BLS Analysis for Recruiters February 2023 – 6 articles

Bob Marshall’s February 2023 BLS Analysis for Recruiters;


The 6 February Articles…

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Nearly 78% of Employers Gave Pay Raises in Past 6 Months; Compensation Top of Mind Despite Recession Concerns

Daily News, March 3, 2023

Despite economic downturn concerns, 77.9% of US employers gave pay raises in the past 6 months, according to a survey by iHire. The pay raises were given due to merit, performance, pay compression or the rising cost of living.

“Compensation is top of mind for employers and their workforces,” said Lisa Shuster, chief people officer at iHire. “Now is the time for organizations to ensure they are compensating employees fairly while avoiding pay compression. The good news is that most employers do not appear overly worried about a recession and continue to invest in their most valuable business asset: their people.”

Of the 436 employers surveyed, just 22.1% had not given raises recently. Of that 22.1% that did not give a raise, 69.6% said they couldn’t afford to give raises, and 32.6% said they were preparing for an economic downturn or tightening their 2023 budgets. In addition, 13.0% reported poor or stagnant employee performance, and 13.0% were unsure how to determine fair compensation.

iHire also surveyed 305 workers and found that 23.9% of respondents had asked for a raise in the past six months, and 60.3% got a raise upon asking, according to the report. Of the 76.1% of workers who had not asked for a raise, 50.0% already received a raise recently and 25.6% did not know how to negotiate their salary. In addition, 23.2% were afraid to ask or approach their supervisor for a raise and 11.0% did not think their performance was deserving of a raise.

For the report, iHire surveyed 436 employers and 305 workers in 57 industries across the US in February.

More Than Half of NABE Forecasters Predict 50% Probability of Recession This Year

Daily News, February 27, 2023

Forecasters expect 0.3% US GDP growth this year, and more than half, 58%, say there is a 50% probability of a recession this year, according to the “February 2023 Outlook” report released today by the National Association for Business Economics.

“Results of the February 2023 NABE Outlook survey continue to reflect significant divergence regarding the outlook for the US economy,” said NABE President Julia Coronado, president and founder, MacroPolicy Perspectives LLC. “Estimates of inflation-adjusted gross domestic product or real GDP, inflation, labor market indicators and interest rates are all widely diffused, likely reflecting a variety of opinions on the fate of the economy — ranging from recession to soft landing to robust growth.”

The median projection for real GDP growth is 0.3% from the fourth quarter of 2022 to the fourth quarter of 2023 and 1.9% quarter over quarter in 2024. The estimates between the lowest five responses and the highest five responses for 2023 range from -1.3% to 1.9% in 2023 and from 0.1% to 2.6% in 2024.

The report also found that 58% of forecasters continue to believe that the likelihood of recession occurring over the next 12 months is greater than 50%. Whereas 52% of respondents in the December survey expected a recession to begin in the first quarter of 2023, 28% hold the same view in the February survey.

The forecast for the US nonfarm employment growth was revised upward from those in the December 2022 survey. The median projection for monthly payroll growth in 2023 is 102,000, 34% higher than the 76,000 jobs forecasted in December 2022 survey. After projecting a monthly average of 256,000 for the first quarter, the panel calls for slower job growth every quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, the five lowest estimates forecast a further decline in the unemployment rate to 3.3% by the fourth quarter of 2023, and the five highest forecasts anticipate unemployment to rise to 5.7% by then.

In addition, the report calls for the US unemployment rate to rise over the next four quarters, from 3.5% in the first quarter of 2023 to 4.4% in the first quarter of 2024, and then to average 4.3% in 2024 as a whole.

Forecasters expect elevated wage growth in 2023, with compensation per hour rising 4.0% in 2023 — lower than the 4.4% in 2022.

NABE’s survey included 48 professional forecasters and took place from Feb. 3 to Feb. 10, 2023.

US Economy Looks Stronger in the First Quarter

Daily News, February 10, 2023

The outlook for the US economy improved from 3months ago, according to the first-quarter Survey of Professional Forecasters released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

The panel of 37 economists in the report now predicts the economy will expand at an annual rate of 0.6% in this quarter and 1.0% in the second quarter of this year, increases from previous predictions of 0.2% in each quarter.

On an annual average basis, the forecasters expect real GDP to expand 1.3% this year, up from 0.7% projected in the previous forecast.

The forecasters have also revised downward the chance of a contraction in real GDP in any of the next 4 quarters. The panelists now expect a 40.4% chance of negative growth, down from 47.2% in the previous survey. Forecasts for the next 3 quarters have also been revised downward.

Along with the improvement in the growth outlook, the forecasters have revised their estimated for the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is now predicted to increase to 4.1% in the fourth quarter from 3.5% this quarter.

Additionally, the forecasters expect the unemployment rate to average 3.8% in 2023 on an annual basis, a decrease from the previous estimate of 4.2%.

On the employment front, the panelists have revised their estimates for job gains upward. They now project job gains at a monthly rate of 217,800 in 2023, up from 143,600 projected in the previous forecast.

More Than Half Cut Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

Daily News, February 8, 2023

53% of hiring managers said their company eliminated the bachelor’s degree requirement for certain roles in the past year, according to a report by, a resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning. Among this group, 60% said they removed the prerequisite for entry-level positions.

In addition, 57% of hiring managers said they eliminated degree requirements for mid-level positions, and 33% waived the bachelor’s degree requirement for senior-level jobs.

“The move to eliminate a bachelor’s degree requirement is not surprising,” said Chief Career Advisor Stacie Haller. “With 2 open job openings for every job seeker in this market, companies are at war for talent. We are hearing about layoffs in certain sectors, but in many others, companies are vying for the same candidates to fill open roles.”

With regards to the top reasons for eliminating the bachelor’s degree requirement, 64% of survey respondents said they wanted to increase the number of applicants, 59% said they believe there are other ways to acquire skills besides a four-year degree and 58% said they sought to create a more diverse workforce.

Meanwhile, 76% of hiring managers believe their company is “very likely” or “likely” to favor experience over education. However, many companies still recognize the value of education, with 72% of hiring managers admitting that having a bachelor’s degree is “very valuable” or “valuable” when evaluating candidates.

Conversely, other degree or certification types are considered less valuable, with only 24% of respondents seeing value in certificate programs, 23% in associate degrees, 16% in online degrees and 8% in boot camps. surveyed 1,000 hiring managers in the US for the report.

79% of Remote Employees Worked More Than 2 Jobs in Past Year:  ResumeBuilder

Daily News, February 6, 2023

8 in 10 remote workers have been overemployed within the past year, according to a report by ResumeBuilder. The survey found that 79% of remote workers had worked 2 or more remote jobs simultaneously to earn an extra income within the past year.

“When we look at the data of our survey, most of the respondents who hold more than just 1 full-time job are in careers where their typical hours can be flexible and may change weekly, such as sales and IT/software,” said ResumeBuilder Chief Career Advisor Stacie Haller. “Employees in those positions likely have hours where they can take on other positions. What should matter to the employer is how they are performing on the job they were hired for.”

The survey found that 36% of respondents have at least 2 full-time jobs, and the vast majority said they also work multiple part-time jobs.

When asked how easy or difficult it is to balance working multiple jobs, 15% of respondents said it is “very easy,” 24% said it is “somewhat easy,” 52% said it is “somewhat difficult,” and 10% said balancing multiple jobs is “very difficult.”

Meanwhile, when asked if it was or is difficult to hide working multiple jobs from their employers, 15% of respondents said it is or was “very difficult,” 45% said “somewhat difficult,” 25% said “a little difficult,” 7% say “not at all difficult,” and 9% said that their employers are aware of their situation.

According to the report, nearly two-thirds of the respondents, 63%, said that, within the past year, an employer has found out they were working multiple jobs.

ResumeBuilder surveyed more than 1,000 employees working entirely remotely in January for the report.

Employment Trends Index Rises for the Second Consecutive Month, Signals Shift from Short-Lived Declining Trend

Daily News, February 6, 2023

The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index released today rose in January to a reading of 118.74, an increase from the upwardly revised reading of 117.06 in December and signaling a shift from the short-lived declining trend seen last year. 

“The Employment Trends Index rose for the second consecutive month in January, a reversal of a short-lived declining trend in 2022,” said Selcuk Eren, senior economist at The Conference Board. “Despite rapid interest rate hikes — which were expected to reduce labor demand — we haven’t seen widespread layoffs. Indeed, hiring was outsized and broadly based in the January employment report. Robust hiring continues to keep the ETI at a very high level and the economy is still experiencing significant job gains in industries where labor shortages have been most acute.”

Eren noted labor shortages will continue to be the theme going forward.

“We have seen job gains in industries — including leisure and hospitality and government — where employment is still below pre-pandemic levels. Likewise, job openings and voluntary quits are below their historic highs but still above pre-pandemic levels. The number of employees working in temporary help services — a component of the ETI and an important leading indicator for hiring — increased in January after falling for two consecutive months. This is revised from an originally reported five-month decline.”

Thus far, job losses seem to be limited to the information sector, which includes most tech companies, according to Eren. One sign of rebalancing in the labor market may be slower wage growth. Hourly wage growth — which stands at 4.4% year-over-year in January — remains above pre-pandemic levels but is on a declining trend after reaching 5.9% last year.

The Conference Board anticipates the Federal Reserve to continue increasing interest rates to reduce labor market tightness and bring wage growth and inflation under control for the rest of 2023.

The organization also noted January’s release of the Employment Trends Index includes historical revisions dating back to 2017, causing index levels and month-on-month changes to be incomparable to previous releases. However, the cyclical properties (e.g., turning points and trends) of the index remain unchanged.