Tracing Talent: The Top Five Workforce & Staffing Trends for 2014

Pam Cole

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Forty-two years ago, I started working at as a receptionist at what was called in those days an employment agency. They had just moved from manual typewriter to the first run of electric typewriters. The minimum wage was $1.55 an hour, and I made a whopping $1.65 an hour. I feel blessed that I was able to begin my career from the bottom up learning ALL aspects of the business over the years.

The owners at the time, Frankie and Johnnie Miller, told me I could grow and the sky was the limit. I took their words of encouragement literally. It gave me the opportunity to try new things and move up in the industry. Back then, I never dreamed that I would one day be president and CEO of Trace Staffing Solutions, a staffing company with 12 offices across four states that offers strategic full-time, career employment, and temporary employment solutions for companies throughout the area and employs over 1600 people.

Our experienced team at Trace is enthusiastic about what is happening today in the marketplace. Here are just a few of our insights about trends in the industry, from both overall and region-specific views.

  1. Employment in the Southeast will continue to improve during 2014. In four years, the unemployment rate has gone from 9.7 percent to 6.6 percent. An average monthly job increase of 200,000 will become the norm rather than a rarity. Anyone who wants to work can find employment, but the effort has to be there to truly seek it out.
  2. Demand (and salaries) are increasing for talented employees with a good work ethic. This upcoming year will continue to show improvement for college graduates and there will continue to be a strong demand for those in technical fields, such as accounting, finance, information technology or engineering.
  3. Trace’s corporate clients have projected positive outlooks for 2014, a good sign for both the temporary and permanent job seekers out there. For example, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has announced two new expansions since the start of the New Year. Business is strong and taking off, which will translate into new jobs.
  4. Although traditional thought indicates that the new employees entering the workforce are replacing those who are retiring, this is not the case. Also, many people are delaying their full retirement to continue in the workforce since the age for full retirement is going up each year. The number of retirees is increasing, while the number of employees entering the workforce is remaining stagnant. This will cause lower unemployment trends to continue and prove to be an incentive for retirees to continue working past retirement age.
  5. Temporary staffing was up by 8 percent last year, and in November 2013, the economy had more temporary jobs than any other month with the exception of April 2000. Businesses are looking for ways to keep their workforce flexible and to be able to quickly adapt to market changes. Expect temporary employee numbers to continue to rise.

Across Trace’s offices, we offer services in temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire for industries such as administrative, healthcare, legal, accounting, light industrial, skilled trade, engineering, sales and transportation/logistics. In addition, Trace Backoffice Solutions has offered accounting, payroll, and human resource services to smaller and medium-size businesses for the last 18 years. We excel at identifying and matching talent to employers and finding cost-effective workforce solutions for our clients. Our clients’ success is our success. Trace is where “Success Works.”

For more information about Trace Staffing, please visit