- Hiring across the U.S. was strong last month, up 13% from January 2017, LinkedIn's February 2018 Workforce Report shows.
- According to the report, seasonally adjusted hiring was up 10.9% in January 2018 over December 2017, which makes January the strongest hiring month since May 2017. Whether it's confidence in the new tax that is driving this hiring trend isn't yet clear, says LinkedIn.
- January hiring was particularly high in manufacturing and industrial; automotive, aerospace and transportation; and insurance and financial services, according to the report.
With hiring off to a robust start this year, employers are feeling confident. And LinkedIn may be correct in noting that the new tax law is a contributor. Some companies, like Comerica, have announced that they're using their tax savings to raise their minimum wage to attract talent. Others, however, have sent mixed signals; Walmart announced a wage increase and bonus plans for workers but also closed 63 Sam's Club stores.
Companies are certainly beginning to test the waters with hiring, but low unemployment and the skills gap will likely continue to hinder their efforts this year. Rather than raising wages, many have expanded and personalized benefits packages in recent months, hoping to compete using paid leave, voluntary benefits, financial well-being programs and student debt repayment options.
Wages have remained relatively stagnant, failing to keep pace with inflation. A new report from Randstad, however, says that if employers really want to compete in this tight labor market, they'll have to give their compensation plans a second look.