Recovery Continues as Jobless Claims Continue to Fall

July 15, 2021 – The Labor Department reported that 360,000 Americans filed new claims for state unemployment benefits. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. That reading matched the consensus forecast among economists, according to Bloomberg. The previous week’s level was revised up by 13,000 from 373,000 to 386,000. The 4-week moving average was 382,500, a decrease of 14,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week’s average was revised up by 2,500 from 394,500 to 397,000.

The news comes a day after the Fed’s “Beige Book” release on economic conditions across the country. That report showed “moderate to robust growth” nationally, while the New York region reported an economy growing “at a strong pace” as business contacts were “increasingly optimistic about the near-term outlook.”

During the week, 49 states reported 5,687,188 continued weekly claims for pandemic unemployment assistance benefits and 49 states reported 4,710,359 continued claims for pandemic emergency unemployment compensation benefits. The highest insured unemployment rates were in Puerto Rico (4.8), Nevada (4.3), Georgia (4.2), Rhode Island (4.2), Connecticut (4.0), California (3.6), Illinois (3.5), New Jersey (3.5), Pennsylvania (3.4), and New York (3.3). The largest increases in initial claims were in Puerto Rico (+6,722), Pennsylvania (+5,296), New York (+4,730), Texas (+4,645), and California (+2,588), while the largest decreases were in Oklahoma (-2,461), Massachusetts (-1,778), Washington (-1,596), Connecticut (-1,563), and Virginia (-1,371).

Veteran Search Consultant Weighs In

As president of EFL Associates and CBIZ Talent & Compensation Solutions, Jay Meschke has completed nearly 700 senior-level search assignments in the financial services, non-profit, technology, aerospace, energy, agribusiness/food, manufacturing, and professional services industries. These searches include positions such as president/CEO, COO, CFO, CIO, CHRO, and board members.

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

           Jay Meschke

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

The recovery is strong and has fueled a white-hot employment market. When coupled with the retirements of boomers in record numbers and inter-related succession issues, organizations are experiencing unprecedented challenges to retain top talent and attract new talent to their teams. Our firm is seeing one of the most explosive “sellers’ markets” in a generation whereby the best and brightest are being courted by multiple suitors at the same time. In turn, counteroffers are the norm of the day and employees are susceptible to accepting such deals. Search firms can be and should be valued partners in such an environment.

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

This time is one of the golden ages for the search industry as a whole. Despite the advances and new-found techniques being employed by internal talent acquisition professionals, search firms still possess better connections and time-tested networks that are the hallmarks of proactive sourcing and competitive intelligence – leading to better predictability of successful outcomes.

“Our firm is seeing one of the most explosive “sellers’ markets” in a generation whereby the best and brightest are being courted by multiple suitors at the same time.”

What sectors are strongest right now?

Other than retail and hospitality, it seems as if all sectors are ramping up. A particularly robust area is the private equity community and its thousands upon thousands of portfolio companies who are seeking senior leaders to lead through the pandemic and beyond. EFL Associates has seen advances in the engineering and construction fields, a return to normalcy in higher education and an uptick in the broad-based life sciences industry. Our firm’s leading public pension practice never slowed down and is still strong.

Has your firm adjusted in how it serves clients?

That’s an easy one. We’ve adapted well to a virtual environment and are guiding clients to do the same. I’ve been amazed to see situations where clients have hired C-suite executives without face-to-face interactions. In many cases, the concierge services employed by search firms are even more important today than ever before. Clients rely upon our guidance and willingly seek collaboration to make quality decisions from an evaluative perspective.

Related: Executive Search Firms Adapting to the New Normal

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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