In July, the U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent in June. However, job market numbers are complex. According to The Wall Street Journal, 227,000 more people said they were employed in July compared with June, but concurrently 37,000 dropped out of the overall labor force — a possible sign that those discouraged by being jobless for a long time simply are no longer looking for work.
[CLICK HERE to read the news release at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 2, 2013.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Good and Bad News in Unemployment Rate Drop,” at The Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2013.]
Interestingly, a lot of folks who have jobs appear to be none-too-happy. There have been significant new studies in the last couple of years regarding “employee engagement” — loosely defined as just how much workers are “in to” their jobs. For example, a February 2013 study by Dale Carnegie Training found that up to 71 percent of employees are not fully engaged.
[CLICK HERE to view the study infographic, “Employee Relations Key to Engaged Employees,” at Dale Carnegie, May 10, 2013.]
[CLICK HERE to read the 2012 Global Workforce Study at Towers Watson, July 2012.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Secrets of America’s Happiest Companies,” at Fast Company, January 10, 2013.]
A new study from Aon Hewitt concludes that employee engagement is one of the key drivers of business success. This would stand to reason, but it’s nice to have some numbers to back it up. The study found that each incremental percentage point of employees who became engaged translated into an additional 0.6 percent growth in sales. Total Shareholder Return (TSR) is also impacted. For businesses that achieve 72 percent employee engagement (the top quartile), their TSR is 50 percent higher than organizations with average engagement.
[CLICK HERE to read the report, “2013 Trends in Global Employee Engagement,” at Aon Hewitt, August 2, 2013.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Proof is in the Profits: America’s Happiest Companies Make More Money,” at Fast Company, February 22, 2013.]
While it’s good that more Americans are working, it’s disconcerting that there is a sustained high level of people who are not fully engaged in what they do for a living. That factor alone can have far-reaching ramifications, ranging from individual company performance and stock prices, to safety and health concerns for both employees and the consumers they serve, and possibly even down to our education system. After all, how well do students learn if teachers aren’t engaged?
By the same token, it’s important that we take responsibility and remain engaged in planning our own financial future. Don’t get lackadaisical and think that the markets or government programs will always provide — make sure you take precautions and plan for possible contingencies. To learn about how our services may be able to help you, please give us a call.
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