Is the Job Market Still Favorable for Workers?

Is the Job Market Still Favorable for Workers?

The job market is becoming slightly less favorable for workers in 2024. Less demand for labor means employees have less leverage to negotiate higher wages.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of job openings decreased by 600,000 to 8.7 million between September and October 2023. Because the number of openings continues to decline to pre-pandemic levels, job seekers are finding fewer opportunities than in previous months.

Discover why the job market is slightly less favorable for workers in 2024.

Increasing Labor Force Participation

Many adults 25-54 years old left the labor force during the pandemic to handle personal responsibilities. Now, a significant number of these individuals either reentered the workforce or are actively looking for jobs.

As the labor force participation rate increases, the competition for jobs increases. As a result, the job market becomes less favorable for workers.

Tightening Job Market

Several factors are causing the job market to tighten:

  • Employers now are filling roles that remained open for extended periods.
  • Many companies are cutting their labor usage to reduce costs.
  • Some industries have been laying off employees in recent months due to excessive hiring last year.

The increasing difficulty in landing a new job is encouraging many employees to keep their current roles.

Also, fewer candidates are negotiating higher wages or signing bonuses due to financial pressure to secure job offers.

Longer Hiring Processes

Many employers asked candidates to submit one-way video interviews during the pandemic. Each candidate recorded a video of themselves answering a list of preset questions. Companies that continue to use this interview process have large amounts of content to review. As a result, this time-consuming process substantially lengthens the hiring process.

Companies that prioritize equity are involving additional employees in the hiring process. More upper-level managers and potential colleagues of candidates are being included in interviews. The increasing difficulty of coordinating more schedules draws out the hiring process.

Many employers who laid off human resources employees are delegating interviewing and hiring processes to line managers who are unfamiliar with the process. Therefore, the time to hire increases.

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