January Jobs Report: Leisure and Hospitality Trends Up

As reported in the February 3, 2017 On Rizzo’s Radar Newsletter

The highly-anticipated January 2017 Jobs Report, as usual, is a mixed bag of news for economists and analysts—not to mention employers and job seekers. For the team at Bentley Price Associates, Inc. we dig down to find trends in the Hospitality and Casino Gaming sector. Here’s what we learned from today’s report:

The report shows 227,000 nonfarm payroll jobs added. With an overall Unemployment Rate of just 4.8 percent, the number of well-qualified candidates continues to shrink.

Overall, skilled job seekers are fewer and job-getters are on the rise. This is especially true for candidates with proven management skills and talents.

In the Leisure and Hospitality sector it’s mostly good news—with a 34-percent improvement over December.

Digging deeper into the numbers, the amusements, gambling, and recreation sub-sector is up 4.5-percent, with accommodation and food services up 25.7-percent. When you separate out the accommodation part of that figure there is a slight decline of -4.2-percent.

Hiring is robust among the Hourly Wage group. Those lesser-skilled employees are seeing more openings, but without much growth in pay. Average hourly earnings rose only 3 cents to $26.00, following a 6-cent increase in December.

Among upper management, and specifically C-level employees, the market is looking better and compensation is as always entirely dependent on the individual situation. For employers in hospitality there continues to be tough competition for the best-qualified candidates.

Richard Curtin, a University of Michigan economist who helped prepare the jobs survey, told the Wall Street Journal, “The biggest challenge confronting firms is their need to expand hiring in an already-tight labor market.”

As the available pool of qualified candidates continues to shrink, and compensation competition rises, executive search recruiters like Bentley Price Associates are more in demand than ever. Employers know that the best candidates probably are not even on their radar—in fact, until approached by a trusted recruiter, they may not be looking at all.