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The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week that the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.2 percent. This seems to match employment expectations found in the TRENDS 2013 Financial and Operational Excellence, or FOX, Report.
The unemployment rate, at 7.2 percent, changed little in September but has declined by .4 percentage point since June. The number of unemployed persons, at 11.3 million, was also little changed over the month; however, unemployment has decreased by 522,000 since June.
Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.2 percent, and the employment-population ratio at 58.6 percent, were unchanged in September. Over the year, the labor force participation rate has declined by 0.4 percentage point, while the employment-population ratio has changed little.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 148,000 in September. Over the prior 12 months, employment growth averaged 185,000 per month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged in September at 34.5 hours.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from +104,000 to +89,000, and the change for August was revised from +169,000 to +193,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 9,000 more than previously reported.
The apparent stagnation in the employment rate seems to match the expectations found in the TRENDS 2013 FOX Report. Sixty percent of respondents did not expect staff to grow, while 36 percent believed their staffs would increase.
Those with moderately low staff size (10-19) were the most expectant that staff size would increase, 54 percent, while those with small staffs (fewer than 10) were not very confident, 27 percent. However, small staff executives had the highest percentage in full-time equivalents employed, 31 percent, compared to just 16 percent of executives whose staff sizes were 10-19.
In the TRENDS 2013 Association PULSE Report, 76 percent of respondents believed staffing this year would remain constant, with 19 percent expecting staff level to rise.