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Talent Talk: The Job Market Remains Hot

Image courtesy of Alamy/ Bryan Sikora Now hiring heading in classifieds
The latest survey from the Labor Department showed a decline in job openings, but there are still 1.9 jobs available for every unemployed worker.

In our previous Talent Talk, we offered some hiring advice. That advice builds on the premise that we are probably headed to what I will call a “definitional recession,” by which I mean that at some point we will have two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.

The stock market, always a leading indicator, responded by officially moving into bear territory. Markets are funny things. You know this if you have ever owned a stock that doubled its earnings yet fell just short of analysts’ expectations, and the stock went down.

We saw a bit of this with the recent Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). The report showed that there were 11.3 million available positions, down from 11.7 million in the previous month.

That led a few pundits to knee-jerk react that it is a sign that the job market may be weakening. I do not think that is the case, especially for the plastics industry or manufacturing in general. The most recent drop in available positions means that there are now only 1.9 jobs available for every unemployed worker instead of the previous 2.0. And we previously discussed that if everyone who wanted a job had one, there would still be more than four million unfilled jobs.

We can argue whether the job market just went from white hot to red hot, but it is clearly still hot. There are a lot of strong forces that will continue to drive this, barring a much deeper and longer recession than anyone is forecasting. That is too much for now, but we will dive deeper into those forces next week.

For now, my advice for those hiring is simple: Now is the time. If your company’s top and bottom lines are healthy, there is a good chance that attracting and retaining top talent is on the agenda of most top management meetings.

 

About the author

Paul Sturgeon is CEO of KLA Industries, a national search firm specializing in plastics, packaging, and polymer technology. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, a company that is growing, or other ideas for this blog, e-mail Sturgeon at [email protected].

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