Colder weather conditions and shutdown measures imposed by the government to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus for quite some time now have taken a toll on the labor market. The health crisis crippled the economy, squeezed corporate profits and resulted in widespread joblessness.
However, things seem to have picked up of late, with the month of February registering the best monthly job additions since last fall. It’s been almost a year into the coronavirus pandemic and the labor market is finally showing signs of recovery.
In the United States, 379,000 jobs were added last month, per the Labor Department, as quoted in a
Wall Street Journal article. It followed an upwardly revised 166,000 job gains in January. Notably, per a Bloomberg survey, job additions exceeded economists’ expectations of 200,000 job gains, as quoted from a Bloomberg article.
In February, as quoted from the Wall Street Journal article, the unemployment rate declined to 6.2% as hiring started to pick up, thanks to the falling number of coronavirus cases and the relaxingof business restrictions. By the way, the jobless rate has fallen noticeably from the almost 15% peak it touched in April 2020 when the coronavirus outbreak was wreaking havoc.
Nonetheless, it was the battered leisure and hospitality industry, including restaurants, which saw the highest number of job gains last month. Employers from the industry added 355,000 jobs, the Wall Street Journal further stated. Also, there were job additions in the manufacturing, services as well as health care segments.
But it’s just not about February job gains. In fact, job additions are widely expected to pick up from here. This is because the economy has started to pick up steam, with government aid just round the corner. Thus, things certainly look much brighter for the labor market in the days to come.
Talking about the economy, household income has improved in recent times, while consumer outlays have picked up, a tell-tale sign of economic momentum. Meanwhile, home sales are trending higher and demand for manufacturing goods is also increasing.
Similarly, on the financial aid front, the Senate recently passed the Biden administration’s $1.9-trillion coronavirus relief package, which should get signed into law sooner than later. The massive stimulus plan will provide $1,400 checks to Americans and almost $350 billion in aid to local government and state authorities, which will without a doubt pep up the economy.
Therefore, with the labor market adding jobs at a strong clip in February and is expected to strengthen further along with the economy, staffing companies are poised to gain. After all, staffing players are direct beneficiaries of job gains. Thus, we have highlighted five staffing stocks that are worth a buy now.
Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. ( CCRN Quick Quote CCRN - Free Report) is a national leader in providing innovative healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved 77.4% north over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is nearly 19.6%. Heidrick& Struggles International, Inc. ( HSII Quick Quote HSII - Free Report) serves the executive talent and leadership needs of the world's top organizations as the premier provider of leadership consulting, culture shaping and senior-level executive search services. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has risen 18.9% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 24.3%. Kforce, Inc. ( KFRC Quick Quote KFRC - Free Report) is a full-service, web-based specialty staffing firm providing flexible and permanent staffing solutions for organizations. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has climbed 8.8% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 8.4%. KornFerry International ( KFY Quick Quote KFY - Free Report) is the world’s leading and largest executive recruitment firm with a broadest global presence in the executive recruitment industry. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up 71.6% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter is 63.3%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. TrueBlue, Inc. ( TBI Quick Quote TBI - Free Report) is a leading provider of specialized workforce solutions, helping clients improve growth and performance by providing staffing, workforce management, and recruitment process outsourcing solutions. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has risen 5.8% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 153.5%. Zacks Names “Single Best Pick to Double”
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