February FDA NDA/BLA Approvals

2/01 Cosopt PF, Merck Sharp Dohme; 2/03 Giazo, Salix Pharmaceuticals ; 2/07 Mitosol, Mobius Therapeutics;
2/07 Sklice, Sanofi-Topaz; 2/10 Zioptan, Merck Sharp Dohme

As Job Market Improves, Candidates Notice

In the depths of the recession, as unemployment rates were rising and everyone knew someone who was being affected, “It’s better than no job at all” became a common refrain across the factory floors and offices of America. While it was a poor retention strategy, it was a worse recruiting strategy and now, with the economy on the mend, candidates are no longer falling for it. “Candidates now know—as much, if not more than hiring managers—that the market is improving,” says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. “Top candidates are getting multiple offers, and those who don’t like what they hear from one employer are more frequently willing to wait for another suitor.” Employment growth was below expectations in March, with just 120,000 positions added compared to more than 200,000 in some projections. Though, that had followed four months in which more than a million positions were added collectively. The rate of growth is expected to remain decidedly slower for the remainder of the year. However, short of the U.S. economy slipping back into to a major recession—something almost no economist is projecting—the labor market is going to remain competitive. “It’s dangerous to underestimate the competitiveness of the labor market. Companies are pursuing plans, bidding on business, and making projections, only to later realize that it is taking many months for their internal HR departments to fill the roles and often at higher starting salaries than expected,” notes Romaine. The job openings rate has risen from 1.8 percent in the worst of the recession to 2.5 percent in February. Over the same time, the hires rate has risen from 2.8 to 3.3 percent, while the separations rate has fallen from 3.5 to 3.1 percent. While the positions available and being filled span almost all sectors of the economy, the bulk of employees being hired share one thing in common: four-year college degrees. Since March of 2011, total employment by those with a Bachelor’s degree or higher has risen by more than 1 million positions. Total employment by those with less than a Bachelor’s degree, though, has actually shrunk by 218,000 positions. The unemployment rate for those in management, professional, and related occupations has fallen to 4.2 percent, and when you look at more technical fields, the rate begins to approach full employment. “Candidates have realized how rare a commodity they are, but when an employer isn’t making them feel courted, someone else will,” says Romaine. “It’s not that top performers are demanding the red carpet treatment during the hiring process, but when they have multiple offers, the style of the process can be as important as the substance of the opportunity.”

Analysis of the BLS Employment Situation Report

MRINetwork Analysis of the BLS Employment Situation Report
April 2012 Employment

The full report can be seen here:

According to the Labor Department, total employment grew in the United States by 115,000 positions in April, the 19th straight month of job growth. The unemployment rate dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 percent and from 10 percent two years earlier. Revisions to March's numbers showed 153,000 jobs added, up from the 120,000 jobs previously reported. The professional, managerial, and related occupations unemployment rate, which reached as high as 5.5 percent in 2009, fell to 3.7 percent in April.

Retail trade added 29,000 positions, countering a loss of 32,000 positions reported last month. However, there has been no significant trend in that sector, which has only added 19,000 jobs in total since December. Professional and business services added 62,000 jobs in April, a third of which came from temporary staffing firms. Architectural and engineering services and computer design services both added a little more than 7,400 positions. The only significant decline in the report was a loss of 16,600 positions in transportation and warehousing, 11,000 of which were from transit and ground passenger transportation.

The unemployment rate for those with a bachelor's degree and higher fell from 4.2 to 4 percent in April, bringing that sector to less than half the average unemployment rate of all other levels of education, 9.1 percent. April, though, saw improving numbers for those with lower levels of academic achievement. The unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma, but no college, has fallen from 9.7 to 7.9 percent from a year earlier, almost equal to the 7.6 percent rate of unemployment among those with either some college or an associate's degree.

April's employment report failed to meet the expectations of economists, who were expecting more than 160,000 jobs to be added. Yet, the report is more positive than some predicted following the ADP report released in advance of the Labor Department's numbers, which showed a strong deceleration from March's employment growth.