Are Businesses Tracking the Unemployment Numbers?

Posted by on June 8, 2011 in Business Management, Business Start Up Advice, Business Technology [ 0 Comments ]

Given the recent May jobs report, one must wonder if the U.S. economy is in for still darker days before things really improve.

The government report for May shows that the economy only added 54,000 jobs, a major drop from the 232,000 positions added to payrolls in April. The May figure, which was singled out by economists that were looking for an increase of some 170,000 jobs led to an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent for the month. According to one economist, “The extent of this slowdown is becoming a big concern.” Concern, it turns out, may be an understatement.

Economists were also quick to note that the mix of weak hiring and other issues like the amount of consumer spending, home values and manufacturing, lead many to believe there are major problems in the economy that will take time and effort to overcome.

Given the weak numbers, concern turns to employers and their views on the economy. Should employers see a weakened recovery, they could cut back on hiring more people, thereby keeping the unemployment figures higher than wanted.

According to the report:

  • The number of those jobless who have been unemployed for more than six months grew by 361,000;
  • The average number of weeks those unemployed have been out of a job is just below 40 weeks;
  • The number of unemployed increased by 167,000 to 13.9 million, the largest number to date in 2011;
  • Manufacturers trimmed jobs for the first time since October 2010, while retailers cut back on some 9,000 jobs;
  • Job gains continued in professional and business services, healthcare, and mining.

For employers, the numbers are likely not a huge surprise, given the fact many have put the brakes on hiring new talent. Given the combination of higher costs for gas, food and other commodities, consumers are spending less on other items, leading to less demand for employer products.

Despite the less than stellar numbers, some in Washington, D.C. are trying to paint an optimistic scene.

According to U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, “While I would have liked to have seen stronger growth in May, we are still on the right trajectory. With smart investments and the determination of the American people, we will continue on our path toward a full recovery.”

So, what can businesses do to help lessen the unemployment numbers?

One area employers can zero in on is making sure their recruitment systems are top-notch, therefore not allowing any potential employees to slip away. By using quality job recruiting software, employers can lessen the chances of a potential employee falling through the cracks.

If businesses are employing inferior tracking and hiring practices, they are likely to be in a continuous cycle of job posting, hiring, training and eventually firings.

By properly tracking applicants, employers can keep those individuals on file who missed the last cut and bring them in to interview for new opportunities, thereby cutting down on advertising costs, wasted time and higher overhead.

Efficient tracking of applicants through your company’s human resources department will assist department supervisors in being able to make better hiring choices when it comes to who will get the job.

Have you taken a look at your company’s recruitment methods?

If not, it may very well be time to.

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