The U.S. economy shrank during the first half of the year as consumer sentiment plummeted with rumors of high inflation and turmoil abroad. There were also a few big corporate names that slashed thousands of jobs but the U.S. job market did not miss a beat. U.S. employers announced only 20,485 layoffs in August, the lowest year-to-date total since 1993, according to data released Thursday by outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
A separate report by the Department of Labor showed initial unemployment claims fell to 232,000 in the week ended Aug. 27, down 5,000 from the prior weeks levels, revised down by 6,000 claims. Initial claims are now at the lowest point in two months.
Recent job data, including Julys jobs report and a job-turnover survey, also defied analysts and economists expectations that the job market would cool off as it drew closer to a recovery from the pandemic and the Fed took extraordinary measures to suppress inflation and suppress demand. In July, employment growth was expected to slow to about 250,000 jobs, and the number of unfilled positions fell to 10.5 million. Instead, 528,000 jobs were added, with available jobs rising to 11.2 million.
“The job market is not only running hot, but like a fiery inferno, said Meghan Green, global chief economist for the Kroll Institute and a senior research scientist at Brown University. The hot job market makes matters more complicated for the Federal Reserve, which sees the current two-jobs-openings-per-job-seeker ratio as a potential driving force behind higher wages, which could, in turn, drive up prices and continue the rise in inflation.
The Minneapolis Fed found, after polling 444 members in six states, that a majority of respondents said they planned to keep hiring over the next six months, 10% said they were cutting back, and those holding steady expressed anxiety over whether they could retain the workers they had. Businesses in states like Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina are also closely monitoring their workforce levels, according to data from the Richmond Fed – but very few are making cuts, said R. Andrew Bauer, VP and district manager, on a recent podcast. “What they are probably doing is, should there be an opening, they are going to slow down on filling the position, anticipating what might happen,” he said.
There are a few systemic challenges in closing the gap on labor shortages. The labor force is a bit smaller than pre-pandemic levels, and labor force participation has been declining since the early 2000s, when it was about 67%, dropping to slightly over 62% as of July. Economists had expected that the rate would rise as the economy added jobs again; yet, this year, it has actually fallen.
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Trent Cotton is a highly accomplished leader and strategist with extensive experience in organizational development, talent management, and business operations. With a strong background in HR leadership, he has a proven track record of designing and implementing innovative HR programs that drive employee engagement, retention, and business performance.
As an experienced executive, Trent has worked with some of the world’s leading companies, where he has led and supported HR initiatives across a broad range of functions, including talent acquisition, workforce planning, diversity and inclusion, performance management, and employee relations. He is also highly skilled in HR technology implementation, data analytics, and HR process improvement, helping organizations to optimize their HR operations and drive business results.
If you follow his blog http://www.sprintrecruiting.com or have read his book, Sprint Recruiting, you would experience his raw communication style, his ability to build and lead high-performing teams, and his strategic mindset. He is passionate about creating workplaces where employees can thrive and grow, and he is committed to helping organizations leverage the power of their people to achieve their business objectives.
In addition to his professional experience, Trent is actively involved in his community and has served on several boards and committees supporting education, workforce development, and diversity initiatives.
In his free time, Trent has written two books: “The 7 Deadly Sins of HR” and most recently, “Sprint Recruiting”. He will be releasing “The High Performing Recruiting Team” in the fall of 2023 and “FutHRist” in 2024.
He’s an active participant in the HR Industry and is asked to participate in roundtables or provide keynotes for many organizations. His blog Sprintrecruiting.com reaches thousands of readers and provides unique insights on a range of recruiting topics.