The biggest workforce news to be announced in the past two weeks was probably the Labor Department's unemployment report for July, which was just released this morning. According to the report, the U.S. lost 131,000 jobs last month, as temporary workers assigned to the 2010 Census leave their positions.
Private employers added jobs, but the number was less than it was in June (83,000) and below the forecast of 90,000. The unemployment rate did hold steady at 9.5 percent, but this could be the result of 181,000 workers exiting the workforce.
Other interesting headlines:
Employee Benefit News: Employee Morale Tops Health Care on List of HR Challenges ... really? According to ComPsych, 31 percent of HR pros report that employee morale and productivity is their top challenge, followed by 26 percent who selected health care costs and new legislation. Other areas of concern include finding qualified candidates, handling organizational change, and retaining top performers.
TLNT.com: New Survey: 98% of Companies Plan to Give Raises Next Year. According to Mercer's 2010/2011 U.S. Compensation Planning Survey, more than 98 percent of companies plan to award base pay increases in 2011, with the intention of engaging and retaining top talent as the economy improves. What's more, only 2 percent of companies are planning across-the-board salary freezes next year, compared to 13 percent in 2010 and 31 percent in 2009.
The Wall Street Journal: Leadership Training Gains Urgency Amid Stronger Economy. With all of the layoffs and cutbacks that occurred over the past 24 months, many companies are now finding themselves with a shortage of managers-in-waiting. Combined with the impending threat of a baby boomer exodus, many employers are investing in leadership development to rebuild their manager pipeline. Bersin & Associates LLC reports that employers cut spending on training by 11 percent in both 2009 and 2008. A Bersin survey conducted in May reveals that almost 25 percent of surveyed corporations plan to increase spending by more than 10 percent this year.
A scan of these and other headlines across a wide array of media seem to indicate that employers are beginning to recognize just how precarious the stability of their workforce is as the economy recovers, and are willing to start taking measures to combat employee desertion.