Posts Tagged ‘Jobs Report for April’

Employment Update

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

For the third month in a row, the private sector added jobs in April, according to a report from ADP. Jobs increased by 32,000 from March. March’s number was revised as well—and the news is even better: rather than a loss of 23,000 jobs, there was an increase of 19,000.

With employment from January 2010 to February 2010 increasing by 3,000, April’s numbers seal three straight months of increases. And this Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its jobs report for April; analysts predict total job growth (pubic and private sectors) will be between 180,000 and 189,000. (March’s increase was reported at 162,000, which will be adjusted on Friday’s report.)

April’s expected increase will include the temporary jobs added by the U.S. Census Bureau. Still, the manufacturing sector is expected to add about 29,000, and service sector about 50,000 in Friday’s report.

Another bit of good news is that the Consumer Confidence Index increased to 57.9, 18 points higher than April 2009, and 5 points higher than just a week prior. The Conference Boar Consumer Research Center, which issues the Index, reports the reading is higher than it’s been since September of 2008 because consumers’ concerns about business and job markets are easing. The Conference Board also reports that online job openings advertised in April jumped to 4.15 million, an increase of 222,700 over March.

So hiring freezes may be starting to thaw. What about the employees who managed to keep their jobs throughout the economic downturn? How are they faring?

There are indications that wage freezes are starting to hit the road, too. The Wall Street Journal reports that large employers like BASF, the chemical company, and Rockwell Collins, an aviation electronics firm, are distributing raises to their employees. Retaining key employees, rather than cutting staff, has become the priority.

BASF was scheduled to pay out raises in April, but decided to do it a month earlier—and employee morale was instantly improved. Even the buzz surrounding the early raise announcement helped loyalty and allowed employees to recommit to the company.

And employers might soon need that commitment from their people. A January survey by Towers Watson showed that 15% of respondents were having difficulty keeping their best talent. Employers are seeing more poaching and defections of key employees. One way to keep them from going is to increase salary—and that’s what is happening. AT&T gave 100,000 managers significant raises in November of 2009—four months ahead of the rest of their employees.

We will report on Friday’s job numbers as soon as they are announced, so check back!