Mixed Signals on Economy, Hiring

Mixed Signals on Economy

Is the good news beginning to outweigh the bad? It was reported today that initial jobless claims unexpectedly increased by 12,000 last week to 465,000. However, the weekly claims is notoriously volatile measurement that fluctuates wildly even in the best of times. The good news is that the four-week moving average, which is considered by most to be a more reliable indicator, fell to the lowest level since July 31. Meanwhile, the number of people who continued to receive jobless benefits fell by 48,000. In other good news, the index of leading economic indicators rose by a better-than-expected 0.3 percent in August and existing home sales increased by 7.6 percent last month. While, home sales and other economic measurements still remain severely depressed from pre-recession levels, they are heading in the right direction. When will the recovery begin to look and feel like a recovery? Should the unemployed be looking at these national economic measurements for readings on the job market?

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Retailers Already Announcing Mass Hiring

This morning, Macy’s Inc. announced it would hire 65,000 temporary seasonal workers, expecting sales to grow between 3 and 3.5 percent over last year. The announcement comes on the heels of a similar one from Toys R Us, which announced it will hire 10,000 seasonal workers this year. Challenger predicts hiring will increase this holiday season over last year, due to two consecutive months of sales gains in addition to a 65 percent decline in retail-sector job cut announcements since 2009. What other businesses could see an uptick in hiring as the holidays approach? Do sales gains necessarily predict hiring? Will the workers hired for the holidays be able to retain their positions into the new year?

Read Full Holiday Hiring Outlook Here: http://www.challengergray.com/press/press.aspx

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