March 2019 Jobs Report and Industry Update

 


Economics & Job Creation:

“THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — February 2019”

Life Sciences:
“Exercise might improve health by increasing gut bacterial diversity”

Technology:
“Scientists use smartphones to improve dismal rating of nation’s civil infrastructure”

Healthcare:
“New target for chronic pain relief confirmed by scientists”

The Industrials:
“Pitch perfect: Strategic language use maximizes the chances of influencing an audience”

Human Capital Solutions, Inc. (HCS) www.humancs.com is a Retained Executive Search and Professional Recruiting firm focused in Healthcare, Life Sciences, the Industrials, and Technology. Visit our LinkedIn Company Page to learn more about HCS and receive weekly updates.

HCS has created the Prosperity at Work proposition which focuses on creating prosperous relationships between companies and their employees (associates). HCS assists companies in improving bottom line profitability by efficiently planning, organizing and implementing optimized, practical and value-added business solutions.

 

Back to Top


 

 

Economics & Job Creation:

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — FEBRUARY 2019

Total nonfarm payroll employment changed little in February (+20,000), and the
unemployment rate declined to 3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Employment in professional and business services, health care, and
wholesale trade continued to trend up, while construction employment decreased.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.8 percent in February,
and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 300,000 to 6.2 million. Among the
unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs
(including people on temporary layoff) declined by 225,000. This decline reflects,
in part, the return of federal workers who were furloughed in January due to the
partial government shutdown. (See tables A-1 and A-11.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent),
Whites (3.3 percent), and Hispanics (4.3 percent) decreased in February. The jobless
rates for adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (13.4 percent), Blacks (7.0 percent),
and Asians (3.1 percent) showed little or no change over the month. (See tables A-1,
A-2, and A-3.)

In February, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more)
was essentially unchanged at 1.3 million and accounted for 20.4 percent of the
unemployed. (See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate held at 63.2 percent in February and has changed
little over the year. The employment-population ratio, at 60.7 percent, was unchanged
over the month but was up by 0.3 percentage point over the year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers) decreased by 837,000 to 4.3 million in February.
This decline follows a sharp increase in January that may have resulted from the
partial federal government shutdown. (Persons employed part time for economic reasons
would have preferred full-time employment but were working part time because their
hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.) (See table A-8.)

In February, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, a
decrease of 178,000 from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These
individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had
looked for a job sometime in the last 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed
because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See
table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 428,000 discouraged workers in February,
little changed from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged
workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are
available for them. The remaining 1.0 million persons marginally attached to the
labor force in February had not searched for work for reasons such as school
attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment was little changed in February (+20,000), after
increasing by 311,000 in January. In 2018, job growth averaged 223,000 per month.
In February, employment continued to trend up in professional and business services,
health care, and wholesale trade, while construction employment declined. (See table
B-1.)

In February, employment in professional and business services continued to trend
up (+42,000), in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months.

Health care added 21,000 jobs in February and 361,000 jobs over the year. Employment
in ambulatory health care services edged up over the month (+16,000).

In February, wholesale trade employment continued its upward trend (+11,000). The
industry has added 95,000 jobs over the year, largely among durable goods wholesalers.

Employment in construction declined by 31,000 in February, partially offsetting an
increase of 53,000 in January. In February, employment declined in heavy and civil
engineering construction (-13,000). Over the year, construction has added 223,000 jobs.

Manufacturing employment changed little in February (+4,000), after increasing by an
average of 22,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

In February, employment in leisure and hospitality was unchanged, after posting job
gains of 89,000 and 65,000 in January and December, respectively. Over the year,
leisure and hospitality has added 410,000 jobs.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, retail trade, transportation
and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little
or no change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1
hour to 34.4 hours in February. In manufacturing, the average workweek declined 0.1
hour to 40.7 hours, while overtime was unchanged at 3.5 hours. The average workweek
for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls fell by 0.2
hour to 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 11 cents to $27.66, following a 2-cent gain in January. Over the year, average
hourly earnings have increased by 3.4 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector
production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 8 cents to $23.18 in February.
(See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised up from +222,000
to +227,000, and the change for January was revised up from +304,000 to +311,000. With
these revisions, employment gains in December and January combined were 12,000 more than
previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from
businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the
recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 186,000
per month over the last 3 months.

 

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

 

Back to Top

Life Sciences:

“Exercise might improve health by increasing gut bacterial diversity”

Bacteria, often synonymous with infection and disease, may have an unfair reputation. Research indicates there are as many, if not more, bacterial cells in our bodies as human cells, meaning they play an important role in our physiology (1). In fact, a growing body of evidence shows that greater gut microbiota diversity (the number of different species and evenness of these species’ populations) is related to better health. Now, research published in Experimental Physiology has suggested that the efficiency with which we transport oxygen to our tissues (cardiorespiratory fitness) is a far greater predictor of gut microbiota diversity than either body fat percentage or general physical activity.

The findings suggest that exercise at a sufficiently high intensity, to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, may support health through favourable alterations in the presence, activity and clustering of gut microbes. Such exercise-induced improvements, in cardiorespiratory fitness, often correspond with central (e.g. increased volume of blood pumped by the heart each beat) and peripheral adaptations (e.g. increased number of capillaries to transport oxygen from blood to muscles).

Before now, it was understood that higher cardiorespiratory fitness tended to coincide with greater gut microbiota diversity, but it was unclear whether this relationship was attributable to body fat percentage or physical activities of daily-living. Since cancer treatment is known to trigger physiological changes detrimental to cardio-metabolic health, including increased body fat percentage and declining cardiorespiratory fitness, this research was performed on cancer survivors. In total, 37 non-metastatic breast cancer survivors, who had completed treatment at least one year prior, were enrolled.

Participants performed a graded exercise test to estimate peak cardiorespiratory fitness, assessments of total energy expenditure and examination of gut microbiota from faecal swipes. The results showed that participants with the higher cardiorespiratory fitness had significantly greater gut microbiota diversity compared to less fit participants. Further statistical analyses highlighted that cardiorespiratory fitness accounted for roughly a quarter of the variance in species richness and evenness, independent of body fat percent.

These data offer intriguing insight into the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and gut microbiota diversity. However, given the cross-sectional nature of the study design, the research team’s findings are correlative in nature. The participant sample was restricted to women with a history of breast cancer, who tended to exhibit low cardiorespiratory fitness and other health problems, meaning generalisation to other groups should be made with caution.

Stephen Carter, lead author of the paper from Indiana University, is enthusiastic about continuing his team’s research:

“Our group is actively pursuing an interventional study to determine how variation in exercise intensity can influence gut microbiota diversity under controlled-feeding conditions to uncover how exercise may affect functional outcomes of gut microbiota, as well as, studying how exercise prescription may be optimized to enhance health outcomes among clinical populations.”

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190215082429.htm

 

Back to Top

Technology:

“Scientists use smartphones to improve dismal rating of nation’s civil infrastructure”

In the United States, aging civil infrastructure systems are deteriorating on a massive scale. A recent report by the American Society of Civil Engineers gave these systems a D+ rating nationwide on an A — F scale. Now scientists at the University of Missouri have developed smartphone-based technologies that can monitor civil infrastructure systems such as crumbing roads and aging bridges.

Based on estimations, researchers say the failure of civil infrastructure systems, such as roads and bridges, could cause a 1 percent reduction in the U.S. GDP. In 2017, that number was $200 billion. The challenges of the aging civil infrastructure systems suggest the need for developing innovative monitoring solutions. By using various sensors on smartphones such as a gyroscope, an accelerometer to measure speed, and camera, or tiny external sensors such as an infrared sensor, scientists can determine the specific makeup and deterioration of a road’s surface in real-time. However, scientists won’t be collecting all of the data. Once the sensor is plugged into a smartphone, any person will be able to effortlessly transmit the data wirelessly to a database while riding on a road. Researchers hope the large amount of data collected by crowdsourcing this technology will allow for better informed decisions about the health of roads and bridges.

“Many of the existing methods to monitor our civil infrastructure systems have technical issues and are not user-centered,” said Amir Alavi, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering in the MU College of Engineering, with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering. “People are looking for smart, cost effective, scalable and user-centered approaches. With current advances in technology, people can help monitor or detect problems using their own devices, and smartphone technology allows us to do that with civil infrastructure.”

Alavi partnered with Bill Buttlar, the Glen Barton Chair of Flexible Pavement Technology, to develop this innovative solution to monitor roads and bridges.

“Assessing roads, bridges and airfields with affordable sensors, such as those found in smartphones, really works,” Buttlar said. “With a smartphone, we can stitch together many inexpensive measurements to accurately assess things like the roughness or deterioration of a road surface. In a recent project sponsored by the Missouri Department of Transportation, we also showed that it can accurately assess the condition of airport runways and taxiways.”

The study, “An overview of smartphone technology for citizen-centered, real-time and scalable civil infrastructure monitoring,” was published in Future Generation Computer Systems. Funding for this study was provided by the Missouri Department of Transportation. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190211163956.htm

 

Back to Top

Healthcare:

“New target for chronic pain relief confirmed by scientists”

A research group at Hiroshima University observed a potential new target for chronic pain treatment. Further research using this receptor could lead to new, more effective drugs to use in pain-relieving treatment for chronic pain.

Conditions that cause chronic pain can be difficult to manage. These include sciatica, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Chronic pain mechanisms are complicated, which is one of the reasons why pain management is so difficult, explains Professor Norimitsu Morioka of the Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Biomedical & Health Sciences, Hiroshima University. This difficulty decreases the quality of life of patients that, in many cases, can suffer from constant pain with little to no relief. General-purpose pain-relieving medication is often ineffective. Even morphine, possibly the best painkiller according to Assistant Professor Yoki Nakamura, also of the Department of Pharmacology, can fail to inhibit pain in cancer patients.

“Chronic pain is increasing worldwide […] associated with increasing population,” warns Morioka. The increasing number of sufferers of chronic pain means the establishment of new therapeutics is urgent, hence why the results of these types of studies can have important consequences on healthcare for these patients.

Previous research had shown that activating a type of cell receptor (REV-ERBs) that sends chemical signals inside the cell to block the production of certain genes regulates pain-causing and inflammatory molecules inside the body. Such research had shown that a molecule used to ‘turn on’ the REV-ERBs had decreased the production of inflammatory molecules in immune cells but

“Nobody checked the effect of REV-ERBs agonist [stimulator] on nociceptive behaviors [pain reactions] or chronic pain so first we checked the effect of REV-ERBs agonist on chronic pain,” explains Nakamura.

Until now, research has also only looked into one type of pain model at a time. Morioka elaborates that

“I think it is not enough to reduce by one target […] I think it is important to cover a lot of molecules mediating chronic pain,” and REV-ERBs seems to be a fitting target “So it is very exciting.”

The research group applied this knowledge to determine if activating the nuclear receptor REV-ERBs in specialized spinal cord cells (astrocytes) results in pain relief in mice. The team treated mice with differing levels of pain sensitivity with molecules that turned on REV-ERBs. The molecules studied can be easily found in today’s pain-relieving drugs according to the team. To test whether there was a notable effect on pain; mice were touched with a filament on their hind paw. Pain was recorded when mice raised their paw away from the filament. Light touches made mice with chronic pain react whereas ‘normal’ mice only moved when the force was increased. Mice with chronic pain when treated with a REV-ERBs stimulator did not react to the lighter touches (depending on the type of chronic pain they had). Through these observations, the research group concluded they did not feel as much pain as the untreated mice with the same type of chronic pain.

Based on these results, the researchers believe that this new target for pain relief could benefit many types of chronic pain sufferers. They plan to perform further research and drug screening experiments to develop new drugs for various types of chronic pain relief.

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190307103147.htm

 

Back to Top

The Industrials:

“Pitch perfect: Strategic language use maximizes the chances of influencing an audience”

For even the most stoic entrepreneur, facing a panel of potential investors can be like walking onto the set of ‘Dragon’s Den’.

But a new study, co-authored by Cass Business School academic Dr Ruben van Werven, suggests there are ways to connect with even the most imposing investors.

The study analysed the language used by entrepreneurs at an Amsterdam-based business incubator and has determined four interconnected language strategies found in the most influential pitches.

1) Let the audience complete the picture of the future

The study found that entrepreneurs who successfully influenced their audience often implied a point without actually making it when talking about the future; they encouraged their audience to fill in the blanks.

“The audience becomes engaged, they start becoming a part of the argument, they actually even complete it, so they’re more likely to be convinced by it,” Dr van Werven said.

“Entrepreneurs would say ‘In my market, globally, 90-billion dollars is earned every single year’ and that’s all they said.

“In itself that doesn’t mean anything and has no implications for the success of their business, but what they’re hoping is that investors would think ‘Wow, that’s a big number. If this company is going to do well they might become very profitable’.”

2) Present the imagined future as a reality

The study found entrepreneurs whose pitches are well received by investors most often present their idea as if it already exists, even when the venture is only in the idea phase.

The researchers’ findings suggest that by presenting an idea or venture in the present tense entrepreneurs take away its sense of novelty and remove the audience’s impression that it is yet to exist.

“In our paper we call it a logical time gap, which basically refers to the idea that if someone pitches an idea to you and you start thinking about how it plays out in the future, then these things don’t match because you don’t know what the future looks like,” Dr van Werven said.

“But if you talk about the future in terms of the present, both the evidence and the claim are in the same time and space.

“This can make the audience feel more secure, it helps them imagine that the idea being pitched is real.”

Dr van Werven said these first two strategies are important when pitching an idea because they help entrepreneurs sell something that does not actually exist.

But to avoid being perceived as vague, influential entrepreneurs also incorporate a clear understanding of the current situation into their pitches and back them up with data, as detailed in the third and fourth linguistic strategies.

3) Be explicit about the current situation

Most of the entrepreneurs studied made explicit claims about the present state of their target market and established links between their idea and its benefits for that market.

Dr van Werven said presenting information about the current state of affairs shows knowledge and expertise, and increases the chances of the idea resonating with the audience.

“If you’re really clear and explicit about the market, the customers and any current problems or gaps then your audience will believe that you’re an expert and that you’ve got it covered,” he said.

4) Support your idea with data

All of the influential pitches analysed in the study used selective data to support their arguments, and often changed the data they selected to support their idea more favourably.

“For example, a gaming entrepreneur one week said there were 300 million gamers like the ones he meant to address, then the next week he said there were 1.2 billion of them,” Dr van Werven said.

“These numbers were both taken from research reports but, in the second instance, he picked the data that made his argument most convincing.”

Dr van Werven said the language strategies outlined in the study could be used by anyone pitching a new project, whether an entrepreneur pursuing investment, a manager proposing a new product, or an architect selling a new design, the language used when pitching the idea can be key to success.

“It’s important to note that none of these strategies are about lying — it’s just imagining that things that are yet to happen are already real and then being selective in the data you use to support your points,” he said.

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190212134807.htm

Recent Posts