While Feds have been manipulating interest rates to settle down the economy, the employment market continues to march to the beat of its own drum.
Recently released data is showing that increased interest rates have not acutely affected the job market. Inflation has lowered, and yet more people are employed and the unemployment rate has decreased overall.
Concurrently, fewer jobs were created last month, possibly because previous vacancies are now filled. All of this information is indicating a still tight employment market.
We’ll discuss what’s happening in the job market and what this could mean for the economy and for employers.
- Job growth is in decline but last month’s job growth still outpaces the pre-pandemic average.
- The leading industries in terms of the jobs added last month were government, healthcare, social assistance and construction.
- Wages have increased slightly, though they’ve stayed about the same.
Unemployment has changed little from 3.7% in May to 3.6% in June.
However, there have been some notable changes in the unemployment rate over the last few months.
Unemployment for Black or African American people has increased for two consecutive months—from 4.7% in April to 6% in June. And the same trend is occurring among Asian Americans. Unemployment increased slightly from 2.8% in April to 3.2% in June.
Overall, more people are employed, and more jobs are being added though the amount of jobs added is cooling down. It’s a “blurry equilibrium” between employers’ demand for workers and job seekers’ demand for employment.
That said, there are indications of other industries slowing, as the number of people with part-time jobs for economic reasons increased by 452,000 to 4.2 mil in June.
Workforce participation has not changed and remains at 62.6%. And the number of people who don’t have a job and are actively looking for work has increased slightly since April.
Interestingly, more women are employed than ever with a record high participation rate of 77.8% for women between 25 and 54 years old, and continuing a record-breaking streak. Some are attributing this to the number of jobs added last month, in healthcare+social assistance and government specifically, as over half of those jobs were occupied by women.
On the whole, the labor market continues to look, for now, to be healthy.
Number of jobs available
The number of job vacancies in the US fell by 496 thousand from the previous month to 9.824 million. Though vacancies are decreasing to below 10 million, the current amount of job openings is still reflecting a very strong market.
Some are referring to the state of the market as the “battle against inflation” as feds may view the status of the job market as leeway to continue to increase rates and lower inflation.
From their perspective, if the market is “unaffected” by increased interest rates, why not continue to do so and bring down inflation even further?
What does this mean for employers?
Though it’s a tight labor market, there are things employers can do to stay ahead of labor market trends and set themselves up for success.
Unemployment and workforce participation: Fewer jobs were created last month possibly because previous vacancies are now filled. As a result, more people are employed and the unemployment rate has decreased. However, the amount of unemployed people that are actively looking for work has increased slightly.
Winning move: For employers that are hiring, be prepared to continue to compete for talent. Understand who your competitors are, make sure your organization’s pay and benefits package is something you’re excited to talk about and move quickly through your hiring process.
Number of jobs available: We seem to be reaching equal status with employees looking for work and the demand for workers.
Winning move: Explore retention as the new recruitment. Look to the people in your organization who are ready for their next opportunity and create internal mobility through training and mentorship.
Overall winning move: Don’t staff yourself into a recession. Resist hiring freezes and create a more strategic approach to hiring needs.
If you’re looking for some help navigating the “new normal” we want to be a resource for you. Our mission is to create Success Stories daily for the job seekers that we place and employers that we serve.
Temporary or contract staffing is a great way to help you through an ever-changing job market. Or if you’re simply looking for more information on today’s market, we have a wealth of valuable tools and resources available.