Layoffs, job resignations, job openings, hiring and wages: no ‘down’ yet for the labor market, eager employers quickly hire laid-off workers

Workers still benefit from a historically tight labor market, but with a little more caution?

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

We’re going to look at two different sets of data released today that show from different perspectives how tight the labor market is, how much power has shifted from employers to workers, how much job-hopping and disruption remains, and that tech layoffs still aren’t Large compared to the huge overall workforce, and that most laid-off people are quickly absorbed by other businesses, including non-tech firms that employ armies of tech workers, such as automakers and industrial firms. Corporations, oil and gas companies, etc. These companies have outsold tech talent with lavish compensation packages offered by tech companies. Those non-tech firms are now hoping for better access to the tech labor pool.

The reason for so much job hopping and churns is the promise of greener grass on the other side of the fence, despite big pay increases for people who stay.

And the grass is still greener, a sign of aggressive recruiting by employers. The average annual wage for workers who change jobs increased by 15.1% in November; As for workers who stayed at their jobs, it rose 7.6%, according to today’s ADP National Employment Report. But this massive increase in wages for the unemployed is down about 1 percentage point from the range of a 16% surplus earlier this year – a sign that more caution may have been injected into the employment equation.

In his speech today, Fed Chair Jerome Powell took a great deal of time to describe the still-tight labor market issues — including the huge number of job openings and how little cold was actually visible.

He was referring to the Job Opportunities and Turnover Survey (JOLTS), released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on what 21,000 companies said about how many vacancies they had, how many people they actually hired, and how many people they actually hired. People they laid off, how many people they quit, etc.

Job opportunities declined by 353,000 in October, reversing some but not all of the gains made in the previous month. At 10.33 million, job openings in October were higher than in August, and still up by 3 million, or 41%, from October 2019.

While they’ve remained in astronomical territory, they’re down about 1.5 million from the peak in March 2022 – and that includes a portion of the technology sector where layoffs took place, as we’ll see in a moment.

Layoffs and layoffs soared by 58,000 in October, after falling more than September, and still less than August. Employers have reported laying off or layoffs for any reason for any reason 1.39 million employees, and while that sounds like a lot, it’s historically low in the huge U.S. workforce, and down 23% from October 2019, which was already a tight labor market :

Laid-off workers were quickly rehired.

Most of the people who were laid off quickly found new jobs in this sea of ​​job opportunities, and we see it everywhere, including the actual number of people who applied for unemployment insurance through state unemployment offices.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, at 240,000 last Thursday, was higher than in previous weeks, but remained lower than it was in August and July, and was in the same low range where it had been all year, and a historically low.

In other words, most people who were laid off found a job so quickly or already had a new job prepared that they didn’t file for unemployment compensation.

Looking back over the past decades, we can see that the number of initial jobless claims would have to rise above 300,000 before the labor market would begin to decline meaningfully:

Voluntary “take off” decreased for the second month in a row, to 4.03 million, the lowest level since May 2021, a sign that employees are becoming more wary about riding the job-hopping train, and perhaps a sign that some jump-starting jobs are disappearing.

But the number of resignations remains historically high, up 18% from three years ago, and still much higher than at any time 2021 began, in a sign that workers are still swinging the job market in droves to boost their paychecks – and they are a plus Their salaries as the ADP data above shows for job changers:

The number of new employees decreased For the second month in a row, to 6.01 million people in October – but still up 4% from three years ago, and higher than in any month before the pandemic. Employment continues to be hampered by a tight labor market, and difficulties in being able to hire people far from other employers.

Most of the 1.39 million people who were laid off and most of the 4.03 million people who “quit” voluntarily became part of the 6.01 million people who were employed by other employers.

Job opportunities in major industry categories.

professional and business services, a large class of 22.4 million employees in professional, scientific, and technical services; Management of companies and institutions. Administrative and support services, waste management and treatment.

This is where some of the tech jobs are, and where some of the tech layoffs have occurred.

  • Job openings available: -146,000 to 1.79 million, lowest since May 2021, but still very high
  • 3 years ago: +49%

Information, A small class of 3 million employees in web search portals, data processing, data transmission, information services, software publishing, animation, sound recording and broadcasting, including over the Internet, and telecommunications.

This is where some of the tech workers have been laid off. But job opportunities have skyrocketed over the past two months!

  • Job opportunities: +5,000 to 235,000, very high, there is still a shortage of labor!
  • Three years ago: +57%

health care and social assistance, A large category with about 21 million employees: Employment opportunities fell from a record in September, amid continuing staff shortages:

  • Jobs: -86,000 from the previous month’s record, to 2.0 million
  • Three years ago: +69%

Entertainment and hospitalitywith about 16 million employees, and restaurants and hotels are still understaffed:

  • Employment opportunities: unchanged at 1.58 million
  • Three years ago: +59%

retail business, With about 16 million employees, it is now normalized in terms of job opportunities. This is the only sector where job opportunities are now almost back to where they were before the pandemic.

  • Employment opportunities: +24,000 to 879,000
  • Three years ago: -1%.

education – As evidenced by local and state government job opportunities, mostly in education. The shortage of teachers appears to be easing a bit:

  • Available jobs: -78,000, for the third consecutive month of declines, to 802,000 jobs, the lowest since March 2021.
  • Three years ago: +22%

manufacturing, With about 13 million employees:

  • Available jobs: -89,000, for the third month in a row of declines, to 746,000, lowest since December 2021, but still very high, speaks to labor shortage
  • Three years ago: +87% !!!

Building, With about 8 million employees, in all types of construction:

  • Job opportunities: +52,000 to 371,000
  • Three years ago: +15%

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