Strong hiring by the staffing industry helped employment continue its upward trend in July, the third consecutive month The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index (ETI) has improved.

In July, staffing firms in the US added 143,700 new jobs. The growth was second only to the half-million workers brought on by restaurants and bars. The majority of those workers were laid off when businesses were ordered to close.

The Employment Trends Index is now at 50.89, a rise over June of almost 9%. In February, a month before the government all but essential business to close and people to stay home, the Index was at 109.22. In March, the Index fell to 42.39, a low not seen even during the height of the Great Recession.

A second Conference Board measure, its Help Wanted OnLine (HOWL) index has improved by almost 16% since hitting a six year low in April. The Index, which measures changes in advertised online job vacancies, is now at 90.2. In February, the month before the government ordered businesses to shutdown, the index was at 109.4.

This shows that more employers are looking to hire.

EMSI, a provider of labor market analytics, suggested the job market might be even stronger. It’s analysis of new job postings, released earlier this month, says the number of jobs advertised online in July was 3% higher than at the beginning of the year.

“New job postings are inching back to normalcy in a highly abnormal time,” EMSI said.

In another positive sign, new claims for unemployment last week fell below 1 million for the first time since March.

“Even though we’re exiting the worst of the current crisis, we’re still above the worst of the Great Recession,” Daniel Zhao, senior economist for the career site Glassdoor told The New York Times.

Though slow and erratic, the reopening of businesses points to an improving, if fragile, economic climate. Continued improvement, however, depends on multiple factors, especially the success at controlling the spread of COVID-19. There are more than

Offering a gloomier outlook, Gad Levanon, head of The Conference Board Labor Markets Institute, cautioned, “Despite increasing again, the ETI’s July results mark a small improvement compared to the gains made in May and June.”

He sees a slowdown in job growth in the coming months as the boost the indices received from business reopenings begins to taper off.


Employee Benefits for a Supportive Workplace

Employee satisfaction doesn’t just start and end at the salary. For a company to really take care of their employees, they have to offer a strong benefit package. Working adults want to feel appreciated and safe; offering specific benefits and wellness programs prove they are valued and protected. In the past, companies have used perks such as game rooms and happy hours to boost workplace morale and culture. But in recent years, it’s become clear that those ideas aren’t what keep people happy.  

We’ve summed up a variety of employee benefits that create a supportive and inclusive workplace. It’s important to understand that people just want to feel comfortable. This will lead to a stable environment, reduced turnover rates, and a stronger acceptance within the company.  

Leave for all parents

Traditionally, only those who have given birth are offered time off as new parents. However, more and more companies are supporting paternity leave in addition to maternity. The early relationship between a newborn and any parent is crucial for development. LinkedIn says, “Offering gender-neutral parental leave, including leave for parents of newly adopted children, can help contribute to lasting bonds between parents and children in early development while also creating a positive work-life balance.” 

Flexible scheduling and work from home opportunities 

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, especially in this Green Key Unlocked installment, trusting your employees to get their work done, while adjusting to their own schedules, has become essential. Not every job requires employees to stay behind their desk from 9am to 5pm. Paid time off, floating holidays, leaving early to pick up children, and civic duties such as voting should all be considered here. In fact, many companies have seen an increase in productivity with the option to work at your own pace. It also establishes an element of respect between workers and upper management.  

Domestic partner benefits 

It’s no surprise that fewer people are waiting to get married these days, or not married at all. The demand for domestic partnership benefits is growing. Offering healthcare plans to those in cohabitation helps to promote an inclusive workplace. As a society, we should always be adjusting to the general way of life. This should also include support of the LGBTQ+ community, especially for any transgender employees who may require medical coverage for surgery and therapy in order to transition.  

Family building benefits 

LinkedIn also stresses the importance of family building benefits. “For a long time, family-building benefits were limited to fertility tests and, in a few cases, in vitro fertilization. But this family of benefits has expanded into other areas as well, including egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, and more,” they say. Many couples and families struggle to expand, and these benefits allow them to do so in a seamless process.

Retirement plans 

Offering pension plans or 401(k)s allow employees to comfortably prepare for retirement. Indeed stresses, “Retirement benefits can help provide employees a well-organized and reliable way to save money and plan their financial futures for themselves and their families. When employees do retire, they will have a predetermined budget to live on depending on how much money they saved through their employer’s retirement plan or other retirement options they pursued.” 

Tuition reimbursement 

A huge benefit that employees seek is tuition reimbursement to continue their education. Within reason, companies may offer certain amounts of money for specific courses related to their industry. Indeed says, “Typically, companies set restrictions on course types, ensuring the courses taken relate to their role at the company, or require employees to continue working for a certain amount of time after completing their coursework or degree.” 

Remaining accountable

If you’re looking to support your employees and prove their value, consider these benefits and more. In a time when people are moving along if they’re not satisfied, remaining sensitive and competitive will recruit new talent and devote to those who stay.