Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel for U.S. Businesses?

According to a report released Oct. 5, from Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP), U.S. companies brought on more workers in September than the previous month, however the number was not enough to put a dent in the large unemployment numbers nationwide.

While the ADP report brought some encouraging news, two separate reports unveiled the same day noted that layoffs increased rather dramatically last month, while service companies are not hiring additional employees despite the sector’s relatively stable growth.

Looking back at the brighter report, ADP and Macroeconomic Advisers LLC report that private-sector employers added 91,000 positions in September, an increase of some 2,000 jobs from the previous month. The government’s official jobs report is slated to be released on Oct. 7.

Is Minimal Growth Better than None at All?

While the news is somewhat encouraging in that the country appears at this point to be dodging another recession, the recent report also demonstrates that growth is coming in very minimal numbers at best, providing us with weak growth at best.

While everyone is looking for any signs of growth, we shouldn’t be deceived by the numbers.

Much like when gas prices are inflated to high levels, drivers think they’re getting a deal when they pay less for gas, the bottom line being it is still $1 or $2 above what they paid the year before. Improvement, but much better is possible.

As for expanding on the down side, a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas points out there were sharp increases in layoff announcements for September, with businesses planning to cut some 116,000 jobs, more than double the August report and the worst in more than two years. The biggest cuts came among the government and financial sectors.

What is Your Business Doing to Grow?

With the recent numbers showing a mixed bag, has your company been impacted either positively or negatively when it comes to job growth lately?

For many companies, especially smaller businesses, growth has been hard when you throw in the added costs for health care that many employers have been dealing with. While the government has tried to throw some incentives in the direction of small business owners, a fair number of them have either stood pat on hiring or even laid off where they felt it necessary.

If your small business is contemplating hiring, do you plan on? –

  • Waiting until after the holidays?
  • Waiting until you see better jobs numbers and additional incentives from Washington?
  • Waiting until next year’s presidential election is over?
  • Waiting to see if health care costs come down?

Lots of questions still remain for many small businesses, many of whom are playing the waiting game.

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Dave Thomas, who has authored a number of articles regarding business phone service writes extensively for an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.

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