BLS Analysis for Recruiters – February 2024 – 8 Articles

Bob Marshall’s February 2024 BLS Analysis for Recruiters;


The 8 February Articles…

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70% of Gen Z Either Freelancing or Considering it

Daily News, February 28, 2024

Nearly 70% of Gen Z globally are either actively freelancing or considering it in the future, according to a report released today by talent platform Fiverr International Ltd.

“The youngest members of today’s workforce, Gen Zers, have faced nothing but hurdles — a global pandemic and unprecedented development in technology,” Fiverr Chief Business Officer Gali Arnon said in a press release. “Now, in the face of layoffs and the implementation of AI across the corporate world, Gen Z workers are relying on themselves for the stability that they need to pursue their career ambitions by choosing freelancing.”

Fiverr defines Gen Z as individuals between the ages of 16 and 26.

The report found that 40% of Gen Z freelancers are currently or willing to work full time, while 30% are working in a part-time capacity.

For members of Gen Z, top priorities include comfort and financial security, with 44% desiring to be financially comfortable as part of their larger career ambition, while 20% aim to retire early.

Moreover, a quarter of those in Gen Z are interested in entrepreneurship, while 14% wish to freelance for their entire careers.

In the US alone, 38% of Gen Z believe that full-time freelancing protects them against layoffs, and nearly 36% view it as a backup plan in case of job loss.

Compared to 2023, more than 70% of US respondents are thinking more about freelancing, and 25% perceive it as more stable than traditional full-time employment.

Another important finding: 18% of Gen Z in the US believe freelancing makes them less susceptible to AI replacement.

Other findings in the report:

  • Nearly 20% of US members of Gen Z believe that companies have no loyalty to employees anymore, prompting almost 70% of freelancers aged between 16 and 20 to start freelancing.
  • In terms of work arrangement, 29% of US members of Gen Z desire full control over return-to-office policies, while 28% prefer a hybrid work environment and 25% aspire to entrepreneurship.
  • Concerning job security, 10% of respondents globally reported being laid off, and another 14% said they fear such circumstances.
  • Overall, nearly 30% of respondents wish for flexible work arrangements, including the ability to travel for work and work from anywhere.

The survey, conducted in partnership with Censuswide, includes responses from 10,033 members of Gen Z across the UK, US, Germany and France; more than 5,000 were from the US. The data was collected between Jan. 26 and Jan. 30.

More than Half of Workers Forced to Return to Office Plan to Change Jobs:  ResumeBuilder

Daily News, February 23, 2024

More than half of employees mandated to return to the office by their employers are searching for new jobs, according to a report by ResumeBuilder. Of those surveyed, 18% are currently looking for a new job, while 36% plan to look for one this year.

In addition, many of those currently searching for a new job are doing so actively. While 11% are applying to more than 10 positions per week, 28% are applying to 6 to 10 positions, and 60% are applying to 1 to 5 jobs.

Top reasons workers are searching for new job opportunities include a higher salary (70%), better benefits (56%) and more growth opportunities (50%).

“It’s abundantly clear that employees are looking for a greater degree of autonomy in determining how and where they work from,” Stacie Haller, chief career advisor at ResumeBuilder, said in a press statement. “Companies that prioritize aligning their practices with the preferences of their workforce are the ones successfully retaining talent. Those that do not are witnessing a surge in turnover rates.”

The report also found that 60% of employees want to work from the office less frequently than required. Of those who want to work fully remotely, 67% said they would be willing to take a pay cut.

ResumeBuilder surveyed 557 full-time US workers this month for the report.

Despite Pessimism, over a Third of Employees to Seek New Jobs

Daily News, February 14, 2024

While 37% of US employees are looking for a new job in 2024, only 28% believe there are more opportunities in their field than a year ago — down from 34% when asked a year ago, according to a survey by Express Employment Professionals.

Mixed feelings exist regarding the difficulty of landing a job, with 51% of job seekers deeming it easy and 49% considering it difficult. Still, 69% of job seekers believe it will take them six months or less to find a job, up from 62% in the previous survey.

The survey notes that while employed job seekers have been at their current company for an average of eight years, more than one-third are actively searching for a new job.

What is driving the searches for new jobs? Express’ survey found that 85% of job seekers had concerns about their current company. Top fears include not getting the salary increase/raise they deserve, 48%; changes in team structure, 29%; and risk of losing their job before finding a new one, 28%. Other fears include a slowdown in work opportunities because of the economy, never being promoted or the company reducing its workforce due to the economic climate.

“The good news for employers is quality talent is out there and ready to make a move if the circumstances are right,” Express Employment CEO Bill Stoller said in a press release. “While openings have decreased from their record high, it appears job seekers are still optimistic about securing positions in the next six months, hoping to connect them with the perfect opportunity.”

The online survey includes responses from 1,002 US adults. It was conducted from Nov. 9 to Nov. 26, 2023, by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals.

Candidates Cite Job-Search Process Challenges

Daily News, February 12, 2024

‘Time to apply’ and ‘fatigue’ ranked among the top challenges for pursuing a new job, according to a study by CompTIA that included all types of roles.

The data comes from CompTIA’s Job Seeker Trends study, which included a survey that took place from Jan. 10 through Jan. 17 and included 1,001 job seekers.

Top challenges in pursuing a new job included:

  1. Time to apply for jobs, fill out applications, and participate in interviews
  2. Mental fatigue and stress of lengthy job searches
  3. Automated application systems that screen out candidates
  4. Balancing job searches with the demands of work or family
  5. Information overload with job boards and career sites
  6. Too many rounds of interviews
  7. Figuring out where/how to start job search strategy

CompTIA’s survey also asked about factors contributing to job seekers pursuing new employment. They were:

  1. Financial situation changed
  2. Stuck in a rut and wanting something new
  3. Burnout or stress
  4. Unhappy with current career trajectory
  5. Values or life priorities changed

Another finding: 67% of those seeking jobs know about AI, and 19% have used AI to review or enhance a résumé or cover letter, 14% have used it for interactive coaching and 14% have used it to automatically apply for jobs or manage applications.

Near-Term US Economic Outlook Improves, Forecasters Say

Daily News, February 9, 2024

The near-term economic outlook for the US looks better now than it did 3 months ago, according to a survey of 34 economists taking part in the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s First Quarter 2024 Survey of Professional Forecasters.

The US real gross domestic product is now estimated to grow at 2.1% in the first quarter, up from 0.8% in their previous estimation.

They also raised the number of new jobs the US is expected to create each month in the first quarter to 235,800, up from their previous forecast of 65,700.

Forecasters also lowered their estimate of the unemployment rate through the fourth quarter of this year.

In addition, forecasters reduced their estimate of a downturn in the economy this year to 17.3% from 40.9% in a previous estimate.

Top Execs Most Optimistic Since First Part of 2022

Daily News, February 8, 2024

The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence improved, rising to a level of 53 this quarter from 46 in the fourth quarter of 2023. The measure is now above 50, which reflects more positive than negative responses. It’s the first time the reading has been above 50 since the first quarter of 2022.

“CEOs are feeling better about the economy but remain cautious about risks ahead,” Roger Ferguson Jr., vice chairman of The Business Council and trustee of The Conference Board, said in a press statement. “In supplemental questions asked this quarter, CEOs overwhelmingly identified political uncertainty ahead of US elections (51%) as the greatest US challenge affecting businesses in 2024. Meanwhile, CEOs said the greatest global challenge affecting businesses this year is the spread of existing wars (46%).”

Among the findings of the first-quarter survey:

  • 32% of CEOs said economic conditions were better than six months ago, up from 18% in Q4. In addition, 22% said conditions were worse, down from 32% in the fourth quarter of 2023.
  • On the assessment of their industries, 31% of CEOs said their industries improved compared to six months ago, up from 27%. Conversely, 25% said conditions were worse, down from 37% in the previous quarter.
  • In addition, 36% of CEOs expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 19% in the previous quarter, while 27% expect conditions to worsen, down significantly from 47%.
  • More than one-third of CEOs, 35%, expect to expand their workforces over the next 12 months, down only slightly from 38% in the fourth quarter of 2023. However, 23% of CEOs expect to reduce their workforce, up from 13%. That said, 31% of CEOs reported problems attracting qualified workers, though only in key areas, similar to the 32% in the fourth-quarter survey. Only 15% report serious and widespread problems attracting qualified workers, unchanged from the fourth quarter.
  • 72% of CEOs expect to increase wages by 3% or more over the next year, edging up from 71% in Q4.

The survey included responses from 138 CEOs and was conducted between Jan. 16 and Jan. 29. 

Fewer Workers Planning to Switch Jobs: Robert Half

Daily News, February 6, 2024

Fewer workers are planning to switch jobs, according to a study released today by Robert Half Inc. Only 36% of US workers plan to seek a new job in the next 6 months, down from 49% when asked in July 2023.

Why are more workers staying? The top reason was their current job offers a level of flexibility that they aren’t willing to lose; this was cited by 44% of people surveyed. It was followed by those saying they were fulfilled in their current role at 42% and those who say they feel well compensated for their work at 37%.

“The churn in the labor market of the past few years has normalized,” Dawn Fay, operational president of Robert Half, said in a press release. “We’re now seeing workers pause and take stock of their careers as well as employers taking a more strategic approach to hiring.”

The percentage of workers likely to make a move fell across generations. While 55% of Gen Z said they were likely to make a move, that’s down from 74% who were asked the question in July 2023. Among baby boomers, only 13% were planning to make a move, down from 23% in the previous survey.

However, when asked about factors that might prompt them to look for a new position, 55% of workers cited higher salary, 36% reported better benefits and perks and 32% said a job with more remote flexibility than their current company offers.

Fay noted that while employers may have more leverage in today’s job market, they still face hiring challenges.

“Professionals who possess the desired skills to help boost company productivity, alleviate workloads and complete mission-critical projects are still in high demand,” she said. “Hiring managers should have a thoughtful plan in place so they are ready to compete for talent.”

The online survey firm includes responses from more than 1,275 adult workers in finance and accounting, technology, marketing and creative, legal, administrative and customer support and human resources at companies with 20 or more employees in the US. It was conducted from Oct. 27 to Nov. 17, 2023.

US Service Sector Activity Reaches 7-Month High

Daily News, February 5, 2024

Business activity in the US service sector accelerated to a seven-month high in January amid an increase in new orders, according to the S&P Global US Services PMI.

“The US service sector started the year in a sweet spot, with output and demand growth accelerating while price pressures cooled markedly,” Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said in a press release. “The key driver of faster growth was the financial services sector, where looser financial conditions tied to expectations of lower interest rates spurred greater activity in January. Households are also benefitting from loosened financial conditions, driving renewed growth in consumer-facing services.”

The S&P Global US Services PMI Business Activity Index rose to a reading of 52.5 in January from 51.4 in December 2023.

Williamson sees further improvement in February.

“Business optimism about growth prospects in the service sector has likewise jumped higher, encouraging further payroll growth, albeit the latter limited by labor shortages,” he said.

Price pressures have also shifted lower.

“Overall service sector input cost growth is now running at the second lowest for over three years, helping pull selling price growth across goods and services down to a level consistent with inflation dropping materially below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target in the near future,” Williamson said.