I'd be remiss to begin this week's "In Case You Missed It" without a quick recap of the July jobs report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the positive side, job growth exceeded expectations, as employers added 117,000 jobs (the most new jobs since April) throughout the month. The unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point as well, to 9.1 percent, though many argue that this is more the result of members of the long-term unemployed ceasing their job searches and dropping out of the workforce altogether.
While economists toll the bells of a jobless recovery and speculate about a double-dip recession, the war for talent in the tech industry rages on. For organizations located outside the Silicon Valley or other tech hot spots, securing professionals with the needed skill sets can be a challenge--one that brings to light the creative benefits many companies are now offering to employees. Cary, N.C.-based SAS Institute Inc., Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., and San Antonio-based Nustar Energy LP shared with The Wall Street Journal this weeks unique perks they're using to lure talent, including racquetball courts, fitness centers and health clinics; car detailing; subsidized restaurants and summer camps for employees' children; and even no-layoff and all-or-none bonus policies.
And this story is everywhere. Businessweek published a similar article this week, featuring perspective from our friend Dr. Peter Cappelli.
One last interesting report to share today, and then I'll let you go for the weekend. A recent study of small and medium sized business owners by Office Depot found that nearly half of respondents are planning summer vacations, and 64 percent are working flexible hours over the summer months. Sixty-five percent are working from outside the office, either at home or from a vacation spot.
On that note, go home and enjoy your time off!