In Wake Of May Jobs Report, Westchester Companies Talk Hiring Strategies

What the latest jobs report numbers mean for Westchester companies and employees.

During the last recession, 8.7 million American jobs were lost in two years. Now, four years after the official end of the recession, the country has finally regained those jobs, with employment numbers equal to the pre-recession peak in January 2008. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the country added 217,000 jobs in May—which means there are now more jobs in the country than ever before. The report also shows unemployment remaining at 6.3%, far below the 2008 unemployment peak,  when 10% of the country’s workers were out of a job.

Here in New York, the latest data shows a similar positive trend: New York State’s current unemployment rate is 6.7% (as of April 2014, the latest data available), its lowest level since December 2008, and the state’s private sector job count grew by 2,500 in April—the State’s 17th consecutive monthly gain in private sector jobs.

So, is it time to break out the bubbly here in Westchester? Here is what a few local businesses had to say about their current hiring strategies:

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IBM, Somers:

“As reported in our recent earnings briefing, IBM continues to rebalance its workforce to meet the changing requirements of its clients, and to pioneer new, high-value segments of the IT industry…. [such as Cloud, Analytics and Cognitive Computing]… This also creates new job opportunities at IBM. At any given time, IBM has more than 3,000 job openings in these and other growth areas in the U.S. We continue to hire for key skills here in Westchester and in the U.S… IBM’s total workforce has remained stable over the past three years, and IBM now employs more than 400,000 people worldwide.”

-Clint Roswell, spokesperson

New York Life, White Plains:

“We are presently looking for qualified individuals to fill several openings in sales and sales management positions…..  We currently have openings for Agents. These positions also have the opportunity to grow into management positions within 24-36 months… We expect to fill 20 openings by the end of 2014

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-Eugene R. Lutz,  Managing Partner

Curtis Instruments, Mount Kisco

“Curtis Instruments is optimistic about the economic development. We have seen three years of progressively strong and consistent sales increases. Sales in 2013 and so far 2014 are at record high, domestically and internationally… We hired three full-time employees [in the last six months]… [We expect to hire ] one or two Tax Accountant and Business System Specialists [in the coming months].”

-Frank Matheis, Director of Corporate Marketing Communications

WTP Advisors, White Plains

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“We are always hiring! It is difficult to find the smart, creative, client service people we need to ensure our clients are happy. When we find them, we hire them, and incentivize them to stay. In the past month, we added a new practice leader for our national fixed-asset tax service area. We will add at least two new hires by September, and are looking to move our overall headcount by 8-10% by year-end. If we meet that goal by year-end, we will add almost 10 new positions, just in our Westchester headquarters.”

-Mike Minihan, Co-founder

Key Bank, Multiple Locations

“We are cautiously optimistic … Currently in the Hudson Valley/Metro NY Market we are adding 7 positions), as well as several openings in our Retail Banking area. The 8-county Hudson Valley/Metro NY Market is a growth market for Key, and we plan to continue that growth … The economy is improving, but it remains hampered by lingering weakness. Since mid-2013, single-family home sales have fallen far short of the level we have seen in previous recoveries. That probably reflects the continuing limits on jobs and incomes, as well as the cautiousness potential buyers feel about major financial commitments.

-Ruth Mahoney, President, Hudson Valley/ Metro NY Market, Key Bank

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