Worries of a national economic recession plagued most of 2023. Looking back, it’s a relief to know that we dodged that bullet, though the year did see high inflation and major layoffs, especially in the tech industry. Despite the lack of a recession in 2023, most business analysts are encouraging cautious optimism for 2024. In other words, we’re not out of the woods yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
2023: Employer and Job Seeker Outcomes
The end of 2023 saw the U.S. add 216,000 jobs in December, up from the 173,000 that were added in November. According to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7% — the 23rd straight month that joblessness has remained below 4%. Overall, an average of 225,000 jobs were created per month in 2023.
Glassdoor, the job and recruiting giant, credits the resilience in the job market, as well as continued consumer spending, for the reason the United States avoided an official recession in 2023. The company predicts that hiring will slowly improve over this year and layoffs will be less severe.
2024: Employer and Job Seeker Forecast
A recent Associated Press article supports that premise, noting: “The latest data reflect an economy and a job market that is decelerating back to pre-pandemic norms. Hiring remains steady, and while employers are posting fewer openings, they are not laying off many workers.”
So what does this mean for employers and job seekers?
For starters, a promising economic forecast typically sparks consumer and business confidence, which could lead to a bump in hiring in the coming year. Forbes put it this way: “As the economy and stock market improves, growth can create opportunities for job seekers, as companies may seek to expand their workforce and invest in innovation to meet growing demand and capitalize on market opportunities. This could lead to a more favorable environment for job seekers, with increased job openings and potential for career advancement.”
Other employment trends for 2024 on which analysts seem to agree include:
- Small to medium-sized companies will likely be looking to hire more than larger firms.
- Hiring for jobs in healthcare, government, and education will remain strong in 2024, as they were last year.
- Employee morale across the board will continue to need a boost, primarily due to compensation and benefit issues.
- Remote working policies will continue to play a (sometimes contentious) role in attracting and retaining job talent.
It will be interesting to see how 2024 plays out in terms of economics and employment. One thing remains the same, though: you don’t have to navigate the complicated business of talent acquisition alone. Whether you’re looking to change jobs or hire new staff in the coming year, Recruiting for Growth is here to help.