For college graduates seeking full-time work in the U.S., sales positions are by far the largest category of permanent entry-level jobs available. According to the first quarterly Pontoon Employment Index, requests for sales associates in this demographic comprise the top opening posted by employers in the past three months in the U.S.
The Pontoon Employment Index is a measurement of employer demand, aggregating information on permanent and temporary job requisitions by region, category, experience level, compensation and geographical labor market in the U.S. A division of the Adecco Group, Pontoon is a leading global HR outsourcing company, managing programs in nearly 100 countries, sourcing more than 1.3 million candidates and hiring more than 65,000 permanent roles annually.
After sales positions, U.S. full-time jobs with the most availability for entry-level candidates (up to two years of experience) are registered nurses, customer service representatives and bank tellers. For job seekers in the mid-level range (three to seven years of experience), demand is running high for project managers, administrative assistants, store managers and business analysts. For those in the senior range (eight or more years experience), companies are seeking the most candidates for positions including software engineers, senior accountants and production supervisors.
“The demand reflected in this index indicates a growing economy,” said Mike Wachholz, President of Pontoon. “Based on previous cycles both domestic and international, solid demand for sales professionals balanced with increased openings for project management points to a healthy job market.”
The U.S. Jobs Report for June indicated an increase in temporary help services with 15,000 jobs added in the past month. According to Wachholz, these numbers only tell a part of the story.
“The headline numbers for temporary staffing positions are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how the contingent labor market is evolving,” said Wachholz. “Temporary, contract and other flexible workforce solutions are getting more specialized and paying higher wages. In fact, many professionals are diversifying their income by working more than one temporary position – adding stability to their earning power by leveraging higher demand for contingent labor.”
Labor Markets by Region
The Pontoon Employment Index also reveals top labor markets by region in the U.S. for full-time positions, broken down by experience level. For entry-level positions, the most demand can be found in the New York/New Jersey region, followed by Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C. New York maintains a dominant position for mid-level candidates with at least three years of experience, while availability is more evenly distributed for candidates with eight or more years of experience, spreading out to cities including San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago.
Contingent Labor Wages and Skills
The Pontoon Employment Index details additional information about the U.S. contingent workforce, which includes temporary, contract and Statement of Work (SOW) workers. Based on hourly rates, Pontoon’s highest-paid position available for contingent workers is Project Manager, followed by Business Analyst, Application Developer and Software Design Engineer.
“The high demand for skilled Project Managers in the contingent labor category underscores the value companies are placing today on project management and execution. The Great Recession has left no room for error in terms of planning, logistics and delivering on promises. An experienced Project Manager can have a fundamental effect on a larger organization. Also, the fact that experienced Project Managers are choosing the contingent classification reveals much about the evolution of the Gig Economy. Experienced professionals are now recognizing that the engagement model for employment has reached a critical inflection point – and that temporary “gigs” are now an accepted norm for many with critical skill sets. We’re even seeing an uptick in demand for highly-specialized contingency work such as nuclear engineers,” said Wachholz.
The Index also measures demand for specific contingent labor titles. Most requested positions by employers include Marketing Analyst, Customer Service Representative, Warehouse Worker, Assembler and Laborer.
Pontoon is a Florida-based outsourcer of human resources and a division of Adecco Group.