… but it’s still not all black and white.
The Federal Reserve, responsible for adjusting interest rates to control inflation, has been closely monitoring the job market, which continues to fluctuate. The number of jobs being added each month is slowing down, although it is still exceeding predictions. The unemployment rate is also up… at 3.6%. However, this number is still just about the lowest unemployment rate the country has ever experienced – that is to say, this is not necessarily any reason to panic.
These statistics alone don’t sound so good. But together, it’s not necessarily the economic death knoll you might think.
The U.S. economy has been in a 54-year boom; and although this small downturn might signal a shaky period ahead, the market is staunchly resisting recession.
The fact that there is an increase in unemployment coincides with huge demand for talent… It remains a “candidate’s market.” At the beginning quadrant of the year, the ratio of job openings to unemployed workers shrank to 1.8.
This isn’t equal across the board, of course. Industries such as hospitality, leisure, health care, and construction (the industries hit hardest by the pandemic) led the charge in hiring. Meanwhile, finance, transportation, and education lost jobs.
So, what does this all mean?
Inflation continues to rise, more slowly than before, but still enough to put the pressure on all employees.
Wage gains also continue to rise, although not as quickly as employees might wish. Still, if unemployment holds and wages continue to slowly increase, experts expect the country’s economy might remain intact.
In the meantime, how can companies protect themselves and their employees?
Protecting jobs, focusing on wages and benefits, offering mental health resources, and minimizing damage done when layoffs do need to happen, are all ways to survive through the economic hardships we’re seeing.
When all is said and done, experts are split, but there are ways to minimize the damage from the economic fluctuations.