It’s a glass half-full/half-empty scenario all at once.
The Labor Department reported that the overall unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent in August. (half full)
Three million American workers dropped out of the labor force, which some economists speculate is because they’ve given up on finding a job. (half empty)
The pace of job creation slowed in August, down to 142,000 workers. It’s the lowest number added to payrolls all year. (half empty)
It’s the longest consecutive period of time with monthly payroll gains since 1997. (More than half full)
And the driver of most of this growth? Mid-market businesses.
With between 100 and 1000 employees, the U.S. middle market encompasses some 200,000 businesses and is expected to continue to hire this year, to the tune of 1 million people, according to the National Center for the Middle Market. Last year, mid-market companies grew revenue at a rate of 5 percent, which is five times higher than the S&P 500 and more than double the growth of the economy, which clocked in at 2.4 percent.
While the proportion of middle market firms experiencing revenue growth consistently outpaces the proportion that added workers in the past year, in the second quarter more than 40 percent of mid-sized companies report increased employment compared to one year ago.
August is an unpredictable month for hiring because many people hit the road for vacation, the New York Times reports. That said, Executive Vice President of mid-market solutions for Sage North America Joe Langner believes that mid-market companies offer the best prospects for job seekers, no matter what month they are applying.
“Needing innovation to stay on top, they welcome entrepreneurialism and innovation at all levels of the business. They are small enough to remain agile but large enough to command scale and opportunity. These companies offer direct access to the board that can translate into personal career progression on a level that businesses either larger or smaller may not,” he writes in Entrepreneur.