The Daily Rundown

SBDR: January Job Numbers, Skills Over Degrees, Census Seeks SBOs

Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.

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TGIF. We’re one week in to February and the news from the January job report is looking good. Hiring managers admit that degrees aren’t the most important factor in their decision-making process and the US Census Bureau wants to share their findings with SBOs.

January Jobs Report shows uptick in US hiring 

The US Department of Labor announced that the economy added 225,000 jobs last month, well above the number that economists were expecting. An usually warm month led to an uptick in the construction industry, adding 44,000 jobs, while manufacturing continues to be the weakest sector at only 8.4% of payrolls. 

The Number: 63.4%. The percentage of adults in the labor force increased to 63.4% last month, the highest number since 2013. 

The Quote: “I think there’s still more room for the growth.”

Skills vs. Degrees…Who wins?

If your daughter is threatening to drop out of Stanford to become an instagram influencer, don’t show her this story. According to a new Chamber of Commerce Foundation report, hiring managers say that they rank actual skills over degrees when it comes to making hiring decisions. The lack of skilled candidates and the enduring labor shortage has shifted hiring managers priorities as well, with a renewed focus on retaining top talent. 

The Number: 18%. When it comes to candidates for jobs in the STEM fields, employers say that skills and experience matter more than degrees–and only 18% of survey respondents said they give degrees more weight when making a decision on who to hire. 

The Quote: “As a nation, we need to move toward a skills-based approach for educating and hiring where the skills taught in the classroom directly align to the skills required for a career.”

Census Bureau makes SBOs an offer they shouldn’t refuse

Politics aside, the US Census provides important information for decision makers at all levels–and the US Census Bureau wants small business owners to get in on the action. Currently, the Census Bureau is inviting SBOs to call, write or visit 2020census.gov to get important data to help make future business decisions.  

The Number: 2020. The 2020 Census asks just 7 questions. 

The Quote: “The 2020 Census will provide data to small businesses that is essential to help them grow and succeed. This data can help businesses better understand how to serve their customers, where to open new locations, and where to find a skilled workforce.”

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