Following a positive July jobs report, the August numbers are a setback to the U.S. economic recovery as the twin specters of government debt and seesawing demand have contrived to slow the employment growth that had marked the first half of the year to a standstill. Temporary employment for the month was also largely static, rising by 5,000.
Even with unemployment remaining elevated, American employers are reporting increased difficulty finding qualified workers for mission-critical jobs. Earlier this week, Joerres appeared on both CNBC and Fox News Channel to provide insight on the apparent conundrum of talent mismatches despite a challenging jobs market.
ManpowerGroup's 2011 Talent Shortage Survey found that 52 percent of U.S. companies are struggling to fill key jobs, the highest percentage in the six-year history of the survey. ManpowerGroup advises companies to think long-term because the talent mismatch will inevitably worsen as demand for products and services increases. Companies need to identify their talent needs for now and the future in order to meet their business objectives, taking into account external factors that impact talent pipelines as well as internal demand.
"With demand for goods and services fluctuating, many employers are relying on just-in-time talent to manage through the peaks and valleys," said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup President of The Americas. "It's a risky approach that will lead to a crisis when on-demand talent is no longer available. The solution is to think long-term about how to 'manufacture' talent by developing a holistic workforce strategy based on the company's business strategy and identifying the gaps between the talent that is available and talent that will be needed."
Later this month, ManpowerGroup will release the results of its quarterly Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, the longest running, most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, polling nearly 64,000 employers in 41 countries and territories. The survey serves as a bellwether of labor market trends and is regularly used to inform the Bank of England's inflation reports. In addition, it is a regular data source for the European Commission, and is sourced by financial analysts and economists around the world to help determine where labor markets are headed.