Archive for June, 2017

Will student loan assistance help fill Jacksonville jobs?

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Employers may be enticing job seekers with incentives such as student loan assistance to help fill Jacksonville jobs, among other jobs, according to a recent Challenger, Gray & Christmas report.

According to the Challenger survey, nearly 73 percent of employers plan to offer student loan assistance to attract and recruit young talent. The survey was conducted in May among 100 human resource executives from US-based companies of various sizes in a number of industries.

“While celebrity action is helpful on a small scale, it is nowhere near enough to shift the tide on the $1.3 trillion dollars of student loan debt in the United States. Student loan debt is the second highest consumer debt in the country, with over 44 million borrowers,” said Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“With the average student loan borrower from the class of 2016 facing about $37,172 in debt according to Forbes, – and those with advanced degrees likely have much higher debt – it’s no wonder employers have begun to see this as an opportunity to recruit young workers,” said Challenger.

According to the Challenger survey, 33 percent of companies reported their workforce is currently comprised of between 26 and 50 percent of millennial workers. Seventy-eight percent of employers are targeting millennial workers in their recruitment efforts, and another 56 percent are actively trying to attract Gen Z workers.

While many companies report they are targeting young talent, and 72.5 percent report they plan to implement student loan assistance as a benefit, the Challenger survey found very few companies are actually offering student loan assistance currently. Twenty-two percent of companies currently offer this benefit.

“It’s likely we’ll see an increase in this kind of offering from companies, especially as companies in industries like tech and financial services continue to see labor shortages,” said Challenger.

Of those that plan to implement student loan assistance, only 14 percent plan to do so soon, while the remaining 58.5 have no definite timeline for implementation. Another 27.5 percent do not plan to offer the benefit and are not targeting younger workers.

Healthcare jobs in Jacksonville grow

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

The latest labor statistics have been released, and they show that healthcare jobs in Jacksonville may be growing.

The unemployment rate, at 4.3 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 6.9 million, changed little in May.

Payroll employment increased by 138,000 in May, compared with an average monthly gain of 181,000 over the prior 12 months. In May, job gains occurred in health care and mining.

Employment in health care rose by 24,000 in May. Hospitals added 7,000 jobs over the month, and employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up (+13,000). Job growth in health care has averaged 22,000 per month thus far in 2017, compared with an average monthly gain of 32,000 in 2016.

Mining added 7,000 jobs in May.

Employment in mining has risen by 47,000 since reaching a recent low point in October 2016, with most of the gain in support activities for mining. In May, employment in professional and business services continued to trend up (+38,000). The industry has added an average of 46,000 jobs per month thus far this year, in line with the average monthly job gain in 2016.

Employment in food services and drinking places also continued to trend up in May (+30,000) and has grown by 267,000 over the past 12 months.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in May.

In manufacturing, the workweek also was unchanged at 40.7 hours, while overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours.