For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL –August 27, 2018 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. (HSII - Free Report) , BG Staffing, Inc. (BGSF - Free Report) , Insperity Inc. (NSP - Free Report) and Kforce, Inc. (KFRC - Free Report) .
Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:
Jobless Claims Down 4th Straight Week: 4 Staffing Picks
Americans filing for unemployment benefits declined for the fourth week at a stretch in mid-August. The latest U.S. Labor Department data revealed that seasonally adjusted jobless claims for the week ended Aug 18 declined 2,000 from the prior week’s unrevised level to 212,000.
The four-week moving average that evens out the sharp fluctuations in weekly reports declined 1,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average to 215,500. The average level of jobless claims continues to hover just above the 200,000 mark, which was last seen in the early 1970s.
Moreover, the U.S. labor market has been witnessing record low unemployment levels and strong job additions since the beginning of the year. Given these promising developments in the economy, the staffing industry stands to gain.
Labor Market Still Tight
While the economy continues to create new jobs despite the 18-year low jobless rate, a tight labor market is compelling companies to pay higher to attract and retain employees.Non-farm payrolls climbed 157,000 in July. This means the economy has now added jobs for 94 months in a row.Average hourly earnings in July increased 7 cents to $28.92, registering 2.7% year-over-year increase, same as in June.
Job Openings at an All-Time High
In June, job openings stayed at 6.7 million, the highest level since the Department of Labor started recording data on this metric. The number of unemployed people per vacancy increased to 1.0 from 0.9 in May, meaning that companies are keen on hiring workers even as the economy enjoys a nine-year long growth phase after the Great Recession.
Jobs Growth to Continue
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index was at 109.89 in July, up from the June reading of 108.72 and registering year-over- year growth of 5.4%.
Gad Levanon, chief economist, at the Conference Board said that “the growth in the Employment Trends Index remains strong, supported by positive contributions from all of its components.” He added that “we expect economic activity to remain strong in the coming months, and the rapid expansion of employment should continue despite the very tight labor market.”
Economic Growth Upbeat
U.S. GDP grew 4.1% in the second quarter, almost doubling from 2.2% increase witnessed in the first quarter and recording the strongest performance in four years. Strong consumer and business spending as well as a surge in exports ahead of retaliatory tariffs from China drove economic growth.The Fed forecasts 2018 GDP to rise 2.8% with 2.4% and 2% growth forecast for 2019 and 2020, respectively.
4 Solid Picks
Decline in weekly jobless claims and strong non-farm payrolls data for July indicate that employers will continue to recruit more people, especially as the economy remains remarkably strong. Consequently, it makes sense to invest in good staffing stocks to enrich one’s portfolio.
We have narrowed down our search to the following stocks, each of which has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and a solid expected earnings growth rate for the year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. is a provider of executive search, culture shaping, and leadership consulting services. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. The company expects earnings growth of 84.4% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year improved 11% in the last 60 days.
BG Staffing, Inc. is a national provider of temporary staffing services across a diverse set of industries. It carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 61.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year improved 19.9% in the last 60 days.
Insperity Inc.(NSP), engaged in providing an array of human resources and business solutions, also carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company expects earnings growth of 43.7% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year improved 3.2% in the last 60 days.
Kforce, Inc.(KFRC) is a professional staffing services firm. It carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company has expected earnings growth rate of 43.3% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year improved 2.3% in the last 60 days.
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