All four major U.S. regions experienced job growth in October, according to the ADP Research Institute® October Regional Employment Report (RER). The West and the South added an impressive 41,000 and 60,000 positions, respectively, while the Midwest added 23,000 jobs and the Northeast added 23,000. These national growth patterns speak to the overall strength of the U.S. job market. The increasingly diverse mix of labor across all four regions helped bolster October's growth.
In October, however, the South shines as an example of how the economic recovery has resulted in a tight talent market.
Are Florida Vacations Impacting the South's Growth?
The South has been a leader in the RER for the past several months. With 60,000 positions added in October, the South comes off of exceptional growth figures of 74,000 in September 2016. Ironically, the region has historically hosted a high number of energy and manufacturing jobs, both of which have suffered from the strong dollar, global economics and technology. Yet the region's workforce continues to grow.
A major component of the South's economic health may be due to domestic travel. While the hotels have seen tech-driven disruptions from the home-sharing trend, other service jobs are seeing a bump from domestic travel. Further, GlobeSt.com reports that the job market's health is in part spurred by business travel.
The South Is Booming
To understand the South's strength, HR leaders should look to the region's status as an increasing hub for technology firms. In a recent report issued by the Federal Reserve, it noted talent shortages in information technology, finance and engineering. While the Fed's assessment of the Dallas region in particular was more modest, the outlook was still quite positive, partially because of predictions of a recovery in the oil industry.
Furthermore, white-collar jobs are growing in the region. The Financial Times noted that Charlotte, North Carolina, is now the nation's third most attractive market for real estate, due in large part to the growth of the nearby Research Triangle.
Comparing it to the California gold rush, The Financial Times notes how young professionals are migrating to the South in droves — largely attributable to the relatively low cost of living and the abundance of jobs in health care, technology and finance. This migration of skilled talent is positive news for HR leaders in the South.
A Continued Shift to a Service Economy
As the U.S. labor mix continues to evolve, the services-providing sector continues to grow. Many workers are now engaged in knowledge and interpersonal roles, and there are more specialists across a diverse economy. Georgetown University notes that, instead of mass-producing goods, the American economy is now mass-customizing services.
As professional hubs continue to grow across the South, the strengthening knowledge-based work throughout the U.S. hints at continued nationwide growth.
For HR leaders in all four major U.S. regions, the results of the October Regional Employment Report speak to the need to strengthen HCM technologies and strategies in a talent market that will only grow tighter. Steady, geographically-spread growth is likely to bring continued wage pressures and increased recruitment competition.
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