BLS Employment Situation Report: July 2017

The July Employment Situation Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed a 0.1 percent decline in the U.S.'s unemployment rate - to 4.3 percent - and a gain of 209,000 jobs in total nonfarm payroll employment. According to Markets Insider, projections for the unemployment rate's small decline were spot-on, while economists' estimate of jobs that would be added in July - about 183,000 - missed the mark. Total jobs added suffered slightly compared to June, which saw 220,000 jobs added.

Some industries that saw an uptick in June, such as healthcare, experienced further improvement, while other sectors, such as food and professional and financial services, showed new increases that hadn't been seen the previous month. Also, the number of Americans classifiable as "long-term unemployed" remained static at around 1.8 million as it totaled the previous month, but that trend has seen gradual reduction for most of the year, per previous data releases by the BLS.

Both food service and professional and business services saw large job gains - of 53,000 and 49,000, respectively. Employment within the healthcare sector increased by 39,000, slightly more than in June, and notably outpacing the 2017 average of 24,000 new jobs in the field per month.

Mining, meanwhile, saw minor growth of only 1,000 jobs added, and several sectors, including construction, manufacturing, information, transportation, retail, financial services and government, saw no notable movement in either direction.

As noted in The New York Times, many economists consider a one-two punch of strong wage growth and a high rate of labor participation to be among the most reliable indicators of a strong economy. The participation rate earned significant attention in 2016 due to its decline, hitting lows not seen in the past several decades and fueling perception of economic downturn in spite of a fairly low unemployment rate - around 4.7 percent for much of last year. Any significant increase in this metric would thus engender increased confidence in the overall economy. The labor participation rate remained steadfast at 62.9 percent for the month - where it has remained for the greater part of 2017.

Average hourly earnings for all nonfarm employees rose 0.3 percent in July, slightly above the 0.2 percent wage growth experienced in June. Although not as high as many financial leaders might like, news of this growth and the generally strong jobs report caused increases in both stock futures and Treasury yields, according to CNBC.

Probability of an increase in Federal Reserve interest rates also strengthened, rising to 45 percent from the 41 percent noted as recently as Aug. 3, 2017. Overall, while the figures in the July BLS labor report did not show uniform improvements, its findings nonetheless constitute fairly positive news.

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As a member of MRINetwork, The Trevi Group is proud to have been ranked by Forbes as one of "America's Best Executive Search Firms" in 2017. Click here  to read what our top ten national ranking means for you.

As a member of MRINetwork, The Trevi Group is proud to have been ranked by Forbes as one of "America's Best Executive Search Firms" in 2017. Click here  to read what our top ten national ranking means for you.

Video: Working From Home - How Important Is It?

Recently, some large companies have curtailed the ability of their employees to work from home, now asking staff to work in corporate offices. These changes are focused on driving increased collaboration, creativity, mentoring and innovation, but may alienating top talent in the executive, managerial and professional labor market - a sector that has been candidate-driven and challenged by talent shortages for the last few years.

Click to watch the video.

This move comes at a time when many candidates express interest in working from home during the interview process. According to the MRINetwork 2017 Recruiter Sentiment Study, 68 percent of recruiters and 53 percent of employers state candidates ask for work from home options somewhat often to very often. Over half of candidates indicate that having a work from home option is somewhat to extremely important as they consider a new job.

“The U.S. unemployment rate is at a 16-year low, so failing to provide work from home options can put companies at a disadvantage in terms of attracting candidates,” observes Nancy Halverson, general manager, franchise operations for MRINetwork. “Technology has made communication, collaboration, security and other aspects of managing remote employee easier, allowing companies to implement this strategy as a way to attract and retain top talent.”

Halverson notes that work from home arrangements offer a number of significant advantages. “You can employ specialized people who live outside your geographic region, for example, and stay operational 24/7 with remote staff spread across different time zones,” she says. “You are also likely to maintain a more productive workforce and achieve higher long-term retention rates.”

The key to implementing a successful work from home program, Halverson advises, is the formation of a well-thought-out plan. “This necessitates drawing up formal guidelines and finding the right technological tools, as well as hiring the right people for the job of working remotely,” she says. “Once in place, the program requires oversight and tweaking to make it’s sustainable and successful.”

Halverson offers some useful guidelines for managing telecommuters on a day-to-day basis:

Set the right tone. Working from home has become more acceptable, and even desirable, to employers, so it should no longer be viewed as a reward or a privilege. Instead, you should treat it as a natural option for working. Set the expectation that remote working days are the same as in-office working days. Agree on goals and deadlines for particular tasks. Keep a close eye on how well the targets are being met and give feedback promptly and sensitively if things go wrong.

Determine metrics to measure progress. Monitoring and assessing the performance of people who work at home is perhaps the most significant managerial challenge. It can be helpful to measure their effectiveness in terms of their output rather than the hours they work to ensure that targets and deadlines are being met. You can set firm deliverables for work-from-home days (tangible pieces of work you can see have been completed), for example, or use time-tracking software.

Don’t forget about remote workers. Don’t just shoot off emails requesting updates on projects. Make informal calls to ask how things are going, allowing employees to express concerns and to feel appreciated and acknowledged. Take advantage of instant messaging and make sure that face-to-face meetings occur when possible or when needed. For times when it’s not possible to meet in person, video conferencing or Skype are great ways to provide a face-to face-element to brainstorming sessions or team meetings. These types of capabilities can make all the difference in helping remote employees see their co-workers occasionally, so that they feel connected and part of a community.

To further the feeling of community, treat remote workers the same as you do those in the office.  If it’s ugly sweater day during the holidays, encourage your remote person to do the same and send a picture or leverage that video technology again. If you let parents scoot out early to enjoy Halloween festivities with their little ones, allow the same privileges to remote workers.

Pay attention to warning signs. If a remote worker is missing deadlines or being asked to redo work, there could be a communication problem. Meet with the worker to discuss what communication channels could be used to correct the situation or if working from home is not the best option for the individual. Keep in mind that it doesn’t always work out for everyone.

Halverson believes that one of the biggest concerns of having virtual teams is that employees may feel their contributions aren't noticed or valued. "You don't want team members to feel as though they're just sending their work out into a vacuum," she cautions. "As a leader, you have to create a sense of involvement and inclusion so that your people don’t feel invisible.”

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Healthcare technology company to create more than 800 jobs in Palm Beach County

Healthcare technology company Modernizing Medicine will create more than 800 new jobs in Palm Beach County, Florida, by 2022, local station WPTV reported. 

The expansion will mark the largest jobs project in the county since 2009. Modernizing Medicine will receive a $6 million incentive package from the state if it adds 838 jobs in the next five years.

"We are extremely excited to expand our presence and create more jobs across a wide range of fields in South Florida," said CEO Dan Cane. 

The company has more than 550 employees currently, with 400 of them based in Boca Raton, the source noted. 

According to the Miami Herald, Modernizing Medicine produces more than $100 million in revenues each year and is one of the most rapidly growing tech companies in southern Florida. 

"There are not many companies growing as fast as Modernizing Medicine - in the world," said Gov. Rick Scott. 

The new jobs will largely be software development roles and will have an average annual salary of $55,000. 

The company is also expanding its headquarters, leasing space in the building that formerly served as the home of IBM in addition to its current main office at the Florida Atlantic University Research Park. 

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Silicon Valley impacts widespread job growth

A new report from CBRE shows that Silicon Valley is fueling job growth far beyond its borders. 

The Scoring Tech Talent Report found that many cities located far from California have seen large increases in their tech employment, Venture Beat detailed. 

Madison, Wisconsin, had the largest increase in "tech talent momentum" as determined by the report, and saw employment in the industry grow by 30.2 percent between 2015 and 2016. Madison was followed by Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, Florida; and Kansas City, Missouri. 

"What we're seeing occurring now is the impact and influence that Bay Area tech companies are having in markets all across the country," said author of the report and Director of Research and Analysis at CBRE Colin Yasukochi in a statement. "Bay Area-based tech companies are opening offices and creating jobs in strategic markets like Pittsburgh and Detroit for example, as they work in partnership with universities and automotive companies on integrating their technologies into self-driving cars."

Rural communities may stand to benefit from the employment and economic impacts of Silicon Valley with the construction of a new rail line between Silicon Valley and San Jose, California, Mercury News reported. 

The train would be the first high-speed rail line in the U.S., and is slated to be completed in 2025. 

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Employment Summary for June 2017

The June Employment Situation released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs. This far exceeded analysts’ expectations of just over 170,000 jobs. The current unemployment rate is 4.4 percent.

Healthcare added 37,000 jobs, with 25,000 of these roles increasing in ambulatory healthcare services, and 12,000 in hospitals. Despite continued job growth, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that the average number of monthly jobs added in healthcare in 2017 is 24,000 vs. an average of 32,000 jobs per month in 2016.

Professional and business services continued its growth trend, adding 35,000 jobs in June. Food services and drinking places also saw continued growth, adding 29,000 jobs throughout the month.

Employment in financial activities rose by 17,000 positions.

Industries such as construction, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, information and government were relatively unchanged throughout the month.

The New York Times reported that June continued building on the growth of previous months. The average number of jobs added to the economy from April to June was 194,000. For 2017, the average monthly job growth is at 180,000, a slight decline from the average 2016 monthly growth of 187,000 jobs.

The source also noted that analysts anticipate the unemployment rate will continue to stay down, even when taking a closer look at the number of discouraged workers and “underemployed” workers, or those who are working part-time but would prefer full-time roles. In June, the unemployment rate that accounted for these workers was at 8.6 percent, a slight uptick from the previous month. Yet, this number is also a full point lower than it was at this time last year.

In the midst of this good news, analysts continue to watch the slow wage growth.

“The wage numbers are certainly weaker than expected, so it keeps alive that whole debate about the relationship between slack and inflation and how far the Federal Reserve should allow the unemployment rate to fall,” Jim O’Sullivan, the chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, told the Times.

Despite these concerns, the hourly wage increased by 2.5 percent from the same time one year ago. The current hourly wage is $26.25 for private non-farm payroll.

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The Trevi Group, as part of MRINetwork, is Ranked Among Top Executive Recruiting Firms by, a leading source of reliable news and analysis, recently published its list of the best executive recruiting firms in the U.S. Thousands of recruiters, candidates who have worked with recruiters, and HR managers recommended the recruiting firms they perceive to be the best. The Trevi Group is part of MRINetwork, one of the largest search and recruitment organizations in the world, ranked among the top ten of this prestigious group.  

As an affiliate of MRINetwork, we know firsthand what it takes to earn that ranking. There are no simple formulas. It takes focused research, systematic search, determination and hard work. We take the time to learn your business, and we approach each assignment in partnership with you. We succeed because we are innovative, caring, tenacious and discreet.

It just makes sense to use a recruitment firm; when you need a proven-performer with a skill set that’s hard to find; when you need multiple people at once; when you’re backlogged and need people right now; or when you need multiple people for a short-term project. Recruiters who specialize in your industry build relationships with you to understand your requirements and work quickly when you are most in need. They have the connections and talent pipelines to fill hard-to-find skill sets, and they know how to present your opportunity in a way that motivates candidates to join your team.

We’re proud of our place in the Forbes’ rankings, and you can be confident that you’ll be working with one of the best recruiting firms in the U.S.

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The Recruiter's View: Top Hiring Insights of 2017

According to a June New York Times article, “We may be closer to full employment than it seemed.” Based on the May jobs report, the source asserts the possibility that this is as good as it will get for the United States labor market. Why? Slowed job growth with 121,000 new positions as the three-month average, and an all-time low of 4.3 percent for the unemployment rate - not because of more people finding work - but because of modest wage increases and a labor force that has been shrinking for the last few years.

Click to watch the video.

This dynamic is particularly apparent in the executive, managerial and professional job market where many companies are focused on expanding, but are finding it difficult to locate enough skilled talent. In this sector, which has been candidate-driven for several years, the lack of skilled talent is further complicated by top candidates who feel free to reject job offers and accepting offers from other companies. So as a hiring authority, what can you do to improve your odds of bringing in the talent that you seek?

The 2017 Recruiter Sentiment Study conducted by MRINetwork, reveals that the inability to find quality talent coincides with lengthy hiring practices, lower than expected compensation, and an employer sentiment that candidates should be honored to be considered for their job opportunities. Retention is also challenging, as high performers recognize more jobs are available and feel more confident about pursuing them.

Based on the Study findings, the following are the top hiring insights for employers to know:

Insight #1: It really is a candidate-driven market.

MRINetwork recruiters have been observing the shift to a candidate-driven market over the last five years and the according to the survey, 90 percent of recruiters still feel the professional labor market is candidate-driven in most industry sectors. By contrast, 47 percent of employers believe companies have the upper hand. The reality is the best candidates have other job options, so your value proposition must clearly articulate how coming on board would benefit their career. Assuming that candidates should feel lucky to be invited for an interview with your company is one of the biggest mistakes that can be made when trying to attract top talent.

Insight #2: Compensation has become the top deciding factor for high performers who are looking to make a job move.

Recruiters, employers and candidates agree that advancement opportunities and better compensation packages are the most important factors to candidates looking for a job. Over 50 percent of candidates selected competitive compensation packages most often, followed by advancement opportunities, suggesting that compensation is the deciding factor when considering a new job. Across all respondents, compensation was also one of the primary reasons an offer was rejected, along with the candidate accepting another offer. Ultimately, compensation needs to be competitive enough to convince high performers to leave their current employers.

Insight #3: Rejected job offers matter in a talent short economy.

Almost half of surveyed employers said offer rejection percentages were between 1 – 10 percent. While this may seem like a small amount, every bit of lost talent matters when there is a shortage of qualified candidates in many industries. Compensation is not the only reason for offer rejections; frequently it is the interview process itself. It’s critical to provide a streamlined and positive interview process that keeps applicants informed of where they stand every step of the way. Most importantly, everyone on the interviewing team should be providing consistent messaging about the role, and clearly articulating why your company culture and values make it an enviable place to work.

Insight #4:  Workplace expectations have changed. 

Today’s top performers want more out of life than the standard 9-5, in-office work scenario. Fifty-five percent of surveyed candidates said work-from-home options are somewhat to extremely important to them.  Additionally, an “emphasis on work-life balance” was the second most selected attribute by candidates who are consider a job move this year. While the tendency may be to think that candidates want to work less, or that working from home will decrease productivity, top talent want to work more efficiently, any time, and from anywhere. Providing this flexibility is not only attractive to prospective hires, but also creates the potential for happier, engaged employees who feel their work life does not overshadow personal interests and obligations.   

Insight #5: Most companies aren’t prepared for upcoming surge in Baby Boomers retirements.

When asked to describe the upcoming onset of large-scale Baby Boomer retirements, employers and recruiters agreed that most businesses are not prepared for the workforce changes involved with preparing for baby boomer departures. Employers also feel that programs will need to be developed to retain Baby Boomers to alleviate some of this pressure. Organizations that are able to prioritize succession planning and career-pathing now by making it part of their company culture will be better able to respond to baby boomer retirements.

When you consider these 5 hiring insights, it’s clear how they may be impacting your ability to attract top talent in an already tight candidate market. The hiring landscape and candidate expectations have changed. Companies that want to attract and retain the best talent, will need to revisit their interviewing and talent management approaches, to position themselves as a great place to work.

To view the complete Study and a short video recap of these hiring insights that can be easily distributed to others in your organization responsible for hiring, visit

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Nashville named best city for professional and business services jobs

Nashville, Tennessee, topped Forbes' list of the best cities in the country for professional and business services jobs. 

The publication analyzed labor market data as well as job growth trends to determine its ranking. 

Nashville had the highest growth rate of any city in the country in the professional and business services jobs sector, according to Forbes. It has added 160,300 positions since 2011, representing a 42.6 percent increase. 

The source cited "low taxes and a pro-business regulatory environment" as two of the top factors driving job growth in the city. 

The Nashville city government and Chamber of Commerce have implemented initiatives to support business development and job opportunities in the city, the local NewsChannel5 Network reported. 

"We've very focused on long-term planning, not just planning for tomorrow," said Chief Development Officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Courtney Ross in an interview with the source. "Now we're in the process of planning for the next five years, the next 10 years."

The No. 2 city in Forbes' ranking was Kansas City, Missouri, which has seen 28.4 percent growth in professional and business services jobs since 2011. 

Nashville, Tennessee, topped Forbes' list of the best cities in the country for professional and business services jobs.  The publication analyzed labor market data as well as job growth trends to determine its ranking.  Nashville had the highest growth rate of any city in the country in the professional and business services jobs sector, according to Forbes. It has added 160,300 positions since 2011, representing a 42.6 percent increase.  The source cited "low taxes and a pro-business regulatory environment" as two of the top factors driving job growth in the city.  The Nashville city government and Chamber of Commerce have implemented initiatives to support business development and job opportunities in the city, the local NewsChannel5 Network reported.  "We've very focused on long-term planning, not just planning for tomorrow," said Chief Development Officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Courtney Ross in an interview with the source. "Now we're in the process of planning for the next five years, the next 10 years." The No. 2 city in Forbes' ranking was Kansas City, Missouri, which has seen 28.4 percent growth in professional and business services jobs since 2011. 

The Trevi Group  |

Amazon Web Services delivers strong Q1 results

Consumers interact with Amazon daily - sometimes even without their knowledge. Amazon Web Services works on the backend of many websites, connecting sites around the world. Since being introduced in 2002, AWS is now responsible for 10 percent of the company's operating income - and powers websites like Netflix, The Guardian reported.

AWS operating income grew by nearly 50 percent from the same time last year, from January to March 31, Geekwire noted. It also saw a 42 percent growth spurt from the previous quarter. Can Amazon continue to grow AWS? And what does it mean for the tech industry?

As consumers continue to integrate IoT devices such as Alexa in their homes and utilize the ample amount of storage in the cloud, there may be no stopping the tech giant. Wa-Mart is one company that, after hearing news of Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods, is telling its tech vendors to work with another provider other than AWS. Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Compute stand as the two biggest competitors in the market.

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BLS Employment Situation Report: May 2017

The U.S. added 138,000 jobs in May as the unemployment rate edged down from 4.4 percent in April to settle at 4.3 percent, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The rate is currently at its lowest level in 16 years, Bloomberg noted. However, the number of jobs gained fell short of economists' expectations, which predicted the addition of 182,000 jobs.

"Job growth is a little disappointing, but enough to continue tightening the labor market," said JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief U.S. Economist Michael Feroli, in an interview with the source. "This doesn't change the overall story of an economy that generally seems to be growing above trend and reducing slack."

Since January, the number of unemployed has dropped by nearly 780,000, and the unemployment has fallen 0.5 percentage point.

Both the labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio decreased slightly in May. Over the year, the number of discouraged workers declined by 183,000.

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 138,000 during the month. Average hourly earnings for private nonfarm payroll employees increased by 4 cents to reach $26.22. Average hourly earnings for private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees were $22.00, an increase of 3 cents.

Sector-wise, professional and business services added the most jobs in May, gaining 38,000 positions. Job gains in this segment have averaged 46,000 per month this year.

Food services and drinking places employment increased by 30,000 jobs.

Healthcare added 24,000 positions, with 13,000 in ambulatory healthcare services and 7,000 at hospitals.

Mining employment increased by 7,000, bringing total job gains in the industry since its October 2016 low to 47,000.

There was little employment change in construction, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information and construction.

According to Bloomberg, the tightening U.S. labor market is expected to push the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates at their meeting June 13-14.

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Video: Retain Your Clients By Retaining Your Employees

Suppose you have a client who deals with a specific representative within your organization on a regular basis. Then that client starts to see multiple employees being funneled through that position. Every time the client contacts you, they’re dealing with a new person. What does this say to your client about your company? Countless negative things can be inferred from a high turnover rate, which often results in the loss of your clients to another company they perceive as better managed and more reliable.

Click to watch the video.

“Most clients regard a revolving door of employee contacts as annoying at best, and a deal breaker at worst,” says Alicia Sinay, senior franchise development manager for MRINetwork. “Businesses are increasingly relying on relationships, and it’s much easier to maintain the relationships you’ve cultivated with your clients when you don’t have to brief a new person on your business goals every six months, or repeat work that has already been completed as a new employee is being brought up to speed.”

While losing clients means a loss of income for your company, a high turnover rate has the capacity to be even more far-reaching and damaging in today’s candidate-driven marketplace. That’s why your strategy to retain clients should include retaining the employees who serve those clients.

If your goal is to foster employees who are satisfied with their position, you should be aware they expect the following:

  • Ability to use their talent and skills in the workplace. Many of your people could contribute far more than they currently do, if their managers take the time to tap into their skills, talent and experience. Whenever possible, allow them to focus their time and energy on projects they enjoy. Show employees you trust them by giving them responsibilities that provide the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities in other areas. Your business may benefit from applying their knowledge and experience to expanded job duties.
  • Frequent opportunities to learn and grow in their careers, knowledge and skill. Without the opportunity to work on new projects, serve on challenging and significant teams, and attend seminars and classes, they will stagnate - and ultimately leave your company. Career pathing is a great way for employees and managers to map out an upward mobility track, while placing the responsibility on the employee to achieve certain goals in order to receive a promotion, salary increase or both.
  • Awards and Recognition. A simple thank you or a congratulatory award often goes a long way in recognizing a job well done. That said, monetary rewards and bonuses, tied to accomplishments and achievements, can be even more motivating.
  • Communication with their managers. In addition to exit interviews when employees are leaving, routinely ask your employees why they stay. Ask questions such as: Why did you decide to accept a role within the organization? What are your nonnegotiable issues? What would you change or improve? Then use that information to strengthen your employee retention strategies.

Putting these effective retention strategies in place is key to retaining employees and better serving your clients. “Create an environment that stimulates employee satisfaction by incorporating motivation-building practices into your corporate culture,” advises Sinay. “Listen to your employees, respect their opinions, and be available to help with everything from ideas and concerns to assisting them with their career advancement.”

Employees need to feel valued and appreciated, be given feedback, provided with growth opportunities and work-life balance options, and have trust and confidence in their leaders. In this kind of environment, employees deliver higher-than-expected levels of service to each and every client. They take pride in their company and in their work, resulting in retention both of your workforce and your client base.

The Trevi Group | 

Demand grows for data engineers

As the use of big data expands, the demand is growing for professionals who can design the systems and network architecture that effectively gather, store and present this data. 

The value of big data is in the strategic insights it offers, which are uncovered by data scientists and analysts. However, it turns out that data engineers may be the missing element that makes company's big data initiatives successful.

Brian Hills, head of data at Innovation Centre noted in an article for Data Economy, "One of the key learnings from the past few years is that success with data cannot be dependent on data scientists alone ... Using only this approach within a business creates a cottage industry that limits ability to scale and generates a significant number of risks." 

He writes that data engineers also need to be part of the team, as they build the systems that enable data to be analyzed. There is growing demand for these professionals, with Stitch Data finding just 6,500 people with data engineer titles on LinkedIn and 6,600 job openings for data engineers in San Francisco alone. 

Some 42 percent of data engineers have a background in software engineering, research by Stitch Data showed, while the top five data engineering skills are SQL, Java, Python, Hadoop and Linux. 

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BLS Employment Situation Report: April 2017

The U.S. job market bounced back in April, adding 211,000 nonfarm payroll jobs during the month, according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The gains exceeded Bloomberg economists' prediction of 190,000 jobs added, and followed a weaker-than-expected March that saw 79,000 jobs added, revised down from the previously reported 98,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate fell from 4.5 percent in March to 4.4 percent in April, which is the lowest rate since May 2007, Reuters reported. The unemployment rate has dropped by 0.6 percentage point over the year. The labor force participation rate was relatively unchanged in April at 62.9 percent.

Industry-wise in April:

  • Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs, gaining 55,000 new positions. Employment grew in the food services and drinking places sector by 26,000.
  • Professional and business services followed, adding 39,000 positions. Over the year, employment in the industry has expanded by 612,000 jobs.
  • Healthcare and social assistance gained 37,000 positions, on par with its monthly average so far for 2017.
  • Financial activities employment grew by 19,000, with the gains largely driven by insurance activity.
  • Mining added 9,000 jobs.

Average hourly earnings for all private nonfarm payroll employees increased by 7 cents in April to reach $26.19. Last week, a government report was released that showed private sector wages had their biggest growth in a decade in the first quarter of 2017, according to Reuters.

With the strengthening employment figures, the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates later this year.

"Labor market conditions remain robust and continue to tighten," said Chief Financial Economist Ward McCarthy of Jefferies LLC in New York, according to Bloomberg. "This data will keep the Fed on track for a preferred 2017 normalization timeline of rate hikes in June and September and the first step toward balance-sheet normalization in December."

Bloomberg also noted that income gains, particularly in real estate prices and stock, have contributed to a more positive consumer outlook.

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How to Avoid Making Costly Hiring Mistakes

In today's highly competitive job market, businesses can't afford to take a lackluster approach to recruitment and hiring. Not only can a bad hire lead to costly turnover, but it can also negatively impact the organizational performance of a business and, therefore, its bottom line.

Click to enlarge.

According to the Society for Human Resources Management, the cost of replacing an employee could end up amounting to anywhere between 50 percent and a few hundred percent of the individual’s yearly salary. Other studies show a much higher total cost (5 to 24 times the annual salary, depending on the position).

Never has it been more important for employers to hone in on a strategy to attract, onboard and retain top talent. However, this is often far easier said than done. Fast Company reported that two of the biggest reasons companies hire bad candidates can be attributed to needing to fill the position quickly, as well as the organization failing to test or research the skills of the candidate well enough.

“There are many factors that come into play when determining whether someone is a suitable candidate, including their skill set and background, as well as how well they fit within the corporate culture,” says Nancy Halverson, general manager, franchise operations for MRINetwork. “To avoid the risk of costly hiring mistakes, there are key steps companies need to take - starting with getting a clearer picture of who their ideal candidate is.”

Halverson recommends the following to help employers clearly define their ideal candidate:

Build a candidate profile 
The more specific a business is about what its ideal candidate looks like, the better the chances of being able to identify and attract them. Too often, hiring managers cast a wide net in hopes that the top performers will simply come to them. But there needs to be a better, more specific definition of what that person looks like, the exact skill sets and experience they should have and what will be expected of them.

Not only does this help hiring managers, it also benefits candidates as well. According to Aberdeen Group, there is a disconnect between the expectations of employers and candidates, which contributes to higher turnover. Candidates also reported wanting a clearer definition of what the role and responsibilities are.

“Candidates want to know what to expect - both from the position and company,” notes Halverson. “It’s important that they’re able to get a clear understanding of what working for a company would be like before applying - let alone committing - to a job.”

Put competencies into context 
As Lou Adler recently explained in a LinkedIn article, without context, hiring decisions are influenced by personal perceptions and biases, which are the leading cause of hiring mistakes. To avoid this, companies must clearly define roles and responsibilities, as well as the required traits and competencies for performing those functions - not just which ones they need, but why and how they will be used on the job. Additionally, how will the success of those competencies be measured?

The article also suggested outlining about five performance objectives explaining the task, an action verb detailing the role, followed by a measurable result.

“By outlining the attributes, characteristics and duties of the candidate ahead of time, employers will be better positioned to hire someone who fits the bill,” says Halverson. These are the ingredients needed to create a performance-based job description which allow employers to minimize bias attributed to a lack of context and, in turn, reduce their risk of making costly hiring mistakes.

The Trevi Group |

Automation and artificial intelligence expected to create 15 million jobs by 2027

The Future of Jobs report released this week by Forrester Research has revealed that the rise of automation and artificial intelligence is expected to create nearly 15 million new jobs in the U.S. over the next 10 years, MarketWatch reported. This news comes amidst much debate as of late about how robots and technology may influence the job market. 

According to the source, the report noted that the majority of newly created positions will be in specific job areas including engineering, software, design, maintenance, support and training. Additionally, a fresh wave of legal and human resources professionals will likely be necessary for managing and regulating human and robot employee interactions. 

Forrester also projects that a quarter of all jobs will undergo major changes regarding role functions and responsibilities - particularly in medicine, farming and finance, MarketWatch reported.

As TechRepublic pointed out, although a sizeable number of jobs - almost 10 million - are expected to eventually be displaced by robots, the recent analysis projections indicate a far milder impact than the nearly 70 million jobs some industry experts previously predicted would be lost. 

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What if your company makes a Counteroffer?

Upon resignation, you have interviewed, evaluated and committed to a new career path and a new company based on your career growth and opportunity, congratulations! Typically, your company and boss will express disappointment that you are leaving their employ since you are a valued employee. They will wish you the best and suggest the door is always open for you in the future.

However, some companies will go beyond the typical “anything we can do?” reaction most Managers will have and try to entice you to stay. Counteroffers are business decisions by an employer to buy time or change the situation to better meet their business operations. Counteroffers can create confusion and remorse for the employee and are typically made in conjunction with some form of flattery. For example: 
•    You're too valuable, we need you. 
•    You can't desert the team/your friends and leave them hanging. 
•    We were just about to give you a promotion/raise, and it was confidential until now. 
•    What did they offer, why are you leaving, and what do you need to stay? 
•    The Executive/CIO wants to meet with you before you make your final decision. 

Counteroffers usually take the form of: 

•    A promise of more money
•    a sudden promotion
•    promises or future considerations
•    emotional guilt trips

Most often a company is basing its decision on the cost and pain to rehire, retrain a new person in your role.  Additionally, it is a chance to buy time and planning to be able to more tactically fill the position in the future or make internal adjustments on their time.

The Reality

  • Employers don't like to be "fired." Often, a reporting Manager can be concerned that they will look bad, and/or that his/her career may suffer. It's never a good time for someone to resign, and it may prove time-consuming and costly to replace you. In addition, they know that statistically you are almost certain to leave them in the future.
  • Companies use counter offers as a stop gap to buy time, it is a business decision made typically by your manager or an edict higher than your direct reporting Manager and although delivered as a benefit or reward to an employee or from an emotional presentation, it is all business.
  • It's can be much cheaper and easier to try keep an employee, even at a higher salary. And it would be better to replace them later - on the company's time frame.
  • Having once demonstrated your "lack of loyalty" by having considered looking at another job opportunity, you will lose your status as a "team player" and your place in the "inner circle."
  • Numerous studies have shown that the basic reasons for wanting to change jobs/company in the first place will nearly always resurface. Changes made as the result of a counteroffer rarely last beyond the short-term, no matter how many promises are made.
  • Once a company decides to “buy” an employee, the companies typically, directly or indirectly becomes open to new candidates for that position, become open to ways to “restructure” and often at a lower salary.
  • Statistics show that if you accept a counteroffer, the probability of voluntarily leaving within twelve months or being “downsized or restricted” within one year is extremely high, over 75%. 
  • Accepting a counteroffer is a blow to your personal pride, knowing that you were bought. 
  • Counteroffers are business decisions by a company and they rarely support the reasons why you accepted a new position in relation to your career growth and long term career outlook.

Addressing a counter offer professionally

Often, a manager will ask if there is anything they can do or why you are leaving simply as a response to the resignation.

They will typically respect you and your decision and wish you the best in your new endeavor and offer to welcome you back should things change in the future.

If it is pressed to indirectly or directly to try to change your mind, offer to have the big boss talk to you or “go to work” on a counter proposal,  the following is one approach to diffuse those situations to avoid issues and resign on good and professional terms.

“I have made this decision after much deliberation as well as accepted and committed to a new company and opportunity which I feel is the right decision for my career.  I appreciate the counteroffer or suggestion yet I plan to honor my commitment and ask that you accept my resignation and honor my decision. I will work diligently to tie up loose ends and transfer open projects in a professional manner. However, if things for some reason didn’t work out as I expect, I would hope we would have an opportunity to work together again in the future”

This is a good way to maintain your integrity and remind them that it was a well thought decision that you would ask that they respect.  It is also a good way to take any tension out of the situation and give them a chance to open the door for later while making a highly professional resignation.

Over 180,000 U.S. tech jobs added in 2016

A new report recently published by CompTIA revealed that the U.S. tech industry employs nearly 7 million workers, TechRepublic reported. Approximately 182,000 jobs were added in 2016, representing 10 percent of employment growth nationwide, as well as a 3 percent uptick from the year before. Furthermore, with the tech industry continuously expanding, the sector now accounts for about 8 percent of total U.S. economic activity.

According to TechRepublic, last year the average annual wage for tech positions hit an estimated $108,900 - twice as much as the national average wage, which is $53,040.

In its press release, CompTIA revealed that the tech industry has seen a net gain of nearly 865,000 jobs in the past decade. Additionally, 2016 marked the fifth consecutive year that tech businesses in the U.S. saw growth. The analysis firm noted that while almost every state saw increases in tech employment and business, some of the most significant job gains occurred in California, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Michigan. 

"These numbers affirm the strength and vitality of the U.S. tech industry, and attest to its essential standing in the economy," CompTIA CEO and President Todd Thibodeaux said in the company's statement. "Technology enables innovation and generates growth for companies, regardless of their size, locale or markets served."

The Trevi Group |

Video: Revamp Your Playbook to Attract Top Talent in a Tight Candidate Market

Late 2015 was the most difficult hiring period in four years, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and things have only become harder for businesses both large and small, especially in the realm of professional and managerial positions. With the BLS reporting an unemployment rate down to 2.1 percent for this segment of the workforce, competition for candidates is accelerating. In fact, a report issued by the National Federation of Independent Business indicates that the share of small businesses with few or no qualified applicants for job openings hit a 17-year high in November.

Click to watch the video.

“Connecting with today’s workforce no longer means simply going to the usual places and doing the usual things,” says Sherry Engel, vice president of learning and talent development for MRINetwork. “Companies today have to treat talent as they would customers - understand their behavior and design recruiting strategies that meet them where they are.”

Engel advises that the ability to connect with top talent can benefit from tactics such as the following:

Don’t rely only on tried and true social media platforms.
SHRM also reports that 84 percent of organizations use social media for recruiting, and 82 percent of them use it primarily in the hunt for passive candidates. What this high percentage means is that on the most popular social media platforms - LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter - you’re vying with your competition for the same pool of expertise.

Instead, venture into platforms that connect to your industry to generate relevant conversations with people who use the platform. If you are impressed by someone’s questions, answers or other posts, you may just have identified a potentially valuable employee. Stack Overflow, for example, is a question-and-answer site specifically for programmers, while Doximity has a high percentage of users who are U.S. physicians.

Looking for Millennials? Address their specific concerns.
Many companies are not even remotely on the same page with Millennials, and the challenge is to understand what top millennial talent desire now. According to the 2017 Millennial Hiring Trends Study, conducted by MRINetwork, career-pathing and a highly competitive salary are most important to Millennials. This is in contrast to the assumption organizations often make that Millennials care more about things like mentoring and work-life balance than they do about compensation. While those things are important, they do not diminish the value that Millennials place on opportunities for learning and development, which directly correlates with their earnings potential.

Millennials also place market reputation high on their list of priorities. They pay close attention to the overall positioning of a prospective company, in terms of how well the brand is known and respected, how it stacks up to its competitors, and its future growth trajectory, according to the Millennial Study. Distributing positive messaging, both internally and externally, makes the company more attractive to them as an employer of choice.

Improve the application process.
Since there are a lot of opportunities for job candidates in the professional and managerial workforce, companies need to move through the process quickly before talented individuals are snatched by another company. Waiting too long to find the perfect candidate often means losing the best candidate, warns Engel. ”Focus on the steps in the process with the highest value-add and insight into the candidate’s potential performance, and cut out unnecessary steps such as too many eyes on submitted résumés, or one more phone interview,” she says. “It’s a speed game and if you have an arduous, slow process, you’re going to lose because the candidate will have two or three other job offers.” Basically, candidates want three things:  Ease of applying, transparency in the application process and fast response time. “Communicate with candidates in the way that makes sense for them - texting rather than email, for example. If you meet candidates where they are, what they see is adaptability and flexibility,” says Engel. “It’s more important than ever before to take a proactive approach to ensuring that you’re finding and engaging talent, and following through with a positive candidate experience, regardless of the outcome.”

The Trevi Group

Nestlé to bring 300 IT jobs to Virginia, 321 jobs to Illinois

Swiss food and drink company Nestlé recently announced two new initiatives that will create more than 600 jobs between two U.S. cities.

According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the information technology operations of the company will be moving to St. Louis, Virginia, as part of the relocation of Nestlé headquarters. Transitioning from California to northern Virginia, the move will create 300 new IT jobs during the second part of 2017.

Centralizing IT operations for the company will help to streamline the work of its numerous business units, Nestlé said in a statement, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The statement continued:

"As the company looks to the future, it will continue to demonstrate its commitment to the United States as a key growth market."

Virginia is not the only state gaining Nestlé jobs. The company branch in Solon, Illinois, is also adding 321 jobs, according to Crain's Cleveland Business. The Solon-based division will soon be home to all supply chain teams as well as the management of all technical and production.

As Crain's Cleveland Business reported, both moves come as the company aims to consolidate the locations of business operations and factories of Nestlé. Currently, much of the production locations of the business are on the eastern side of the U.S.

The Trevi Group