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US jobs report paints optimistic picture for future of work

it is time for HR to be in the spotlight.

Allie Nawrat

Leader

US jobs
Credit: Selina P via Twenty20.

Unleash Your PeopleBut what does this mean for HR?

Today, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported on the employment situation in the US; it seems that recruitment is rebounding, and more and more people are re-entering the American workforce.

But what does this mean for HR leaders and their teams?

First, the report notes that nonfarm payroll has increased by 850,000 in June, compared to 583,000 in May, and 269,000 in April. This is also up 15.6 million on April 2020 levels, but down 4.4% from pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.

The industries that saw the most notable gains were leisure and hospitality, public and private education, professional and business services, and retail trade.

This is very promising news for the economy, as well as individual businesses. It also puts a spotlight on the organization’s HR function, particularly when it comes to hiring and onboarding the incoming wave of new American employees.

Another interesting aspect of the report was that the number of job leavers increased by 164,000 to 942,000 in June. This suggests that employees are optimistic about the US economic recovery and are prepared to take a risk on a new job if they are not content with their current one.

Therefore, HR teams need to dial up their employee listening in order to ensure they do not face a talent exodus.

The Bureau’s report notes that working from home is declining – and this trend is likely to continue as many US employees plan to return to work after the July 4th celebration. Teleworking fell from 16.6% in May to 14.4% in June.

This suggests HR teams need to focus on implementing return-to-work policies that prioritize safety and health.

Research from Robert Half also advises that companies refocus on providing learning and development, mentoring, and performance reviews, which many employees feel they missed out during the pandemic, in order to ensure employees feel valued and are not tempted by new employment opportunities.

Another promising area for HR leaders is that there is a growing pool of individuals who are looking for jobs. The Bureau’s June report found that the number of people not in work, but who want a job, has grown by 1.4 million since the end of May to a total of 6.4 million in June.

However, there is also a significant number of ‘discouraged’ workers who want a job, but can’t find anything suitable. In June, there were 617,000 of them, which is up by 216,000 from pre-pandemic levels.

It is time HR leaders focus on actively attracting this pool of talent to their open roles. Maybe even with the help of all the innovative recruitment tech that has been essential to successful recruitment in the pandemic, and is now catching the eye of investment firms.

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