Jobless Claims Continue to Improve as Recovery Moves Forward

The jobs economy continues to show slow signs of improvement. Let’s take a look inside the latest unemployment figures released by the Department of Labor this morning as search professional Tiffany Pham of Mogul shares her views on what’s next!

August 26, 2021 – The Labor Department reported that 353,000 Americans have filed new claims for state unemployment benefits. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020, when it was 256,000. This nearly estimates from economists surveyed by Dow Jones, which was 355,000. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 348,000 to 349,000. The four-week moving average was 366,500, a decrease of 11,500 from the previous week’s revised average.

During the week, 46 states reported 5,004,753 continued weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 47 states reported 3,793,956 continued claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits. The highest insured unemployment rates in the week were in Puerto Rico (4.9), Illinois (3.7), New Jersey (3.7), California (3.4), District of Columbia (3.2), Connecticut (3.1), New York (3.1), Rhode Island (3.0), Nevada (2.7) and the Virgin Islands (2.7). The largest increases in initial claims for the week were in Virginia (+6,367), New Mexico (+2,872), District of Columbia (+757), Georgia (+374) and Nevada (+288), while the largest decreases were in Texas (-7,667), Illinois (-3,023), Kentucky (-2,236), Michigan (-2,026) and Massachusetts (-1,146).

Looking Forward

Employers in 32 percent of U.S. businesses surveyed expect an increase in payrolls during the next three months, while three percent expect to trim payrolls and 63 percent anticipate no change, according to the latest “Employment Outlook Survey,” released by ManpowerGroup. “Employers are ready to bring their workers back as restrictions lift and America gets ready to work,” said Becky Frankiewicz ManpowerGroup president, North America. “Yet childcare challenges, health concerns and competition mean demand still outstrips supply which is dampening the ‘big return’ of the American workforce. It’s a worker’s market and employees are acting like consumers in how they are consuming work – seeking flexibility, competitive pay and fast decisions.” Now is the time for employers to get creative to attract talent, she said, “and to hold onto the workers they have with both hands.”

According to the study, payroll gains were expected in all 12 U.S. industry sectors during the third quarter of 2021: leisure and hospitality (+41 percent), wholesale and retail trade (+29 percent), education and health services (+27 percent), transportation & utilities (+26 percent), durable goods manufacturing (+25 percent), nondurable goods manufacturing (+25 percent), professional and business services (+21 percent), construction (+19 percent), information (+18 percent), other services (+16 percent), financial activities (+15 percent) and government (+15 percent).

Search Veteran Weighs In

Tiffany Pham is CEO of Mogul, an executive search firm and recruitment platform for diverse talent worldwide. The firm partners with the Fortune 1000 and fast-growing start-ups to recruit diverse leaders, including Amazon, Intuit, IBM, Nike, Hearst, Stanley Black & Decker, McKinsey & Company, Intel, T-Mobile, MasterCard, Marsh & McLennan, and more.

Ms. Pham recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss the pandemic, hiring, and how her firm has adjusted to working with clients and candidates during the post-pandemic era. Following are excerpts from that discussion.

Tiffany Pham

Tiffany, many are optimistic about a return to normalcy by the end of the summer. What are your thoughts about the recovery?

We see a new normal emerging and many companies are evolving along with it. We think remote workforces and hybrid models will become more common as companies compete for top diverse talent. The pandemic required all of us to innovate in the way we approach our workforce, and that innovation has been impactful. We always support our client’s flexible needs when developing strategies and operational models, and try to think of new or different ways to improve their processes or products.

What expectations do you have for the search industry for the rest of the year ahead?

This is a very exciting time for the search industry. We can expect to see a growing focus on searching for diverse talent, particularly at executive levels but also for board of director roles. Many companies with very good overall D&I numbers are asking for help in searching for diverse talent in certain roles, primarily at the board level or above the middle management level. They are evolving their focus on diversity and working to make sure that there is diversity at all levels and functions of the organization. At Mogul, this is our specialty; we find top diverse talent for the world’s top organizations, like Hershey, Bain, Stanley Black and Decker, and United Healthcare. Our clients know we have developed groundbreaking, patent-pending technologies for this very purpose, and they love us because of it.

“Many companies with very good overall D&I numbers are asking for help in searching for diverse talent in certain roles, primarily at the board level or above the middle management level.”

What sectors are strongest right now?

Business is booming for the search industry. Healthcare, biotech and technology industries are growing rapidly right now, and of course that is not a surprise in a pandemic. We would expect to see this continue for many months. At Mogul, we’ve experienced a huge increase in demand for our executive search services for fully diversified searches for VP and above roles as well as specialized and technical roles. Last month was our best ever in the history of our company.

Has your firm adjusted in how it serves clients?

We are fortunate that we were one of the first globally distributed workforces, well before the pandemic began, so any adjustments we had to make internally were minimal. Instead, our focus shifted to teaching our clients to adjust to virtual hiring processes especially on an executive level and keeping their pipelines filled. The philosophy of constant, ongoing iteration is ingrained in our culture at Mogul, and that knowledge was very valuable to our clients. We held webinars online to teach best practices in remote interviewing and remote workforces, and we helped our clients to creatively and authentically engage with candidates in a virtual space so that hiring could continue.

Related: Major Paradigm Shifts Coming Out of the Coronavirus Crisis

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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