- Employers added 255,000 jobs, a bigger-than-expected gain that suggests the nations's economic growth is stronger than thought just two scant months ago, according to the New York Times.
- The Labor Dept.'s data indicates that while hiring in May (just 38,000 jobs filled) was a bit of a shock for economists, June's major rebound (287,000 jobs filled) and now July’s impressive data may signal an economy that is picking up some serious steam.
- For July, the unemployment rate was flat at 4.9%. By comparison, economist predictions were for a gain of about 180,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.8%, the Times reports.
The good news for the economy is not as cheery for HR leaders and businesses overall, as the falling unemployment rate means employers may need to raise salaries and boost perks to keep their top performers in the fold and attract new talent as well.
Also, minimum wage battles in many states and municipalities, plus entry level wage increases by large employers like Walmart, Target, Starbucks and even JP Morgan, are driving higher wages across the nation's workforce overall.
If these sorts of employment numbers hold true for the balance of the year, HR can expect the talent wars to be even more competitive. Most of all, with hiring on the upswing, "passive" job candidates (those not necessarily looking for a new job) may begin to feel more confident about taking their skills to the more active job marketplace in the search for higher pay and/or better benefits.