Cold-Drawing Steel, American Steel & Wire Co. – Ewing Galloway Photo

Many often consider employment numbers an indication of the national economic situation, as well as the progress of individual businesses. Still, a dramatic increase in these numbers alone cannot foreshadow a healthy economy.

Like in times past, consistency is key. Looking back in February 1939 archives of The Dun’s Review, former president of The Procter & Gamble Company, R. R. Deupree, acknowledged the particular importance of a steady job in the aptly titled article, “The Importance of a Steady Job.”

Not only is constant employment a much more useful economic gauge, but the economy’s stability may also be contingent, in part, on the stability of employment. As such, it becomes the responsibility of employers to make such steady jobs available  and not without benefits to employers.

Steady jobs enhance the quality and efficiency of workers within individual businesses.

“Greater working efficiency often absorbs increased labor costs. When men have the assurance of steady employment they work with a different spirit than those who keep one eye on their work and one on the order spindle,” wrote Deupree.

Workers who know they are employed for the long-term are much more willing to invest their efforts for the good of the company.  Tweet This Ensuring employees continue to have work thus serves as an initial investment as well as a continual reinvestment for the company.

Finally, this positive mindset of an employee with steady work carries over to all sectors of workers’ lives. They will better be able to support their families, and financially stimulate the economy as consumers while helping guard their mental and physical health.

Images from the February 1939 Dun’s Review archives:

As Deupree summed up, “If you think of one workman, one employee, this way and then multiply that one man by several million wage earners, you begin to realize the vital importance of this problem in our national, social, and economic life.”

Employment remains a pressing concern. Last month, President Obama toured the West Coast, urging the nation to push Congress to prioritize the American Jobs Act as an opportunity to increase employment within our borders, despite Congress’ move to place legislation concerning China first.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ monthly employment situation report for September 2011 (*pdf), the national unemployment rate stands at 9.1%, virtually unchanged since April. Moreover, for those that are employed (in non-agricultural industries), the average workweek has fallen 1.12 hours nationwide over the past decade – even when taking fluctuations into consideration.

Obama’s insistence and urgency are certainly warranted as there has been little to no change to unemployment rates in recent months. But if we are to boost the overall economy – as Deupree suggests – job security should be a concern of equal, if not higher, importance.