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Hiring will decrease in August, report says

August 4, 2011 | 12:02 pm

Borders As if today's market news wasn't bad enough, a new survey indicates that hiring will decrease in August as worried companies wait out a rough economy. Declines in hiring will be concentrated in the service sector, which had become a refuge for employees with lower skills and education levels.

According to the survey, by the Society for Human Resources Management, only about one-third of service-sector employers plan to hire in August, while a year ago, 44% of service-sector employers said they were hiring. About 15% of service-sector employers plan to cut jobs in August.

Companies such as Ralphs Grocery Co., Borders Group Inc. and Sears Holding Corp have filed worker adjustment and retraining notices with the state, indicating they plan to lay off large numbers of employees in August.

Manufacturing hiring is expected to be down in August as well. Although half of manufacturers said they planned to hire this month, 13% said they planned to cut jobs.

The index "shows a worrying rise in layoffs, especially in the services sector," said Jennifer Schramm, the group's manager of workplace trends and forecasting, in a release. "The question now is: Is this only a temporary setback for the labor market's recovery or a sign of a more trouble trend?"

For those lucky enough to find work, compensation packages are expected to rise, according to the report. And some employers reported they had difficulty finding qualified candidates in July.

That news points to a potential structural problem in the economy, in which there are a large number of unskilled workers without jobs, and jobs that go unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers. It's something that Peter Allan, interim executive vice president of instruction and student services at Victor Valley College, sees every day as he confers with employers.

"A lot of our training focuses on giving students the ability to communicate and do basic math," he said. "That seems to be a real problem for employers."

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-- Alana Semuels

Photo: Borders is one company that will cut jobs in August. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

 

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