PHILADELPHIA—June 12, 2012—May’s disappointing jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics formed more clouds over an already stormy economy reeling from European debt, shaky corporate earnings, and a Facebook IPO “unliked” by investors. But behind the numbers, tucked away from media scrutiny, a few sunny spots may foretell a brightening economy, according to the quarterly Yoh Index of Wages for highly skilled temporary workers.
In total, wages for highly skilled temporary workers declined 1.42 percent, falling 45 cents an hour from $31.74 in Q4 2011 to $31.29 in the first quarter of 2012. This is the lowest hourly wage for highly skilled temporary workers since June 2011.
While the Index shows stagnant wage growth for the past two consecutive quarters (Figure 1), some sectors and geographies are outperforming the labor market as a whole. For instance, certain verticals in technology, especially those insulated from European demand, did well. The Yoh Index shows demand and wages were strong for temp workers in certain sectors of the aerospace industry, including commercial and federal aircraft maintenance, where average quarterly wages were almost 24 percent above comprehensive quarterly Index wage rates. In addition, both clinical and information technology temporary professionals’ average wage performed better than comprehensive rates by 22 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
Technology in particular has shown steady growth over the last two Index reports. “Technology tied to U.S. consumer demand, as well as ongoing moves into mobile and cloud computing, showed themselves to be resilient, generating strong job demand,” says Lori Schultz, President of Yoh. “As more technology infrastructure moves to the cloud, and as corporations overcome their trepidation over mobile computing, we expect this sector to continue to generate demand for highly skilled tech workers and buoy wages.”
Geographic disparities also present a mixed bag of opportunities for employers and employees alike. Northeast metropolitan areas showed surprising strength, with the Greater Mid-Atlantic region outperforming the Yoh Index as a whole by nearly 24 percent. Traditional technology strongholds Seattle, San Francisco, and San Jose performed extraordinarily well, reporting the highest hourly wages for temporary tech workers at $43.62 an hour.
Another encouraging sign comes from corporations’ increasing demand for recruiting talent and infrastructure support, seen by Yoh across many sectors and geographies. “One of this past recession’s largest victims has been the internal recruiting capabilities and infrastructure of large corporations,” says Schultz. “As the recession progressed, internal recruiting initiatives were devastated as an easy way to save costs and eliminate unwarranted staffing. Increased demand for recruiting professionals and infrastructure serves as green shoots of recovery as corporations begin to see light at the end of a long, frustrating tunnel and plan for growth.”
In general, highly skilled temporary workers, which the Yoh Index has been tracking since 2001, are considered to be an important leading indicator of economic growth because companies traditionally turn to them as a way to hedge their bets in a strengthening economy.
But effectively deploying highly skilled workers in order to contain costs while maintaining the quality of work requires a range of workforce planning skills. Yoh recommends three workforce planning tactics to improve certainty during these continued uncertain times.
- Evaluate the frequency of workforce planning reconciliation. Forty-five percent of organizations surveyed in Yoh’s recent Workforce Planning Survey reported examining the performance of their workforce plan at most once a quarter. Sixteen percent revealed that they don’t regularly review their workforce plan at all. Organizations should reconcile their workforce plan against current operational realities at least once every month as a blueprint to hiring and managing temporary workers with the expertise needed to drive new corporate initiatives.
- Invest in talent community development. As this quarter’s Yoh Index shows, while overall employment numbers are still lagging, it’s a fact that talent in some areas is still hard to find. Now is the appropriate time to improve talent acquisition processes in order to build a community of similarly skilled professionals who will have immediate impact upon hiring.
- Improve the onboarding process. Yoh’s Workforce Planning Survey also found that it takes nearly half of organizations 10 months or more to turn a new employee into a high-impact performer. Leadership must take steps to accelerate this process by ensuring that the onboarding process adequately and quickly educates new employees in the factors key to their contribution.
For over 70 years, Yoh has provided the talent needed for the jobs and projects critical to our clients’ success by providing comprehensive workforce solutions that focus on Aerospace and Defense, Engineering, Federal Services, Health Care, Life Sciences, Information Technology and Telecommunications. Yoh fulfills immediate resource needs and delivers enterprise workforce solutions, including Managed Services, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Vendor Management Systems, Independent Contractor Compliance, and Payroll Services. For more information, visit yoh.com.
Yoh is a part of Yoh Services LLC, a Day & Zimmermann Company.
ABOUT DAY & ZIMMERMANN
Day & Zimmermann’s 24,000 employees provide industrial, defense, and workforce solutions to a broad base of commercial and government customers. Operating from more than 150 worldwide locations with $2.7 billion in revenues, the Day & Zimmermann family of companies is currently ranked as one of the largest private companies in America by Forbes and is a former winner of the U.S. National Family Business of the Year award. Founded in 1901 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, Day & Zimmermann companies today provide engineering, construction and maintenance services, and staffing services to the commercial and government sector, and munitions products, security, logistics, equipment maintenance, and facilities management services to the Department of Defense, other government groups, and defense industry contractors. For more information, visit http://www.dayzim.com.
Yoh website: http://www.yoh.com
Yoh blog, The Seamless Workforce: http://blog.yoh.com
Figure 1: Yoh Index of Technology Wages by Quarter: http://blog.yoh.com/wp-content/uploads/Yoh_IndexQ12012_Figure1.png
Figure 2: Yoh Index of Technology Wages Q1 2012: http://blog.yoh.com/wp-content/uploads/Yoh_IndexQ12012_Figure2.png
Senior Account Executive