A handful of industries adds workers
WASHINGTON - Even with most businesses still reluctant to add new employees, some pockets of hiring are emerging in industries such as accounting, information technology, and restaurants, government data show.
Signs of hope are also evident in some private surveys. Nearly a third of manufacturing companies plan to add employees in August, the highest proportion since October, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.
Still, the percentages of both manufacturing and service-sector companies planning to hire is down from a year ago, the group said.
Other surveys indicate that hiring isn’t likely to be widespread anytime soon. The Conference Board’s employment trends index, released Monday, was flat in July for the third straight month.
Economists caution that businesses will likely be reluctant to add workers until they are sure the economy is recovering. Many analysts expect the US economy will grow in the current quarter, after shrinking for four quarters in a row.
But the unemployment rate, which dipped in July to 9.4 percent, is still expected to rise to 10 percent by the end of the year.
A Labor Department report yesterday showed that total job openings remained flat in June. The department’s job openings and labor turnover survey reported 2.6 million jobs available, roughly the same as in the previous month. That’s down from 3.9 million a year earlier.
One bright spot in the job openings report is the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes hotels and restaurants. The industry advertised 304,000 job openings in June, up from 265,000 the previous month, the Labor Department said.
The accounting industry, meanwhile, added 4,000 jobs in July, according to the government’s monthly employment report. That was one of the few sectors to add jobs, along with health care, government, and computer services.
The Labor Department also said last week that 7,900 jobs in computer systems design were added in July.