Survey: Job Growth Will Increase

Growth Rate Projected To Be 2.6% In 2014

Jobs ForecastWith the U.S. economy forecast to expand at a faster rate next year, the pace of job growth could accelerate in the months ahead. Such were the findings of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s just-released quarterly survey of 42 leading economic analysts.

Overall, the economy will register a growth rate of 1.7% in 2013, a pace that will power up to 2.6% in 2014, the survey found. As for jobs, the pace of hiring will increase enough to reduce the unemployment rate from 7.3% to 7% by the end of the second quarter next year. Monthly job growth will average, the survey says, 187,000 over the next two quarters before ratcheting up to 202,100 by the final quarter of 2014. Within the ad specialty industry specifically, nearly two-thirds of Counselor’s Power 50 members say their companies will hire additional staff next year. Further, ASI’s recently released Third Quarter Sales Survey shows that distributors have a positive outlook about the market for next year. The latest Counselor Confidence Index (CCI) – a measure of industry health – rose during Q3 to a score of 111, a 1.4 point improvement compared to the second quarter.

At contract apparel decorator Stitch Designers (asi/741145), soaring sales have already helped drive a hiring surge. “Our year-to-date sales are up again – 12-15% growth is what we project for the year,” says Joe Thompson, national accounts manager/marketing director. “This has caused us to staff up our expected permanent employees. We have added customer service (doubled in the last 2 years) and production because of this."

Economists surveyed predicted that the economy will expand at an annual rate of 1.8% this quarter. While that’s down from previously forecasted growth of 2.3%, analysts anticipate that economic activity will pick up in the first-quarter, with the growth rate rising to 2.5%. Despite the predicted increase, the tally comes in below an earlier estimate of 2.7% growth for 2014’s first quarter.