By the Numbers: November 2, 2018

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Consumer Confidence at 18-Year High

The Numbers:  “The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index increased again in October following a modest improvement in September. The index rose to a reading of 137.9 (1985=100), up from 135.3 in September. The index remains at levels last seen in September 2000, when it was 142.5.

“Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions remains quite positive, primarily due to strong employment growth,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “The Expectations Index posted another gain in October, suggesting that consumers do not foresee the economy losing steam anytime soon. Rather, they expect the strong pace of growth to carry over into early 2019.””

U.S. Private-Sector Job Growth Bounces Back

The Numbers: “The US private sector added 227,000 jobs in October, according to the ADP National Employment Report. That’s up from 218,000 in September and 162,000 in August.

“The job market bounced back strongly last month despite being hit by back-to-back hurricanes,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said. “Testimonial to the robust employment picture is the broad-based gains in jobs across industries. The only blemish is the struggles small businesses are having filling open job positions.””

GDP Growth Expected to Exceed 2% in the Next 12 Months

The Numbers: The ‘October 2018 NABE Business Conditions Survey’ found that 90% of respondents “expect real GDP growth of more than 2% in the coming four quarters, with 74% anticipating growth in the range of 2.1% to 3.0%.

GDP Sees Fastest Two-Quarter Growth in Four Years

The Numbers:  The ‘advance’ estimate of GDP growth from the U.S. Commerce Department states that the U.S. real gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter. In the second quarter, the real GDP increased 4.2%.

Payroll Growth Solid in October

The Numbers: The HIS Markit Flash U.S. Purchasing Managers Index reports that while payroll growth is solid in October, job growth in the U.S. private-sector is at is slowest since June 2017.

“The flash PMI surveys indicate that the pace of economic growth gained momentum again in October after having been subdued mainly by adverse weather in September. The headline PMI is running at a level broadly consistent with the economy growing at an annualized rate of 2.5%, boding well for another robust quarter of growth,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

Gen X Women are Most ‘Digital Nomads’

The Numbers: Per a FlexJobs survey, the typical digital nomad is a married female Gen Xer with a BA degree or higher that works 40 hours a week in writing, education and training, or administrative career. 51% live in hotels while 41% live with family and friends.

U.S. Employers Update Total Rewards Programs

The Numbers: In order to stay competitive in recruiting, some companies are revising their total rewards programs per a global Willis Towers Watson study. Only 49% of respondents knew which aspects of the program employees value while 47% know which offerings candidates value. 80% expect to improve employee well-being programs over the next three years and 60% are looking at increasing flexible work options and arrangements.

College Grad Hiring to Increase by 9%

The Numbers: This is the 9th consecutive year that the college labor market has improved per Michigan State University’s Recruiting Trends survey. Employers surveyed plan to hire 63,500 graduates this year and have the highest level of optimism since the late 1990s. For 2018-2019, hiring is expected to increase by 9%, which is more manageable than the 15%-20% see the last few years which creates more jobs than candidates available.

Disrespectful Bosses Harm Retention

The Numbers: Per a Harris Poll for Yoh, managers who disrespect their lower-level workers are the top reason that can impact frontline workers to quit.  The next manager attributes that negatively impact the team are managers that break promises at 46%, those that over-work employees at 42%, and managers that have unrealistic expectations of them.

Consumer Confidence Hits 18 Year High

The Numbers:  “The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index increased again in October following a modest improvement in September. The index rose to a reading of 137.9 (1985=100), up from 135.3 in September. The index remains at levels last seen in September 2000, when it was 142.5.

“Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions remains quite positive, primarily due to strong employment growth,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “The Expectations Index posted another gain in October, suggesting that consumers do not foresee the economy losing steam anytime soon. Rather, they expect the strong pace of growth to carry over into early 2019.””

Job Seekers Expect A Lot Out of the Recruiting Process

The Numbers: Expectations in communication, logistics, and new hire onboarding have heightened in the candidate’s eyes, per a survey from CareerBuilder and SilkRoad. 68% of employees believe how they are treated as a job candidate is a direct reflection of the company treats their staff.

Average Starting Salaries Flat for 2018 Bachelors’ Grads

The Numbers:  The salaries for 2018 graduates are essentially flat when compared to salaries for the class of 2017. NACE’s Fall 2018 Salary Survey found the overall average salary for the class of 2018 is $50,004, down 2% from last year’s preliminary salary of $51,022 for the class of 2017 and 1% less than the final salary of $50,516 reported for last years’ graduates.

Almost Half of Workers Have Come to Work with the Flu

The Numbers: About 40% of respondents to a Walgreens survey stated they have gone to work with the flu, and 10% stated they had attended social gatherings while sick.

“The survey cites statistics from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which describe the 2017-2018 flu season as one of the most severe and the earliest to arrive in the country.”

56% of the World’s Workplaces Now Offer Remote Work

The Numbers: Per the 2018 Global State of Remote Work by OWL Labs, 56% of employers offer either a completely remote or hybrid form of remote work. Those that work remotely at least once a month were 24% happier than those who never do. 52% of respondents work from home at least once a week. The top reason for working remotely in 2017 was to maintain a healthy work-life balance, while in 2018 it is to maintain productivity and focus.

Unplanned Absences Prove Costly

The Numbers: A survey of 800 multinational retail managers found that unplanned employee absences waste one hour for every 10 hours of budgeted in-store labor. 52% of retailers responding said that unplanned absences was one of their most time-consuming problems and that retailers are understaffed about 25% of the time. 49% stated they are given 1-3 hours notice for when an employee will not be showing up for work.

The Number of U.S. Freelancers are on the Rise

The Numbers: Younger workers and those turning to freelance work on a full-time basis are increasing the number of U.S. freelancers, which is growing faster than the traditional workforce. The fifth annual ‘Freelancing in America: 2018’ found that around 56.7 million Americans freelance, which is an increase of 3.7 million over the past five years. 35% of Americans freelanced in 2018.

2018-11-01T20:50:38+00:00 November 2nd, 2018|

About the Author:

Erin Geiger is a seasoned Content, Editorial, and Product Engagement professional with two decades of experience creating content as well as overall content direction and strategy. Her background stems from a variety of online verticals ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations.