According to the most recent monthly jobs report from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, the seasonally adjusted Philadelphia unemployment rate came in at 5.6 percent in July. While this is a slight increase from the previous month, the Philadelphia unemployment rate has decreased 0.5 percentage points since this time last year. Additionally, 8,800 nonfarm Philadelphia jobs were added in July, on a seasonally adjusted basis, bringing the area total to 2,818,100.
Across the state of Pennsylvania, the seasonally adjusted unemployment figure for July was unchanged from June’s rate of 5.4 percent. Total nonfarm jobs increased by 8,000 to 5,856,100, on a seasonally adjusted basis.
What do these numbers mean for employers looking to staff Philadelphia jobs?
Stephanie Naznitsky, regional vice president with Robert Half, notes that while Philadelphia has experienced job growth, a scarcity of talent in some specialized fields makes the hiring market challenging for employers. In particular, she says, market conditions have resulted in increased demand for skilled talent in accounting and finance. “With the unemployment rate continuing to drop nationwide and 1 to 2 percent for high-demand accounting and finance roles, employers are seeing more job seekers receive multiple offers, and even counteroffers.”
Despite these hiring challenges, companies seeking talent aren’t sitting still. “Hiring managers are becoming more savvy in the tight market conditions,” Naznitsky says. “Companies that reduce steps in their hiring process are winning the best talent and are most likely to land their top choices.”
To gain a competitive edge in this challenging market, Naznitsky suggests employers prepare for interviews ahead of time to expedite the hiring process and increase the chances of landing their ideal candidates. She also notes that managers should ready themselves for salary negotiations with applicants who have multiple offers, by benchmarking their offerings against national averages using the newly released 2016 Robert Half Salary Guide.
How does the July Philadelphia unemployment rate affect your hiring plans? Let us know in the comments.