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While most employees may not be so fed up with their jobs that they would curse out a customer and jump out of a moving plane like the JetBlue flight attendant we’ve heard so much about, it’s becoming clear that they are getting burnt out and that employers may have to start hiring to ease the burden.

In the article “It’s Official: We’re All Burnt Out,” CNNMoney.com reported on recent Department of Labor statistics showing that worker productivity fell 0.9 percent in the second quarter, which represents the first decline in productivity in 18 months. Many see this as a sign that employers can no longer cut costs by reducing their workforces and working remaining employees harder as was the trend throughout the recession and beyond.

“What’s happended is a lot of U.S. companies have reached the limit of how much they can slash their workforce and work existing employees to the bone,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist with IHS Global Insight, in the article. “At some point, even weak spending growth will require more businesses to hire more people to meet the demand.”

As we have pointed out several times in this blog, employers have been reluctant to get back to hiring during this so-called recovery. But according to another CNNMoney.com article, companies need to take the lead and start hiring rather than waiting for the economy to bounce back because it never will unless people get back to work. Hopefully this loss of productivity is the catalyst employers need to beef up their workforces, but the truth of the matter is that they will still wait as long as they can while the economy remains uncertain.

We’ve already discussed how, following recessions, contracting tends to pick up before permanent hiring, and that seems to be true this time based on the surge of contract placements we’ve seen here at FoxHire and some of the items that we have read and blogged about. Given the current scenario where employers need extra help but are still worried about the economy, we can only imagine that the trend of turning to contract staffing will only continue.

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