Average U.S. Weekly Wage Increases in First Quarter
The Numbers: Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. weekly wage increased 3.7% year over year to $1,152 in the first quarter. Peoria County in Illinois and Suffolk County in Massachusetts were the counties that posted the largest year-over-year percentage increases in average weekly wages (among the 349 largest counties in the U.S.) with gains of 23.8% and 12.1% respectively.
U.S. Economic Growth Reportedly at ‘Solid Pace’
The Numbers: The Conference Board’s US Leading Economic Index rose 0.6% in July to a reading of 110.7 (2016 = 100), following a 0.5% increase in June, and a 0.1% increase in May.
“The US LEI increased in July, suggesting the US economy will continue expanding at a solid pace for the remainder of this year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board. “The strengths among the components of the leading index were very widespread, with unemployment claims, the financial components and the ISM New Orders Index making the largest positive contributions.”
STEM Worker Shortage Reaches Crisis Level
The Numbers: A survey from Emerson found that two out of five Americans view the shortage of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) has reached a crisis level. Research from the National Association of Manufacturing and Deloitte reports that the U.S. will have 3.5 million STEM jobs to fill by 2025…but around 2 million of those will not be filled due to not finding people with the required skillset.
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IT Managers Pinpoint Signs of Bad Hires
The Numbers: Almost all respondents – 95% – of a Robert Half survey stated they had made a bad hire within their career. 38% shared that they bad hires were due to the hires lacking the right skills. 29% stated there were interpersonal skills and 28% felt it was due to a poor culture fit.
Tech & Engineering Roles are Tops for Entry-Level
The Numbers: Junior Mechanical Engineer was listed as the number 1 job preference for entry-level workers per research from Indeed. Junior Java developer, CAE engineer, and junior product designer followed close behind. Nine of the top fifteen most popular entry -level jobs were technical and required a STEM degree and technical proficiency.
Playing Favorites and Office Gossip indicative of a ‘Bad Boss’
The Numbers: 58% of those surveyed stated the worst trait of a bad boss was ‘not setting clear goals’. Other signs were talking badly about other colleagues (54%) and focusing more on proving themselves right (52%). Signs of a ‘good boss’? Those included having a high work ethic (82%), honesty (80%), as well as confidence with a positive attitude and good sense of humor (79%).
Hawaii Has Lowest Jobless Rate in July; Alaska Highest
The Numbers: Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Hawaii posted the lowest unemployment rate among all states in July at 2.1%, with North Dakota and Iowa next, both at 2.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis, followed by New Hampshire at 2.7%. Alaska posted the highest rate at 6.9%.
Relocation A Hard No from Job Seekers
The Numbers: Only 10% of folks searching for a new opportunity in the first half of 2018 relocated for work. This rate has been flat since the first two quarters of 2017. In Q3 2017 16.5% was the relocation rate, which was reported to be the highest relocation rate since Q2 2009 when the relocation rate was 18.2%. The rate dropped to 7.5% in Q4 2017.
Lack of Leadership Leads to Burnout
The Numbers: A Blind survey found that ‘poor leadership and an uncertain direction of the company’ make the biggest impact on employee burnout. The three rounding out the top four were found to be work overload, insufficient reward, and a toxic culture. 17% of Microsoft employees stated that lack of control and career growth was their burnout factor. Poor leadership and unclear direction impact burnout for over 1/3 of current eBay employees.
Wages Flat Though Silicon Valley Still Paying Out Six-Figure Salaries
The Numbers: The median wage for workers in the San Francisco Bay Area commonly hits the six-figure mark. Facebook has one of the highest median wage rates at $240,000. These high salaries continue to be the rule in spite of reported flat wages for most.
‘Management’ is Most In-Demand Skill
The Numbers: The most in-demand skill at Fortune 500 companies is ‘management’ per a study by Emsi. The other four rounding out the top five were communications, leadership, operations, and customer service.
Gig Economy Teaches Employers a Few Lessons
The Numbers: 36% of U.S. workers also participate in the gig economy whether it’s via a primary or secondary job per a Gallup report. The report highlights two types of gig workers – independent and contingent. Those in the independent camp appear to be more satisfied with work-life balance, flexibility, autonomy, meaningful feedback, and creative freedom when compared to traditional workers and other types of gig workers.