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Unemployment Rate Stays at 18-Year Low: 4 Top Staffing Picks

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Unemployment rate for the month of August was 3.9%, per data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Sep 7. The current jobless rate remains in line with the figure reported in July but is down by 0.1 percentage point from June and 0.5 percentage point on a year-over-year basis.

Meanwhile, U6, the most rigorous metric of unemployment in the United States, declined to 7.4%, its lowest since April 2001. This measure takes into account individuals who are not searching for employment or those who are working part-time since they cannot secure full-time employment.

Job Additions Remain Sturdy

The U.S. economy added 201,000 jobs in August, which marked the 95th straight month of employment gain. The figure came in higher than the average monthly gain of 196,000 jobs in the past year. At the forefront of job gains last month was professional and business services, which added 53,000 jobs in a month and 519,000 jobs in the last 12 months.

Other significant gainers include healthcare, wholesale trade, construction, transportation and warehousing, and mining. The healthcare sector’s employment rose 33,000 last month and by 301,000 jobs over the last 12 months. Wholesale trade added 22,000 in August and 99,000 in a year. Construction sector added 23,000 jobs in a month and has increased 297,000 in the last 12 months. Employment in transportation and warehousing increased 20,000 in a month and 173,000 in a year. Mining added 6,000 jobs in August and 56,000 in a year.

Although manufacturing shed 3,000 jobs, representing the first monthly decline since July 2017, it has added 254,000 jobs in the last 12 months.

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. Average hourly earnings in August came in at $27.16, up 10 cents sequentially and 77 cents on a year-over-year basis. Average weekly earnings accelerated 0.4% to $937.02, leading to a year-over-year increase of 3.2%. Average workweek remained flat at 34.5 hours.

4 Staffing Stocks to Enhance Your Portfolio

Per a report by statista, U.S. staffing industry has shown steady improvement over the past few years. From $119.4 billion revenues in 2013, the industry’s top line grew to $142.8 billion in 2017. For 2018, revenues are anticipated to be around $148.3 billion and are expected to exceed $150 billion in 2019. 

Trump administration’s business-friendly approach, including tax cuts and higher government spending, are acting as major growth catalysts for the overall economy, which, in turn, inspires optimism about growth of the staffing industry. Consequently, it makes sense to invest in good staffing stocks to enrich one’s portfolio.

With the help of the Zacks Stock Screener, we have zeroed in on four promising staffing stocks, which have a favorable Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), a VGM Score of A or B and  a solid expected earnings growth rate for the current year. These stocks also witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions in the last 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Our research shows that stocks with a VGM Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 offer the best investment opportunities for investors. Thus, the selected companies appear to be compelling investment propositions at the moment.

Let’s have a look at the top four gainers:

Based in Florida, Kforce, Inc. (KFRC - Free Report) is a provider of professional staffing services. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a VGM Score of A.  Its shares have soared 59.2% year to date.

 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 43.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current year EPS improved 2.3% in the last 60 days. 

Based in California, Robert Half International Inc. (RHI - Free Report) provides staffing and risk consulting services. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a VGM Score of A. Its shares have rallied 30.1% year to date.

 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 32.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current year EPS improved 2.4% in the last 60 days.

Based in California, Korn/Ferry International (KFY - Free Report) provides talent management solutions worldwide. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a VGM Score of A. Its shares have gained 17.9% year to date.

 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 21.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current year EPS improved 2.5% in the last 60 days.

Based in Texas, BG Staffing, Inc. (BGSF - Free Report) is a provider of temporary staffing services. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a VGM Score of B. Its shares have climbed 64.6% year to date.

 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 61.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current year EPS improved 19.9% in the last 60 days.

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