Two Key Reasons to Follow the BLS Monthly Situation

August 16, 2010 in Food & Beverage Industry Information, HR Best Practices


Ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information coming at you each day?

With the barrage of data pouring in from newspapers, TV, the internet, social media, RSS feeds, e-mails, voicemails and good-old-fashioned face-to-face meetings, finding the critical information you need amidst all the “white noise” can be exhausting.

Take the BLS Monthly Employment Situation, for example.  It contains monthly employment estimates for over 1,000 industries from its Current Employment Statistics program.  However, the changes in these overall employment levels tend to be delayed in the monthly labor reports – making it a lagging indicator of economic trends.

Sound like a lot of white noise?

Not entirely.  Temporary help employment numbers, which are part of the monthly BLS report, are generally considered to be a coincident indicator for overall employment.  This means that changes in temporary help employment tend to forecast subsequent changes in overall employment and coincide with changes in economic activity.  Why?  Many companies, including food and beverage industry firms, use temporary staffing as a means to quickly adjust their operations to meet fluctuating demands for their products and services.

Here’s how to stay on top of employment trends with temporary help data in the BLS report:

  1. Go to the BLS Current Employment Statistics home page.
  2. Then select either the HTML or PDF version of the “Employment Situation Summary.”
  3. Data for temporary help services can be found in Table B-1 (page 30 of the report’s PDF version).

The BLS CES can also help you key in on highly specific industry employment numbers.  Custom data views are available for various food and beverage industry segments (food packaging, food and beverage distribution, food and beverage manufacturing, food and beverage processing, etc.) based on NAICS codes:

  1. Create Customized Tables.
  2. Select the data you wish to view, the industry super sector, and the industry.  For quick access to food and beverage industry NAICS codes, visit
  3. Select either “Seasonally Adjusted” or “Not Seasonally Adjusted” or both (Seasonally adjusted data will remove any changes in employment related to normal seasonal hiring or layoffs, thereby recording current trends or irregularities.).
  4. Select “Get Data” to retrieve the selected information.

Kinsa Group is poised to help you manage your specialized food and beverage recruitment needs as the economy slowly improves.  Serving companies throughout the United States for over 25 years, we can deliver the highly qualified professional and senior-to-executive level management candidates through our unique food & beverage recruiting process.