Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Largest Companies Adding Jobs

A USA Today story reports that large companies are adding workers. An analysis from S&P Capital IQ that included 437 of the Standard & Poor's 500 showed a 4.2 percent gain in jobs for 2011. Factors cited for hiring include expansion of production, mergers and acquisitions, and global expansion.

In some instances the jobs captured by the study are new, such as the 20,000 added by Caterpillar, the heavy machinery company. In other cases, a firm's employment rose mostly through acquiring the workers from another existing company in a buyout.

Similarly, the Oregon Employment Department has been investigating employment by size of firm statewide. We found similar results when looking at over-the-year changes in employment at "stable" firms in Oregon. A stable firm is a business with employment in both fourth quarters of the comparison period, so we are excluding new firms and those that went out of business during the year. Among these stable firms, larger businesses added the most jobs early on in the recovery.

Stable firms with at least 500 employees added more than 16,000 workers between the fourth quarters of 2009 and 2010, while firms that employed between 100 and 499 added almost 11,000 workers. Meanwhile, stable firms with between 1 and 99 employees added about 3,500 jobs to their payrolls.

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