Economist and Cornerstone Staffing CEO, Steven Drexel, Offers Employment Insights Ahead of Friday's Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Report

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Drexel's jobs report commentary also presents macroeconomic perspectives based upon President-elect Trump’s policy agenda

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Steven Drexel, President and CEO of Cornerstone Staffing Solutions

I expect Friday’s Report covering November’s activity to indicate that the labor market expanded by 195,000 jobs and the unemployment rate will hold steady at 4.9 percent. Labor markets are still healthy and growing - but at a slower rate.

With the release of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics November 2016 employment data on Friday December 2, Steve Drexel, Cornerstone Staffing Solutions president and chief executive officer, is ready and available for interviews or commentary on the economic and employment impact as well as some post-election macroeconomic perspectives.

“I expect Friday’s Employment Situation Report covering November’s activity to indicate that the labor market expanded by 195,000 jobs and the unemployment rate will hold steady at 4.9 percent,” comments Drexel. “The labor markets are still healthy and growing -- but at a slower rate than we saw during 2015 and below the expectations held two or three quarters ago.”

Drexel presents these positive employment-related economic indicators during November that support his conclusions:

  • Initial Jobless Claims as well as Continuing Jobless Claims decreased during November, particularly during the reference weeks from which the Bureau of Labor Statistics draws its survey. These trends are very current and reassuring.
  • The Conference Board’s November differential of “jobs plentiful” versus “jobs hard to get” expanded to a net 5.2 during November, up from 3.6 during October.
  • The Philadelphia, Richmond, Kansas City and Texas Federal Reserve Survey sub-indexes for Employment and the Average Workweek all were stronger during November as compared to October. Only the New York Empire State Manufacturing Employment Index deteriorated during November.
  • The American Staffing Association’s Monthly Index was 1.0 percent improved during November compared to October suggesting that job growth is a bit better than recent trends.
  • The private employment surveys that I participate in continued to suggest growth during November at an accelerated pace.

On the flip side, Drexel shares these less than positive employment indicators:

  • The Wall Street Journal’s November Economic Survey of 72 leading economists forecast of employment for 2016 was 2.8 percent lower than the October forecast reflecting lower expectations.
  • Political uncertainty was higher during November given that it was an election month during a cycle in which the sitting second-term President was prevented from seeking re-election.

Drexel also offers expectations for 2017 and beyond. “Uncertainty is the key word with respect to the general economy going forward given the surprising election outcome and the shifting power structure in Washington all which come on top of a long running but slow growth expansion. Regardless, employment growth remains a critical foundation supporting the continuing expansion. Wage growth is gradually accelerating which along with increasing employment is central to lift retail sales - another necessary driver of continued growth. The average workweek has room to improve as does the labor force participation rate suggesting that there is still capacity for growth. And yet, there is a somewhat less momentum going forward as the expansion is aging. Expect jobs growth during 2017 to average about 180,000 positions per month while the unemployment rate trends down slightly to 4.7 percent by year end.”

From an optimistic macroeconomic perspective, President-elect Trump’s policy agenda suggests a pro-business preference featuring fewer regulations, reduced taxes and robust infrastructure spending. “Particularly during 2017 and 2018, these initiatives could spur faster growth,” Drexel believes. “Conversely, from a risk management perspective, reduced taxes and robust infrastructure spending carries the threat of fiscal deficit increases which could suppress growth during 2019 and beyond. Objectively, it is early, but ultimately, we will need more details and timeframes in order to better forecast the economy during coming years.”

“Employment growth slowed during recent months, but remains positive and is expected to continue to grow albeit at slightly slower rates,” Drexel explains. “The risk of recession remains low and the expansion should continue through 2018. The cumulative impact of over six years of employment growth results in more severe labor shortages and accelerating wage pressure.”

More About Steven R. Drexel

Steven R. Drexel is an economist, a member of the Business Research Advisory Council of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and past chairman of the American Staffing Association’s Industry Information Committee. He has been interviewed for The Washington Post, Bloomberg Business News, CNN Radio, the Associated Press, The Houston Chronicle and The Houston Business Journal -- among many other national, regional and local media organizations.

Drexel’s biographical profile is available at Please contact Brian Hatfield for any information or insights related to a wide range of employment and economic topics Drexel is prepared to comment on.

More About Cornerstone Staffing

Cornerstone Staffing Solutions is among the top 134 largest staffing firms in America, as ranked by Staffing Industry Analysts and received Inavero’s 2016 Best of Staffing® Client Award. Since 2003, Cornerstone has grown from a neighborhood staffing provider to a $100 million national firm that employs thousands of people at hundreds of companies from coast to coast. Providing candidate searching and job placement for administrative, industrial, technical, sales and transportation positions, Cornerstone truly is where talent and jobs meet.

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Brian Hatfield

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