With mounting economic uncertainty causing many employers to pull back on hiring plans, the job market appears to have cooled from its red-hot pandemic recovery pace earlier in the year. Hiring fell 3.6% in August across almost all sectors compared to July, making it the third month in a row of hiring declines, according to LinkedIn’s State of the Labor Market report. Hiring in the United States remains down 23.8% year-over-year.
Data analysis from LinkedIn shows that almost all industries are facing their own unique hiring challenges. The wholesale sector recorded a 13.9% month-to-month drop in employment. Additionally, the retail industry faced a 10.7% month-to-month decline in hiring, while food services saw a 6.7% decrease, which could reflect shifting consumer attitudes. The financial sector experienced 7.1% less hiring amidst “complex market dynamics and regulatory changes.”
This summer, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job openings declined to their lowest level in over two years. Vacancies dropped to 8.827 million in July from 9.165 million in June.
Hiring Intentions For Q4
In closing out 2023, employers intend to execute a calculated approach to hiring, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.
“The data for Q4 reveals employers continue to plan measured hiring despite economic uncertainties,” said ManpowerGroup chairman and CEO Jonas Prising. “Globally, employers are beginning to moderate their hiring post-pandemic with many focused on recruiting and retaining the business-critical skills they need to drive growth.”
The information technology industry looks like a bright spot for employment in the fourth quarter, with 39% of companies intending to hire within this space, followed by financials and real estate (33%), communication services (31%), healthcare and life sciences (31%) and energy and utilities (31%).
According to the report, employers said they are more willing to bring aboard candidates who are older and seeking employment changes (34%), have been unemployed due to caretaking responsibilities (27%), have non-linear career paths (27%) or are long-term unemployed (26%).
Beyond possessing the requisite technical skills, hiring managers and bosses ranked the critical soft skills they look for in a job applicant: communication, collaboration and teamwork (39%); accountability and reliability (33%); reasoning and problem-solving (29%); active learning and curiosity (23%) and resilience, stress tolerance and adaptability (23%).
Knowing the temperature and mood of the job market can help you better plan for your next career move and manage your expectations.
Your Job Strategy For Year-End
If you are considering a job switch or moving up the corporate ladder, start by thinking about your short and long-term career goals and what you want to achieve in the remaining months of 2023 and into the new year.
Update your résumé, polish up your LinkedIn profile, clean up your social media footprint and create a game plan for your job search. Let trusted co-workers know you are open to making a move and ask them for job leads. Tap into your network by reaching out to former colleagues, mentors, family, friends, college alums and other tight and loose contacts.
Subtly use the upcoming holidays as an excuse to reach out to people who can potentially help you with the search. Most people will stop looking for a new job once the holiday season commences. That’s good news, as the competition starts dwindling.
If you are looking to advance your career within your current company, focus on getting noticed by key executives to receive a positive annual review.
Use the end of the year to prepare for performance reviews or goal-setting meetings with your manager. Politely ask your boss for any feedback or constructive criticism so you will have time to course correct over the next few months. Also, communicate any goals, new assignments or projects you want to get involved with, as it can further your career.
Ask supervisors and managers to put in a good recommendation—either in writing or verbally. Remember to keep track of all your accomplishments, wins and times that you went above and beyond and greatly exceeded expectations. Put together a list of all the reasons why you should get a promotion, raise and a big end-of-year bonus.