The jobs numbers may be slowing their upward trajectory. The 209,000 new jobs in June were lower than the predicted 240,000. This drop from May marks the slowest month since December 2020.
The job market is still tight
The unemployment rate was 3.6%, continuing the longest stretch of below 4 percent unemployment since the 1960s. Wages were 0.4% higher than the previous month, and 4.4% higher than last year which was a little higher than expected.
The labor force participation rate held steady at 62.6% for the fourth month in a row and is still below the pre-pandemic levels. The prime age participation rate which measures those between 25 and 54 years old, rose to 83.5%. This is the highest it’s been in 21 years.
Weekly jobless claims fell by 9,000 for the week ending July 15. That’s the lowest since the middle of May. According to Bill Adams, chief economist at Comerica Band in Dallas, “Many employers are reluctant to reduce headcount despite a slower economy, since the labor market is very tight, which might make rehiring difficult if growth picks up in six or twelve months.”
What about tech jobs?
Over the past year, there have been a number of large, high-profile layoffs by big tech companies. But that doesn’t mean that tech isn’t contributing to those still impressive jobs numbers.
We recently wrote about tech hiring and whether tech jobs were getting harder to find. It seems they should be since nearly 213,000 tech employees worldwide have been laid off in 2023. The layoffs are the result of Big Tech resizing after an exuberant hiring frenzy during and immediately after the pandemic.
Smaller companies with tech needs have been quick to make offers to tech workers who were suddenly set adrift. Tech is part of nearly every company now, and smaller companies often offer more job security and stability than the tech giants.
Get help from the professionals
The hiring landscape is still challenging. Candidates can be selective, and employees are less likely to jump ship unless the benefits to them are clear, and they want job security and an inclusive company culture. Successfully attracting, hiring and then retaining job candidates, especially for tech positions, requires time and attention and a knowledge of what candidates are looking for and what the competition is offering.
Creating a relationship with a talent acquisition specialist can be a big help to your hiring team. A professional recruiter will share their insights on what top talent wants in a position, and how and where to reach them.