Ann Arbor Business Monthly February 2016 : Page 1

BUSINESS MONTHLY • ann arbor • chelsea • dexter • manchester • milan • saline • whitmore lake • ypsilanti ann arbor area Volume 11, No. 12 February 2016 $2.00 Local Job Market Promising For 2016 By Duane Ramsey The hiring and job market in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County continues to look promising for this year at all levels and in most industries, according to several local, state and national sources. Washtenaw County’s economy is now into its sixth year of recovery since the previous recession’s low point in 2009, according to “The Economic Outlook for Washtenaw County in 2015-17” prepared by George Fulton and Donald Grimes of the Institute on Labor, Employment and the Economy at the University of Michigan. The economic outlook for Washtenaw County through 2017 was measured using information on employment, unemployment, in fl ation and the real wage. They evaluated the county’s prospects for job growth in total, putting it in context with recent job market developments. To date, the recovery has been healthy adding 17,274 jobs in the county from 2009 to 2014, a growth rate of 1.8 percent per year. The county’s job growth outpaced both Michigan’s at 1.3 percent per year and the nation’s at 1.2 per cent per year for that same period. The pair of U-M economists saw economic fundamentals in place to support job growth averaging a solid 2.1 percent per year over the three year period from 2015-17. They forecast that the county will add a total of 13,071 jobs over those three years, according to the report published in March of 2015. That forecast includes an accelerating pace of 4,236 in 2015, 4,271 in 2016 and 4,564 in 2017. The job additions in those three years will be well above the 2,720 jobs per year gained on average during the prior growth period between 1991 and 2002. The economists pointed out that there is no eight-year period since 1990 that can match the 30,345 jobs created from 2009 to 2017 if their forecast proves correct. From the low point in 2009 to the fi rst quarter of 2013, the county gained 16,078 jobs replacing all of the jobs lost in number between the summers of 2002 and 2009. If their forecasts hold true, the county would accumulate 32,580 job additions from the bottom of the downturn through 2017. “We are going to see continued growth in employment but there are some areas of concern,” said Shamar Herron, INSIDE: Annual Commercial Of fi ce/Flex Vacancy Report By Swisher Commercial – Page 5 Small Business & The Internet By Mike Gould “Rocking the Internet” – Page 7 Building Rapport With Your Customers – Page 8 Business Briefs – Pages 9-11 Warde Manuel Named U-M Director of Intercollegiate Athletics –Page 12 Make Plans Now To Place Your Advertising For 2016 Where Businesses Are Reading–– In the Pages of ann arbor area BUSINESS MONTHLY March Deadline is February 24 Kyle Rentenbach from Of fi ce Team, and Christopher Knight, Chief Financial Of fi cer at Utilities Instrumentation Service. workforce development manager for Washtenaw County Michigan Works! and Of fi ce of Community and Economic Development. Herron reported that they see a continued need for the IT fi eld which is on pace to keep growing in 2016. Registered nurses are always in demand along with expected growth in customer service, retail sales and manufacturing this year. One new area of need is for heavy truck and tractor drivers, Herron said. “There is a critical shortage in skilled trades,” he said. “Those types of industries are seeing a lot of people retiring but we’re not seeing enough quali fi ed workers to replace them.” “We’re struggling how to market that career choice to young people. We need to start helping young people understand there are good paying careers in those areas.” Job Market (Continued Page 3) ann arbor area BUSINESS MONTHLY P. O. Box 460 Hamburg, MI 48139-0460 PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID ST JOSEPH MI PERMIT #335

Local Job Market Promising For 2016

Duane Ramsey

The hiring and job market in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County continues to look promising for this year at all levels and in most industries, according to several local, state and national sources.

Washtenaw County’s economy is now into its sixth year of recovery since the previous recession’s low point in 2009, according to “The Economic Outlook for Washtenaw County in 2015-17” prepared by George Fulton and Donald Grimes of the Institute on Labor, Employment and the Economy at the University of Michigan.

The economic outlook for Washtenaw County through 2017 was measured using information on employment, unemployment, inflation and the real wage. They evaluated the county’s prospects for job growth in total, putting it in context with recent job market developments.

To date, the recovery has been healthy adding 17,274 jobs in the county from 2009 to 2014, a growth rate of 1.8 percent per year. The county’s job growth outpaced both Michigan’s at 1.3 percent per year and the nation’s at 1.2 per cent per year for that same period.

The pair of U-M economists saw economic fundamentals in place to support job growth averaging a solid 2.1 percent per year over the three year period from 2015-17. They forecast that the county will add a total of 13,071 jobs over those three years, according to the report published in March of 2015.

That forecast includes an accelerating pace of 4,236 in 2015, 4,271 in 2016 and 4,564 in 2017. The job additions in those three years will be well above the 2,720 jobs per year gained on average during the prior growth period between 1991 and 2002.

The economists pointed out that there is no eight-year period since 1990 that can match the 30,345 jobs created from 2009 to 2017 if their forecast proves correct. From the low point in 2009 to the first quarter of 2013, the county gained 16,078 jobs replacing all of the jobs lost in number between the summers of 2002 and 2009.

If their forecasts hold true, the county would accumulate 32,580 job additions from the bottom of the downturn through 2017.

“We are going to see continued growth in employment but there are some areas of concern,” said Shamar Herron, workforce development manager for Washtenaw County Michigan Works! and Office of Community and Economic Development.

Herron reported that they see a continued need for the IT field which is on pace to keep growing in 2016. Registered nurses are always in demand along with expected growth in customer service, retail sales and manufacturing this year. One new area of need is for heavy truck and tractor drivers, Herron said.

“There is a critical shortage in skilled trades,” he said. “Those types of industries are seeing a lot of people retiring but we’re not seeing enough qualified workers to replace them.”

“We’re struggling how to market that career choice to young people. We need to start helping young people understand there are good paying careers in those areas.”

Herron also cited the hospitality industry with more hotels and restaurants opening in Washtenaw County. There is an issue for them to find people to fill their employment needs.

“There’s a large conversation about equitable pay and affordable housing being a real issue in Washtenaw County,” Herron said.

Meanwhile, placement and recruiting firms such as the Accountemps and Office Team Divisions of Robert Half in Ann Arbor continue to connect qualified candidates with companies to meet their employment needs.

Trending over the last 30- 90 days, the two firms have seen a demand for accounts payable, staff accounts, and controllers from top to bottom in that field. The industries that have really become active over the past six months include healthcare organizations, the technology field, and automotive manufacturing with tier one and tier two suppliers.

“We’re seeing a lot of demand for call center service reps, some positions that require previous experience and make outbound calls. They are usually paid more for sales and follow-ups with customers, which requires more savvy and responsibility,” said Robin Ankton, regional vice president for multiple Robert Half locations in Michigan.

The firm’s technology specialist works with firms that need people for database developers and help desk positions in the Ann Arbor area.

“We have companies who call us for specific positions and we look for qualified candidates to meet their needs. We’re always looking for good candidates, who may even get multiple offers within days since the workplace is so competitive,” Ankton said

She reported that they have seen an increasing demand for human resource roles including recruiting positions that usually pay more. Companies need to regain support from positions that were eliminated in the recent downturn.

“We try to do everything and be creative. We’re also taking candidates to the market and even creating jobs for them,” Ankton explained.

“Some companies are willing to take people less qualified since unemployment is so low. We’ve had success placing more recent grads as accounting clerks or in entry level technology jobs, for example,” Ankton said.

Utilities Instrumentation Service (UIS) in Dexter has been working with Office Team during the past five years and has hired eight employees through a temporary to permanent hire program with the firm. The company hires two types of employees, union electricians and non-union engineers and support staff, through Office Team, said Christopher Knight, chief financial officer at UIS.

“We provide them with the job description and desired skill sets and they usually provide us with two or more candidates for an opening. We interview the candidates and usually select one of them to try,” Knight said.

Office Team provides a “no risk first day at work” offer to UIS, according to Knight. They work with the candidate for a day exposing them to the operations and people at UIS.

“If they don’t fit after one day, we don’t get charged for them,” Knight said. “It’s a two way street for us and potential employees to determine if it works out. It’s a nice flexibility to have and has worked very well for us.”

If a candidate works out, they normally would work 700 hours at UIS through Office Team. After that period, they are eligible to become full-time employees.

Knight explained that skill sets can be learned or trained, but chemistry and personality determine how they fit in with the company, and their work ethic are the primary factors used to decide if employees are a “good fit.”

He said that they have been working with Kyle Rentenbach from Office Team and she regularly checks in with the company and candidates to make sure it is working out for both parties. Rentenbach confirmed that they have a great rapport and working relationship with UIS.

UIS is a “one stop shop” for all electrical services that include testing, calibrating, maintaining, optimizing, troubleshooting and programming of instruments, controls, electrical apparatus and systems. The firm works on power sources for utilities, municipalities and companies, providing preventative maintenance to emergency service during power outages and other critical situations, Knight said.

UIS has worked with U-M and Eastern Michigan University, many local manufacturers, and area municipalities including the cities of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Dexter, Saline and others.

Michigan’s job market is expected to be one of the strongest in the nation for 2016 and represents the strongest outlook reported since 2007, according to Susan Carlson, president and CEO of Manpower, Inc. of SE Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The 2015/16 Local Market Assessment for Ann Arbor from Manpower Group includes total projected growth of 9.2 percent for Washtenaw County which is higher than both the state projection of 7.7 percent and national projection of 5.2 percent for growth in that period. Carlson expects a continuing demand for entry level clerical positions, customer service, administrative support, healthcare and medical, production and skilled trade positions in 2016. The big challenge for companies will be to keep up with an increase in entry-level wages with more demand and fewer candidates available.

The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey reflects continued optimism among U.S. employers for the start of 2016. Accounting for seasonal variations, the Net Employment Outlook is +17 percent, making anticipated hiring in the first quarter of 2016 relatively stable compared to last year at this time.

“We’ve seen strong jobs growth in the U.S. throughout 2015 along with declining unemployment and increasing wages, which brings a continued optimism for the start of 2016,” stated Jonas Prising, Manpower Group CEO. “We expect these broad trends to continue going into 2016 despite ongoing challenges in certain sectors such as energy and manufacturing. As the unemployment rate comes down and the labor market continues to tighten, employers will increasingly feel the impact of rising wages and the ongoing skills mismatch.”

The unemployment rates continue to drop with the most recent rates for Ann Arbor at 2.9 percent in November and 3.4 percent in October of 2015, compared to 3.6 percent in November and 4.1 percent in October of 2014, and five percent in November and 5.6 percent in October of 2013.

Michigan was one of four states joining Florida, Hawaii and Kansas which indicated the strongest Net Employment Outlooks. Grand Rapids was one of five among the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas with the strongest job prospects.

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget projects occupational employment forecasts from 2010 to 2020 for the major markets in the state. For the Ann Arbor area which covers Livingston and Washtenaw Counties, it projects an 11.3 percent increase in employment from 238,225 employed in 2010 to 265,080 in 2020.

One of the largest increases projected for that period is 39 percent growth for personal financial advisors, followed by 38 percent increase for market research analysts and marketing specialists. It also projects increases of 36 percent for meeting, convention and event planners, 30 percent for logisticians, 25 percent for cost estimators, 24 percent for health care support, 17 percent for compliance officers, and nearly 14 percent for budget analysts, medical and health services positions.

Among the top job categories with projected employment increases include computer/ mathematical, life and social science occupations at 20 percent, construction, architecture and engineering at 13 percent, business and financial operations at 12 percent with education/ library and manufacturing/ production jobs at almost ten percent.

Four of the five fastest growing occupations are related to healthcare with increases of 14 percent for physical occupation therapy, 20 to 32 percent for physical therapy aides, and nearly 35 percent for home healthcare, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The health care and medical fields continue to anticipate needs for numerous nursing positions in 2016 as indicated by the two largest health systems in the area.

Saint Joseph Mercy Health System hired 2,100 new employees throughout its Ann Arbor and Livingston County facilities. Of those new hires last year, 27 percent were nursing professionals, according to Jim Hood, regional director of Talent Acquisition at SJMHS.

“We project a 20 percent increase in hiring for 2016 and nursing will continue to be a focus area for the recruiting team. We are always looking for experienced RNs in our oncology, intensive care, emergency and surgical units,” Hood said.

The University of Michigan Health System anticipates a continuing need for several types of positions in 2016, particularly those related to direct patient care, such as advance practice professionals (NPs and PAs for specialty venues), Registered Nurses with OR/PACU experience, nurse manager positions in OR and Ambulatory Care, experienced certified MAs, and allied health roles as pharmacy techs and surgical techs.

Firms Expected To Pay More For Top Talent

New research shows that more companies are willing to pay a premium for top talent today. More than half (54 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed for a Robert Half survey said they increased new starting salaries from what hires made in their previous job with an average increase of about 10 percent.

“Employers who want to improve their odds of securing skilled talent are offering highly attractive starting salaries right now,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “Companies are competing not just with other businesses that are hiring but also with the applicant’s current employer who may make a counter offer to retain the services of a valued employee.”

When CFOs who hired new staff in the past year were asked if they increased or decreased the starting salaries of new hires compared to what they made at their previous employer. Fifty four percent indicated they increased salaries, 36 percent remained the same, five percent decreased with another five present uncertain.

When asked how the pay increase compared to what they offered two years ago, 68 percent of CFOs said today’s salaries were at least somewhat higher.

“Professional job seekers with in-demand skills are receiving multiple job offers so employers need to put their best bid on the table quickly or they risk losing good talent,” McDonald said.

He further indicated that companies should establish benchmark salaries since ideal candidates commonly come at a premium. Consult resources such as Robert Half’s 2016 Salary Guides to sure what is offered meets or exceed industry standards.

As important as salary is, it is only part of the compensation package. Professionals increasingly value perks that support work-life balance, such as additional vacation time and flexible schedules.

Even if an employer makes a strong offer early, candidates may ask for more so McDonald said companies should be flexible in negotiations. They should know ahead of time how much they are willing to sweeten the pot to land the desired candidate.

Robert Half also recommends consulting a recruiter. Tapping the knowledge of a staffing professional who understands current hiring and salary trends can help ensure your compensation plan is competitive.

The survey was conducted for Robert Half by an independent research firm and was based on telephone interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

Read the full article at http://digitaleditions.walsworthprintgroup.com/article/Local+Job+Market+Promising+For+2016/2390245/289794/article.html.

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