4th Quarter 2019 Business Solutions

Read the latest 4th Quarter Business Solutions newsletter.

CEO Message 4Q 2019 Business Solutions

New and Expanded Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship Programs Announced

CareerSource Palm Beach County is initiating new and expanded apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs to benefit local businesses, students and job seekers.

Workforce quality continues to be a top concern for business leaders in Palm Beach County and throughout the state. Earlier this year, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order to begin his vision of making Florida the #1 state in the nation for workforce education as well as ensuring that Florida students are prepared to fill high-demand, high-wage jobs.

He followed that order with the distribution of $1.75 million to help Floridians acquire skills needed for in-demand occupations through new and expanded apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs in industry sectors vital to the state’s economy.  Building on this, Apprentice Florida was launched as a partnership between the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and CareerSource Florida. The program encourages and assists businesses in establishing apprenticeships, and educates individuals about pursuing careers through apprenticeships.

Integral to this, CareerSource Palm Beach County is initiating new and expanded apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs that benefit both businesses and job seekers. Most recently, we received two state funding allocations totaling more than $650,000 to provide pre-apprenticeship programs in the marine and aviation-aerospace industry sectors in collaboration with the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, the Marine Industry Association of Treasure Coast, and CareerSource Brevard. The marine industry alone employs more than 21,000 people and is growing at a rate where there are more positions than there are skilled workers to fill them.

CareerSource also is prioritizing new and expanded apprenticeships in the high-demand fields of healthcare, construction, and hospitality. During the past 5 program years, we have awarded $23 million in grants to area businesses and employees for job training and educational assistance.

Here’s how it works:

 We collaborate with nearly 40 training providers to help build a local pipeline of talent to meet employer needs. One of these training providers, for example, is Palm Beach State College. CareerSource procured a Community Based Training grant to provide accelerated training programs at the college to help fill thousands of construction jobs, many spurred by $2.7 billion in infrastructure projects funded by the county sales surtax. The construction industry is among the top in-demand employer sectors in the county.

The college developed customized training in HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and carpentry. Students gain experience with 7 construction contractors that are affiliated with the construction program. CareerSource also partners in another accelerated program for Certified Nursing Assistants at the college’s Belle Glade campus.

The college offers nearly 50 career and technical education programs with 40 certifications in all – and Palm Beach State is just one of our training providers!

Businesses and job seekers interested in training grants, apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs can find out more information on our website at www.careersourcepbc.com.  

Your Regional Economic Outlook

The most recent unemployment rate for Palm Beach County is 3.2 percent, that was lower than the nation’s rate at 3.4 percent (all numbers not seasonally adjusted). This is a local increase of 12,700 jobs as measured in September 2019 compared to September 2018.

Do Memories of the Great Recession Influence our Views of a Future Recession?

After 10 years of substantial economic expansion, the global economy began to stall in the middle of 2018. Now more than a year later, global growth continues at a slower pace. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew about 3 percent annualized in the third quarter of this year, below the 10-year average of 3.5 percent but stronger than the second half of last year when growth dropped to 2.5 percent annualized. The U.S. economy slowed more with GDP growth estimated at less than 2 percent annualized in the third quarter of 2019.

A manufacturing slowdown has been one of the primary reasons for the deceleration in global growth, as the increase in trade tensions between the U.S. and China and policy uncertainty surrounding many economies is causing businesses to cut back on capital expenditures.

As we enter the fourth quarter of 2019, more and more economists are predicting a recession within the next 12 months. In addition to businesses cutting spending, there is evidence that consumers are also rethinking their spending habits. If consumers, who account for nearly 70 percent of GDP growth in the United States, also curtail spending it could push the global economy into a recession.

So far consumers have been resilient because, in general, most are in a good financial position. Unemployment remains near record lows, wages are ticking higher, and prices on goods and services remain low. Personal debt has risen but is not exceptionally high, and interest rates are low so payments on the debt remain manageable.

But we live in a world where news is disseminated constantly across many platforms, and the scariest headlines get the most attention. At the same time, there is no shortage of issues in the U.S. and abroad with the potential to derail the ongoing global expansion. The media tend to dramatize and magnify the probability that any of these events might occur. Eventually, this fear mongering can become detrimental to the psychology of business leaders, consumers and investors. The risk is real that people will react by reducing their spending and investing, bringing about the very recession they worry about.

There are some signs that U.S. consumers are beginning to scale back. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey and the University of Michigan Sentiment Survey both show that consumers are becoming more likely to delay purchases of large household goods, cars and homes. Spending on automobiles has already suffered. From 2018 to 2019, world vehicle sales will likely fall about 5 percent. In China, auto sales are expected to fall by as much as 15 percent. In addition to trade tensions, new stringent emission requirements, expiring tax breaks, and tighter auto lending standards have all played a role.

The Florida Connection

Floridians’ opinions about current economic conditions were generally mixed. Perceptions of personal financial situations now compared with a year ago decreased from 87.3 to 86.7. In contrast, opinions as to whether now is a good time to buy a major household item like an appliance increased 5.4 points from 99.6 to 105.

“Although these two components of the index moved in opposite directions, overall they showed that opinions regarding current economic conditions improved among Floridians in September. However, these views are divided by age. While those younger than age 60 expressed favorable views, those age 60 and older expressed less favorable opinions in both components,” said Hector H. Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

Despite all this negative news, global growth may be bottoming and now set to improve in 2020. Economic indicators in Florida remain largely positive. Florida’s labor market shows continued strengthening with monthly job gains. In September, 224,700 jobs were added statewide compared with a year ago, an increase of 2.6%. The unemployment rate in Florida dropped to 3.0% in September.

Furthermore, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Florida ranked 12th of all states in the country in personal income growth with a growth rate of 6% in state personal income in the second quarter of 2019. The main contributor to this change came from net earnings, which includes wages, salaries and supplements but excludes contributions from government social insurance.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s recently released Third Quarter Small Business Index Survey shows access to talent is a top concern among small businesses. “Florida’s small businesses continue to be concerned about being able to hire a talented workforce,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research at the Florida Chamber Foundation. “Improving Florida’s talent pipeline for a better workforce will help ensure jobs have talented employees and will help put workers on the path to prosperity — leading goals of Florida 2030, Florida’s next strategic plan.”

Florida is the 18th most diversified economy in the country, according to the Chamber. Recent jobs report numbers show Florida’s unemployment rate continues to drop as the state continues to surge in private-sector job creation.

Why, then, are many so fearful about the next recession? Perhaps because the headlines continue to claim that a recession would be catastrophic and lead to a sharp contraction in economic activity and plunging stock prices. That fear is likely based on the memory of what happened in 2008 and 2009 when domestic stock prices dropped 37 percent during the Great Recession (and a total drop of 57 percent before rebounding in the latter stages of that recession. However, a primary cause of that recession was the crisis in the financial sector, and banks are healthier now that they are required to maintain more reserves.  With inflation and interest rates near historical lows, the next recession will probably not be anything like the Great Recession. More likely, a decline in business activity will be closer to the historical average and on the shorter side of the historical range of six to eight months.

The Global Outlook

Overall, growth appears to have accelerated in many emerging economies, but there seems to have been a slowdown in the developed world, with the U.S. and the Eurozone both expected to post slightly slower growth than in the second quarter. But even in the developed world, there is cause for optimism because the service sector PMI remains in expansionary territory. This is important because past recessions have been preceded by a fall in service sector activity as well as manufacturing activity.

Finally, most central banks around the world have begun cutting rates, which could provide a boost to growth in 2020. Normally, as an expansion ages, central banks are reluctant to lower interest rates to spur growth because it may cause a spike in inflation. But over the past decade that relationship has broken down. Inflation has remained low despite historically low interest rates around the developed world. This may be because globalization has allowed businesses to keep costs low due to the increase in the portability of labor and production—or because the increased use of computer automation and other technologies is making firms more efficient. More than likely a combination of these factors is resulting in an environment where profits must fall substantially before firms need to raise prices. In any event, looser financial conditions and low inflation usually bode well for global growth.

It is important to remember that recessions are a normal part of the business cycle. In the U.S., there have been 11 recessions since the end of World War II. The average length of these recessions is 11 months, and the average decline in economic activity (Gross Domestic Product) from peak to trough was only 2.3 percent. The average performance of domestic stocks, as represented by the S&P 500 Index, was up 0.1 percent during the recessions (not including dividends). It is important to note, however, that stocks did drop—a modest 3.2 percent on average—in the six months prior to the onset of a recession.

The jobless rate in the United States, at 3.5 percent, is the lowest since 1969, and inflation is only 1.4 percent. Wage growth and productivity have picked up, and interest rates remain low. Longer term, the economic environment is still positive, but if we do have a recession it may be very short indeed.  

Educational Partnerships Initiatives Begin this Fall

CareerSource Palm Beach County is launching initiatives with a half-dozen educational institutions this Fall to improve and expand the local talent pipeline for area employers.

Carrie Pasquale, the new Director of Strategic Initiatives and Educational Partnerships at CareerSource, announced these new educational partnership initiatives beginning soon:

Palm Beach State College: CareerSource provided a career recruiter at the Lake Worth Campus during the last school year. The roster is being expanded to provide career recruiters at campuses in Palm Beach Gardens, Loxahatchee Grove, Belle Glade and Boca Raton. Job fairs also will be taking place and plans are underway towards the goal of establishing a full-service career center there in 2020.

Palm Beach Atlantic University: Provide a career recruiter on campus.

SouthTech: Provide industry-specific (healthcare, hospitality, construction) career recruiters on campus.

Keiser University: Provide job readiness and employment services on campus.

Florida Atlantic University: Our Disability Services unit works with FAU’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). Plans are to add job readiness and employment services on campus.

Lynn University: Our Disability Services unit works with the college’s Disability Adult Center. Plans are to add job readiness and employment services on campus.

“Partnerships and collaboration play a key role in helping to fill the local jobs pipeline with skilled talent,” said Carrie. “CareerSource convenes and facilitates with its business, education and economic development partners to better understand industry employment needs, work with educational institutions to develop skills and talent requirements, and to facilitate the transition from college/school to jobs.”

Ghosting: What can Employers do about it?

With a tight labor market, employees are at an advantage in today’s economy.  In many cases, there are more jobs available than skilled candidates to fill them.  As a result, some job seekers receive multiple offers, or continue to find better opportunities after they have committed accepting a job with a new employer.  Even after they begin a new job, they may jump to a better opportunity without saying a word.  They just stop showing up to work. 

Ghosting is not new or confined to the U.S. workforce.  It has happened in the past, but it has become far more prevalent lately.  In a survey conducted by a Washington based research firm 71% of workers admitted to ghosting at some point in the search for a new job.  55% of the respondents admitted to abandoning 1 out of 5 applications during the job search.

Furthermore, 41% of job seekers felt it was OK to ghost an employer.  Ghosting is not only frustrating for recruiters and businesses, it’s also expensive.  The Society for Human Resource Management reports the average cost per hire for companies is $4,129 and the average time to fill a position is 42 days.  Ghosting increases those costs and extends the time to fill a position.  So what can businesses do to reduce ghosting?

  • Make sure that your pay and benefits package is competitive with other employers in your industry. 
  • Evaluating your job search and on-boarding processes.  According to research conducted by Inavero, 77% of candidates are willing to accept an offer that is 5% lower than their expectations if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process.  When candidates apply, acknowledge their interest in the position, assure them their qualifications will be given careful consideration and they will be contacted.  For those invited for an interview, let them know when a decision regarding the job will be made and commit to following up with everyone that interviewed not just the individual selected.  Let them know if they were not selected, and thank them for giving us their time to come in for an interview.  Remember; they may not have been the right fit for this position, but may be perfect for a future position.  Leave them with a good impression of your organization.
  • Try a strategy of “winning the hearts and minds”.  Prior to a candidate’s first day, reach out with a friendly message welcoming the new employee or sharing an introduction to some of the benefits your organization has to offer.  When the new hire arrives for their first day, be sure they are personally introduced to their coworkers and designate a point of contact who will be readily available to answer questions.  After 6 months, the new hire has learned the ropes.   Continuous feedback is what’s going to help them hone their skills, catch mistakes and take corrective action when needed.  This is also a great way to establish rapport and trust with the rest of the team.  After the first year, managers should start having conversations about a new hire’s future within the organization and their career development as a way to show the employee that the organization is invested in their continued success.

No one can say for sure whether ghosting in the workplace is a trend that is here to stay.  When the ratio of jobs to job seekers shifts in favor of the employers, it may be too easy for businesses to fall back into old habits.  For now, job seekers’ attitudes have changed, so organizations need to adjust accordingly.

CareerSource Palm Beach County Hosting Paychecks for Patriots Hiring Event for Veterans Nov. 13

More than a dozen local and national employers are participating in Paychecks for Patriots, a special hiring event for local veterans and their spouses hosted by CareerSource Palm Beach County on Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Holiday Inn Palm Beach Airport Conference Center, 1301 Belvedere Road, in West Palm Beach.

Thousands of military and veteran candidates and their family members who participated in these events across the state have gained employment as a result. Find out how your business can participate in this annual hiring event.

CareerSource organizations throughout Florida are partnering with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida National Guard and the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs to connect members of Florida’s military and veteran communities with career opportunities through Paychecks for Patriots hiring events in November.

Employers participating at the hiring event so far include Allied Universal, Florida Department of Transportation, McDonalds, US Foods, Manpower, Palm Tran, Holiday Inn, Scripps Florida, Amazon, Home Depot and more. There is no cost to attend.

“Many area employers actively seek to hire veterans because of the knowledge, skills and abilities they have acquired in a wide variety of specialized fields during their service,” said Steve Craig, president and CEO of CareerSource Palm Beach County.

Contact us today to register for a table at the Paychecks for Patriots Hiring Event!

Register Here