ripples in the economyStatistics are like mirrors in a high end boutique. They can sometimes be tilted to trick the observer into believing what they’d like to believe. However, in the past few weeks, I’ve been hearing from staffing agencies, HR Technology vendors and analysts alike that hiring is up. Pairing anecdotal evidence from across the country and the globe with verified statistics, while not foolproof, does give us some indication that hiring is on the rise. Let’s take a look:

First up, we have an organization near and dear to our hearts, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which reports that roughly one-third of manufacturing and service-sector companies expect to hire workers in November 2012. The responses, which are available in full detail in the SHRM LINE Report—(Leading Indicators of National Employment). Trends from the report:

  • Manufacturing: 5.7 percent of HR professionals said their company plans to hire workers while 12.1 percent will cut jobs, leaving a positive net of 33.6 percent.
  • Service Sector: 43.7 percent of companies will hire while 10 percent will trim payrolls, leaving a hiring net of 33.7 percent.
  • Service-sector hiring will rise by a net of 16.4 points and manufacturing-sector hiring will rise by a net of 6.3 points on annual basis (comparing November 2012 with November 2011).

The uptick marks the fourth consecutive month that the hiring rate will rise in manufacturing and services compared with the same period a year ago. This report provides a snapshot of month-ahead hiring expectation and analyzes 500 HR pros from 1000 pertinent businesses (in this case, manufacturing and service sectors) So as a compare and contrast, let’s look at what happened last month (as in actual historical data, The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report analyzes past-month hiring trends.).

Speaking of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here is the summary of the September report. You can read the whole thing here but it’s a bit dry:

Unemployment rates were lower in September than a year earlier in 345 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 22 areas, and unchanged in 5 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Two areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while 41 areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent. Two hundred sixty-seven metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 94 reported decreases, and 11 had no change. The national unemployment rate in September was 7.6 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 8.8 percent a year earlier.

The lowest unemployment rate was in Bismark, N.D. (at 2.2%) while the highest was in Yuma, AZ (at 29.7%). The entire release covers non-farm, metropolitan and otherwise classified areas, so if you don’t see this reflected in your city or town, check it out. So aside from a few outliers, the majority of metro areas are seeing an increase in employment. Sadly, there are some cities and areas that are experiencing VERY high unemployment like Las Vegas, NV. But even there we see a silver lining, Sin City also experienced the largest unemployment rate decline from September 2011 (-2.5 percentage points).

Also recently released to some furor, were the ADP numbers. The payroll giant has recently partnered with Moody Analytics to “will change the way the private payroll count is calculated”. ADP’s timing regarding the overhaul of their system is a source of glee for those who insisted that last month’s reported rate of 7.8% was manipulated for political gain. Although they weren’t expected until Friday (due to the damage from Hurricane Sandy), today ADP reported that 158,000 jobs were added to the private sector. Industries ADP reports gains in include: construction, transportation and utilities, financial activities, and services. Manufacturing did not see gains this month, according to the report.

Big companies (1,000+ employees) hired the lion’s  share of workers. SMBs with 20 or fewer employees are still hiring, just not quite as fast, said Moody Analytics chief economist,  who added, the gain of 158,000 jobs shows the job market is holding its own.

Three other interesting reports are listed here with minor analysis:

– Unemployment Benefits. There were 363,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down from 372,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. So, as they have all year, claims remain in a range between 350,000 and 400,000.

– Job Growth. “Private sector employment increased by 158,000 jobs from September to October,” according to the latest ADP National Employment Report. That follows a gain of 114,000 from August to September, according to the private management consultants.

– Layoff Plans. “Planned job cuts by U.S.-based employers surged 41 percent in October to 47,724, as a spate of layoff announcements in the wake of weak quarterly earnings reports helped push downsizing activity to its highest level in five months,” outplacement consultants Challenger, Gray Christmas, Inc. say.

Finally, we bury the lead with today’s jobs report, which not only met up with many economists’ expectations, but surged past with a strong showing that many are predicting to give stocks and markets a much needed boost. The number of jobs added to the economy totaled 171,000 in October, vs. 125,000 expected by investors. Despite higher-than-expected job creation, the unemployment rate rose to 7.9% from 7.8% in September. This is due to a larger workforce in general.

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