The unemployment rate rose so fast in 2008 and 2009 that in some months the US lost more than 500,000 jobs. That trend has only begun to reverse itself this year, and the progress is slow. Last month, the American economy added 200,000 workers, hardly enough to make up for the jobs lost during the deepest recession in eight decades.
These small “green sprouts” of labor improvement often happen as thousands of small businesses each add a few employees. That is probably not true with the current recovery. Small businesses have little access to capital. Banks are wary of making loans to firms which have little cash and often a modest number of customers. Large companies, however, have found it easy to raise money in the capital markets. Interest rates are at the lowest levels in memory. Corporate bond issues are near record levels.
Job additions have been limited to a relatively small number of industries. The banking sector was so badly damaged in the credit crisis that some of the jobs lost may never return. The same is true of American manufacturers. Many of these jobs have gone overseas where labor is less expensive and will never come back
24/7 Wall St. analyzed data from Challenger Gray & Christmas, one of the leading employment consulting firms, to see which American companies have announced job additions for 2011. We also looked at individual announcements by public companies which have disclosed major hiring plans.
Oddly enough, what the data shows is that the retail sector plans to do some significant hiring. Retailers cut a large number of jobs during the recession as consumer spending fell. However, holiday sales were surprisingly strong. And, there is optimism that people will begin to work on their homes again after two years during which many people could not afford to.
This is 24/7 Wall St.’s list of The Ten US Companies Adding Workers: