According to the most recent monthly jobs report, the seasonally adjusted Philadelphia unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in August, a slight decline from the previous month and a 0.5 percentage point decrease from this time last year. In spite of this decline, 4,200 Philadelphia jobs were lost on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Across the state of Pennsylvania, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.4 percent in August, for the fourth consecutive month. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the state lost a total of 2,900 jobs in the same month.
What do these numbers mean for employers trying to staff Philadelphia jobs?
“With the unemployment rate continuing to decline month over month, we’ve seen an increase in job postings,” says Stephanie Naznitsky, regional vice president with Robert Half. “There is a great deal of competition for highly skilled talent.” Financial positions, such as staff accountants and financial/business analysts, are in the greatest demand, she says. Candidates with cost accounting and financial analysis skills are especially sought after.
The declining Philadelphia unemployment rate and the current hiring environment have created challenges for employers, Naznitsky says. Top candidates often get multiple job offers, for example. When hiring managers delay making a decision, they could lose their first pick. “Employers who choose to move quickly through the hiring process have been able to hire more of their top choices,” Naznitsky says, versus companies that add multiple steps.
But don’t neglect the talent you already have. “Companies are assuming their tenured employees will remain loyal,” Naznitsky says. “However, there is a huge increase in passive job seekers as a result of the increased hiring activity.”
Making retention a top priority will help to keep valuable employees at your company. Naznitsky recommends offering professional development opportunities and improved benefits to ensure that top talent sticks around.
Do you need help finding skilled professionals for Philadelphia jobs? Give our regional branch a call at (855) 399-4842.