Unemployment Rate Holds Steady at 3.6 Percent

The ranks of the employed increased in May, with professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and healthcare among the sectors seeing the most new hires. Sandy Gross of Pinetum Partners offers her perspective on the challenges facing the search industry in the months ahead.

July 8, 2022 – Employment rose by 372,000 in May as the U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6 percent, according to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and healthcare.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians increased to 3.0 percent in June. The jobless rates for adult men (3.3 percent), adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (11.0 percent), whites (3.3 percent), blacks (5.8 percent), and Hispanics (4.3 percent) showed little or no change over the month. Among the unemployed, both the number of permanent job losers, at 1.3 million in June, and the number of persons on temporary layoff, at 827,000, changed little over the month. These measures were little different from their values in February 2020.

In June, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.3 million. This measure was 215,000 higher than in February 2020. The long-term unemployed accounted for 22.6 percent of all unemployed persons in June.

Where Job Growth Occurred

  • Employment in professional and business services continued to grow, with an increase of 74,000 in June. Within the industry, job growth occurred in management of companies and enterprises (+12,000), computer systems design and related services (+10,000), office administrative services (+8,000), and scientific research and development services (+6,000). Employment in professional and business services was 880,000 higher than in February 2020.
  • In June, leisure and hospitality added 67,000 jobs, as growth continued in food services and drinking places (+41,000). However, employment in leisure and hospitality was down by 1.3 million, or 7.8 percent, since February 2020.
  • Employment in healthcare rose by 57,000 in June, including gains in ambulatory healthcare services (+28,000), hospitals (+21,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+8,000). Employment in healthcare overall was below its February 2020 level by 176,000, or 1.1 percent.
  • In June, transportation and warehousing added 36,000 jobs. Employment rose in warehousing and storage (+18,000) and air transportation (+8,000). Employment in transportation and warehousing was 759,000 above its February 2020 level.
  • Employment in manufacturing increased by 29,000 in June and has returned to its February 2020 level.
  • Information added 25,000 jobs in June, including a gain of 9,000 jobs in publishing industries, except internet. Employment in information was 105,000 higher than in February 2020.
  • In June, employment in social assistance rose by 21,000. Employment continued to trend up in child day care services (+11,000) and in individual and family services (+10,000). Employment in social assistance was down by 87,000, or 2.0 percent, since February 2020.
  • Wholesale trade added 16,000 jobs in June, including 8,000 in nondurable goods. Employment in wholesale trade was down by 18,000, or 0.3 percent, since February 2020.
  • Mining employment rose by 5,000 in June, with a gain in oil and gas extraction (+2,000). Mining employment was 86,000 above a recent low in February 2021.
  • Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including construction, retail trade, financial activities, other services, and government.

Search Expert Weighs In

Sandy Gross formed Pinetum Partners LLC in 2004 as a retained executive search and executive coaching firm, and has since been recognized as one of the top 50 executive search firms in the U.S. in financial services. In her coaching work, she partners with managers and leaders across a range of industries. Ms. Gross helps them develop a broader perspective and supports them in gaining self-awareness, unlocking their potential, clarifying goals, and aligning their developmental needs with the objectives of their organization.

Mr. Gross recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon to discuss the market conditions and what she is seeing in the executive search industry.

       Sandy Gross

Sandy, what expectations do you have for the search industry for the rest of the year ahead?

Demand for talent seems to remain strong. Clients are leveraging the expertise of executive search firms to find people with talent that might be hard to come by in sectors that are just taking off.

What positions have been the most in demand?

There is a big demand in technology, investment management, and fintech (from start-ups to more established firms). Companies are recruiting quants, data scientists, and experts in AI to develop products, create edge, and add value to their investment processes. They are looking for alpha-generating quants and developers who can add value to portfolio managers who may have more of a fundamental approach. As for developers, they are in search of employees who can create dashboards to make access to data available faster and more comprehensive. There seems to be less schmoozing going on and people want to spend their time wisely. Therefore, we are seeing a large demand for capital raisers with proven track records and technical skills-sets. All in all, the ideal candidate is someone who can work hand-in-hand with their investors and may be more tech savvy themselves. Getting a capital raiser in front of a client who can take a meeting from A to Z without bringing in a PM right away is ideal. Teams are just starting to hire junior analysts across the energy spectrum with a demand in clean energy, ESG, and alternative energy segments. Analysts and PMs in the energy space have finally found their time as demand has been lagging for the last serval years. Due to this, there seems to be a drought of experienced energy analysts with two to five years of experience. Functionals across the board in crypto and blockchain. The big question is, “What qualifies as experience” in this segment and other new segments?

Has your firm adjusted in how it serves clients in recent years?

Not necessarily. Pinetum Partners continues to rely heavily on sources and referrals. More meetings are taking place over Zoom and the phone vs. the in-person meetings, so it’s important to get a sense of fit early in the process. Since COVID, there have been some benefits to being able to hop on a call or Zoom with one or several leaders/decision makers. In a quick instance we can get a better understanding of a search or share insights and feedback firsthand with those who are involved. Most clients and candidates seem to still have a hybrid or remote work schedule, resulting in more access to candidates’ schedules which results in a more fluid process. Additionally, there is the ability for more vetting to take place on behalf of clients and candidates because the access to each is easier and doesn’t have to wait until an in-person meeting to take place. Additionally, the speed at which some searches are taking places has increased. There is a need to discuss the hopes, concerns, and expectations around the search process since candidates in certain segments are in high demand and are getting multiple offers within a week.

“It is important for the clients and the search professionals to really understand what diversity means, and the channels that may need to be tapped into to find such diverse candidates.”

What kind of challenges does the growing call for diversity pose for search firms, perhaps in educating clients or finding candidates given the growing demand? 

There needs to be a discussion about hiring diverse candidates vs. developing a diverse slate. It is important for the clients and the search professionals to really understand what diversity means, and the channels that may need to be tapped into to find such diverse candidates. Since many companies are now remote, recruiters and their clients are no longer limited by geography and can access a much larger pool of diverse candidates. The challenge is to get the right people, first and foremost. With some searches there is a mandate for diversity, but the bottom line is that the work needs to get done.

What are the pros and cons of remote work?

For the younger generation working remotely has been an issue with regards to training, mentoring, and the informal education and development of friendships that take place in-person at work. The negative by-product of the Zoom meetings is that there isn’t any informational and transitioning time (informal chit/chat) that takes place before and after meetings. However, Zoom has proven to be an effective way of holding meetings, meeting colleagues, clients and conducting businesses development. Meetings seem to start on time, no one is stuck in traffic or in the elevator, and they end on time so that people can get to their next Zoom meeting. The quality of the interaction seems so good that we can see people’s emotions across the screen. Having to travel less in the U.S. and abroad has saved money for companies, extended the runway for start-ups who are tight on capital, and has enabled us to conduct business overseas much more readily without having to deal with travel, visas, and lost time getting there.

Related: Talent Shortages Reach Highest Levels in 16 Years 

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


Share This Article


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments