DCR National Temp Wage Index

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In November 2014, the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that U.S hiring surged, adding a surprising 321,000 jobs, far exceeding analysts’ predictions, with the largest monthly increase since January 2012. Average hourly wages had their biggest gain in 17 months. The unemployment rate was unchanged from October at 5.8 percent.

U.S. private sector employment rose by 208,000 jobs in November 2014, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Small businesses continued to drive job growth, adding nearly half the total for the month.

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Temp Worker Hiring Remains Strong

The employment services field, a federal BLS designation that encompasses mostly temporary workers, has grown by more than 40 percent in the last six years. In Northeast New Jersey, particularly, temp hiring has increased with the counties of Bergen, Passaic, and Hudson increasing temp jobs by 57 percent. In November 2014, the number of U.S. temporary help services jobs rose by 22,700.

According to recent data released by the American Staffing Association, staffing companies employed an average of 3.26 million temporary and contract workers per week in the third quarter of 2014, up 6.1 percent from the year before.

However, the year-over-year growth rate for temporary jobs slowed down to 8.52 percent in November 2014, from 9.15 percent the month before.

Year-over-Year Growth in Temp Jobs

Year-over-Year Growth in Temp Jobs

Source: BLS

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The Flex Economy

The State of Contingent Workforce Management report by Ardent Partners highlights what is known as the “flex economy.” As non-traditional talent continues to be a major strategy for companies looking to boost their workforces, the flex economy is one where companies actively recruit for workers who offer their specialized skills and expertise on a freelance basis.

According to Ardent Partners, characteristics of the flex economy include:

  • Freelancer networks and online labor marketplaces as sources of non-traditional talent.
  • Projects designed for engaging freelancers instead of traditional full-time workers.
  • Dedicated initiatives to analyze social networks to find needed and unique talent and skills.
  • Use of crowdsourcing solutions as a way of finding innovative resources for projects.

Analysis by FlexJobs.com reveals that the top industries for freelance positions are education, writing, translation, graphic design, consulting, computer and IT, accounting and finance, web development, entertainment, healthcare, and sales and marketing. And while many major companies seek freelancers, it’s the less well-known organizations that offer the most freelance jobs.

A recent survey of freelancers by Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk finds that 77 percent of freelancers say that they make the same or more money than they did before they started freelancing.

CEOs’ Investment in HR

A survey released by Trinet revealed that CEOs spend an average of up to 46 percent of their time on HR issues. Thirty-three percent of the 469 CEOs surveyed pointed to HR documentation and workplace compliance as their greatest worry, followed by litigation and hiring practices.

The survey also revealed that 30 percent of CEOS don’t measure the return on investment in HR.

Economic Global Predictions for 2015

Just recently, IHS outlined its top economic predictions for the global outlook of 2015. Global growth is expected to be approximately 3 percent this year, compared to 2.7 percent in 2014.

The United States will continue to outperform other countries, driven by strengthening domestic demand. Consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) remains positive, due to predicted strong job growth, improved household finances, and low gas prices. IHS predicts that the economy will grow in the 2.5 to 3 percent range. Surveys released by the Institute for Supply Management reveal that the U.S. economy will continue to strengthen in 2015.

Revenue Growth Expected in 2015

Revenue Growth Expected in 2015

Source: Institute for Supply Management & The Wall Street Journal

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The euro zone will continue to struggle with a weak labor  market, but low oil prices, a weaker euro, and accommodative monetary policy are expected to help growth. IHS predicts a modest growth of 1.4 percent, compared to 0.8 percent in 2014.

Japan’s economy is expected to rebound in 2015, after suffering its fourth recession in six years. Meanwhile, China’s growth will continue to slow to a growth rate of 6.5 percent in 2015. Due to cheaper oil, increases in global liquidity, and acceleration of U.S. and European growth, emerging countries will see large growth increases.

World’s Largest Economies in 2015 (estimated)

World’s Largest Economies in 2015

Source CNN
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