employers or the workers. There are still many more unemployed people than before the pandemic, but at the same time millions of jobs are being offered and many employers are desperate to hire.
The lion’s share of workers who found jobs in September ended up in large companies, according to ADP. Small businesses also want to hire, but many of them are outbid by their biggest rivals.
You can see it everywhere, said Anthony Nieves of the Institute for Supply Management, “whether it’s a coffee shop or other types of retail business, where they post listings and limit their hours, and just don’t have enough help. Applications [are] given to customers when they pick up their orders.
Finding skilled workers is the second worst problem Jim Piper faces at his Chicago-area manufacturing company, Matot, which makes dumbwaiters and elevators.
He said stocking up was a “shipwreck”. But hiring isn’t that easy either. “We need qualified assistants. We do a lot of welding and fabrication, and those roles are more difficult to fill, ”Piper said.
He has been able to fill lower-skilled entry-level jobs, but “the new hires we’ve hired recently are coming in with higher wage demands or hourly rate requirements than we’ve seen in the past.” , did he declare. . “And for the most part, we are ready to welcome them. So there is upward pressure across the company. “
The upward pressure on wages reflects how desperate employers are, according to Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. It also shows how much money people have managed to withdraw from relief and unemployment benefits.
“So you have a lot of people who are in a better financial situation today than they probably were before the pandemic, and that can give them the luxury of saying, ‘I’m going to look for a better job’, Baker said.
That’s pretty much the situation Glenn Harmes finds himself in. He is 64, lives in Eugene, Oregon, and lost his job as a maintenance engineer at a major hotel when the pandemic began. He was unemployed until last month.
“I saved my money,” Harmes said. “I’m living on savings right now. So, I don’t lose sleep over it. But I will soon find a job.
And he wants to find something that pays better than his old hotel job.