(From MarketWatch) -- The surprisingly weak labor market in the past two months is evidence that companies are quickly able to hit the hiring “pause” button if they don’t like conditions on the ground, a leading expert on the job market said.
Before when companies wanted to slow hiring, there was “a glide path” that took time to implement. “Now they have a bat-phone,” said ManpowerGroup Inc. Chief Executive Jeffrey Joerres in an interview.
Manpower separately on Thursday reported its second-quarter earnings more than doubled, helped by international growth. In the U.S., the firm’s operating profit jumped 85% on 9% revenue growth.
“In the face of spikes in uncertainty and weaker demand, companies have the ability to dial down their workforces, halting hiring at a moment’s notice and operating in a ‘just-in-time talent’ mode,” Joerres said.
After averaging 215,000 per month in February to April, job growth has slowed to a crawl of only 21,000 in the past two months. The unemployment rate has risen to 9.2% from 8.8% in March.