BLS Analysis for Recruiters – July 2023

Bob Marshall’s July 2023 BLS Analysis for Recruiters; 8/4/23

July BLS Preface

TBMG Product News and Training Updates:

Product News

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Training Updates

*Top Echelon Expert Recruiter Coaching Series

Tuesday, September 12th, 2023*

On September 12th at 1pm eastern, I will conduct my next FREE webinar in the Top Echelon Expert Recruiter Coaching Series.  These webinars cover some of the most critical issues currently facing our industry.  And mine especially deal with sharing the classic techniques from the big billers I have known over my now 43 year recruitment career. 

I know many of you have heard me discuss classics like The Qualifier Job Order, Sales Linkage, Establishing Elegant Rapport Through Elegant Communication and of course the ‘piece de resistance’, Your Desk as a Manufacturing Plant. 

Well today we will have a brand-new presentation entitled, “Artificial Intelligence (AI):  A Really, Really good Search Engine or Another Attractive Nuisance?”

So, come and join me on Tuesday, September 12th, at 1pm EST and let’s explore AI together!

Hope to see you there!

Is It Time to Hire a Coach?

I realize that taking that first step to engage a Coach to help you reach a higher level of production is not as easy as it sounds.  After all, your training investment – and your time – are important and deserve every consideration.  I share your feelings.  I believe that how you approach your recruitment career matters…that you should get what you pay for, and then some…that you should enjoy your time with your Coach as you are benefiting from it…and that you should never settle for the ordinary.

So, for those of you who have been toying with the idea of working with a recruitment coach (and for those of you who have tried a coach and it just didn’t work out), now may be the time to pick a coach who molds the training around the recruiter and not the recruiter around the training.  In Coaching, as in Life, Flexibility is Key!

When considering ‘individual change management’, think of the theosophical proverb, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear!”  Only you can come to that decision point.  If you are ready, so am I.

Football legend, Vince Lombardi said it best, “Some people try to find things in this game that don’t exist, but football is only two things – blocking and tackling.”  It doesn’t sound very sexy, but it is what it is.  Likewise, Recruitment is only two things – marketing and recruiting.  It’s as simple as that.  Don’t try to over-think this thing.  It reminds me of the old saying that you shouldn’t try to put lipstick on a pig…it doesn’t work, and it annoys the pig!

Daily you have the ability to learn great lessons.  And one of the primary ones is to not deviate from your strengths.  There are many ways to be successful at what you do as long as you rely on your strengths!  No matter what fancy alternatives are presented to you to replace picking up the phone and speaking into it, the ‘classic’ direct marketing call wins every time.  The Classics are the classics for a reason.  They have worked in the past, are working in the present and will continue to work in the future.  Follow the classics to top production!


Many of you continue to correspond with me about these monthly BLS analyses and have asked if it is OK to use them in your presentations.  The answer is, of course, yes!  That is why I spend the time to assemble this information.  I would encourage any of you who have that desire to weave any of the information I have printed below into your presentations.  I write these analyses for the benefit of our recruitment industry in general and for the members of my distribution list in particular.  So, use this info as you deem appropriate.

I also write these monthly BLS analyses to not only counterbalance the negative/incorrect press reporting of our general economic state but, more than that, to remind all of my recruitment readers that, at the level we work, there is no unemployment and so we must recruit to find the candidates our client companies so desperately need!

So, to my recruiter colleagues, get out there and do what your name implies…RECRUIT!  When your client companies have unique and difficult positions to fill, they need you.  When they are being picky, they need you.  When they are longing for more production from fewer employees, they need you.  Go fill those needs.  These should be the halcyon days in the recruitment arena!

Finally, always remember that we are not in an HR business, but in a ‘circumventing the time factor in the hiring sequence’ business—and adding value to our client companies.

Job Openings Fall to Lowest Level in more than 2 Years

Daily News, August 1, 2023

Job openings in June were at their lowest level since April 2021, according to seasonally adjusted data released Aug. 1 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. US job openings edged down by 34,000 in June from May to approximately 9,580,000.

However, Reuters noted job openings still remain at levels consistent with tight labor market conditions despite hefty interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve to dampen demand.

The largest decreases in job openings occurred in transportation, warehousing, and utilities, down by 78,000; state and local government education, down by 29,000; and federal government, down by 21,000.

On the flip side, job openings increased by 136,000 in healthcare and social assistance and by 62,000 in state and local government, excluding education.

Looking at separations, both quits and the number of layoffs and discharges declined. Total separations decreased to about 5,600,000 in June.

Quits, representing voluntary separations initiated by the employee, fell by 295,000 in June to approximately 3,800,000.

Meanwhile, the number of layoffs and discharges decreased in June by 19,000 from the previous month to nearly 1,500,000. 

US Economic Growth Beats Expectations in Q2

Daily News, July 27, 2023

US real gross domestic product grew faster than anticipated, increasing at an annual rate of 2.4% in the second quarter of 2023, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis reported today. This is an advance estimate. Real GDP had grown 2.0% in the first quarter.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast growth of only 1.8% in the second quarter, Yahoo Finance reported.

Despite the better-than-expected second-quarter growth, The Conference Board still foresees a mild recession, according to a post by Erik Lundh, principal economist at The Conference Board. Still, the organization pushed out the forecast date for the recession to the fourth quarter of this year.

“Consumption growth cooled for the quarter, but improvements in business investment growth more than offset this,” Lundh wrote in the post. “The prospects for a soft landing for the US economy are rising, but The Conference Board projects that a short and shallow recession beginning later this year is more likely.”

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysts, the second-quarter increase in real GDP “reflected increases in consumer spending, nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government spending, private inventory investment and federal government spending that were partly offset by decreases in exports and residential fixed investment.”

Separately, the US initial jobless claims last week fell to their lowest level in five months, the US Department of Labor reported today.

Initial jobless claims fell by 7,000 in the week ended July 22 to a total of 221,000.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average of initial claims fell by 3,750 to a level of 233,750.

In other economic news, the Federal Reserve raised its target range for its benchmark interest rate by on Wednesday to a range of 5.25% to 5.5%, CNBC reported.

51% of Hiring Managers Prefer In-person Interviews

Daily News, July 27, 2023

More than half of US hiring managers, 51%, prefer interviewing candidates face-to-face instead of through a screen or phone, according to a survey by Express Employment Professionals.

However, the effects of the pandemic are still visible as 8% only conduct interviews virtually, while 40% use a combination of in-person and virtual.

“Technology was such a wonderful asset to keep the workforce connected during the Covid-19 pandemic, but returning to in-person interviews or a virtual component at the start of the hiring process allows employers to assess soft skills that are hard to capture without meeting face-to-face,” Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller said in a statement. “Looking at these survey results, it seems companies agree.”

The report found that while the methods for conducting job interviews depend on multiple factors, including the industry and the candidate’s skill level, the value of in-person interaction can set candidates up for success.

Express Employment Professionals’ survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll between June 13 and June 26 among 1,010 US hiring decision makers who are employed full time or self-employed.

Quarter of Workers Currently Searching for a New Job

Daily News, July 27, 2023

A quarter of US workers are currently looking for new roles, according to a report by Robert Half, and an additional 24% plan to start searching by the end of the year.

Top among those most likely to make a career move in the remainder of the year are Gen Z professionals, 74%; technology professionals, 64%; and working parents, 63%.

“The takeaway for employers, especially those facing recruiting challenges, is that skilled workers are willing to make a move for the right opportunity,” Dawn Fay, operational president of Robert Half, said in a press release


The report found that contract work has become a viable route for many professionals; 4 in 10 workers said they are open to pursuing contract roles. Workers exploring other employment opportunities are motivated by a higher salary, better benefits and perks and remote work options, according to the report.

The survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm from May 4 to May 30. It included responses from more than 2,500 workers across the US.

150,000,000 Jobs Globally Will Shift to Older Workers

Daily News, July 19, 2023

Older workers are filling more jobs. Research from Bain & Co. found that 150 million jobs across the globe will shift to workers over the age of 55 by the year 2030.

The trend is most pronounced in high-income countries. In Japan, workers 55 and older will approach 40% of the workforce by the end of the decade. However, the shift will impact low- and middle-income countries as well. In Brazil, the proportion of workers over age 55 is rising to the mid-teens.

Bain noted fewer young people are entering the workforce and a long-term trend toward earlier retirement has reversed. It found 41% of American workers expect to work beyond age 65, while 30 years ago the percentage was 12%.

“There was an increase in retirements in some countries during the peak-Covid Great Resignation, but that moment is now looking more like the Great Sabbatical as those workers increasingly return to work,” said James Root, partner at Bain & Co. and co-chair of the firm’s think tank, Bain Futures. “People work longer into their lives, yet we’ve found it rare to see organizations put programs in place to fully integrate older workers into their talent system.”

However, Bain noted workers’ priorities evolve as they age, and the average worker over 60 is most focused on doing interesting work in a job where they have autonomy and flexibility. For the research, Bain interviewed 40,000 workers across 19 countries.

Still, older workers in the US are offered training less often than their younger counterparts. And 22% of workers globally between the ages of 55 and 64 say they need more tech skills.

“With the right tool kit, aging workers can help employers get ahead of their talent gaps and create high-quality jobs that turn older workers’ skills and experience into a competitive advantage,” said Andrew Schwedel, partner at Bain & Co. and co-chair of Bain Futures. “Companies that invest in recruiting, retaining, reskilling and respecting the strengths of this group will set themselves up for success as the demographics of the workforce continue to shift.”

ChatGPT Boosts Worker Productivity in some Writing Tasks (MIT News)

Daily News, July 14, 2023

Generative AI increased worker productivity for certain writing tasks, according to a report in MIT News published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It cited a new study by researchers at MIT. “What we can say for sure is generative AI is going to have a big effect on white collar work,” Shakked Noy told MIT News. Noy is a PhD student in MIT’s Department of Economics who co-authored the paper with fellow PhD student Whitney Zhang. “I think what our study shows is that this kind of technology has important applications in white collar work,” Noy said. “It’s a useful technology. But it’s still too early to tell if it will be good or bad, or how exactly it’s going to cause society to adjust.”

Majority of Graduates Prefer In-Person Work

Daily News, July 14, 2023

Despite the demand for remote and hybrid work arrangements, 51% of college graduates in the class of 2023 prefer to work in person, according to a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The report’s survey also found 42% would prefer a hybrid arrangement, but only 7% want to work exclusively in a virtual environment.

“Coming off the pandemic, class of 2023 college graduates are keenly aware of the value of personal interaction, especially since operating virtually was the norm for a sustained period of time, and the need for work/life balance,” said Shawn VanDerziel, executive director at NACE.

The college class of 2023 also still prioritizes job security when considering opportunities, despite entering a labor market characterized by record-low levels of unemployment and robust hiring, according to the report.

“Job security is among the most important attributes new graduates consider,” VanDerziel said. “Their focus on this is likely the result of experiencing the impacts of the pandemic as well as more recent speculations about a recession.”

The report found that in addition to job security, new graduates also prize friendly co-workers, the opportunity to develop job-specific and applied skills, the ability to integrate work and family responsibilities, and key benefits.

NACE’s survey included 18,966 bachelor’s degree-level students of whom 2,307 identified as graduating seniors. The survey took place from March 15 to May 19.

Investing in Employee Benefits is a Priority for US Companies

Daily News, July 14, 2023

Investment in employee benefits remains a priority for most employers in the US as companies grapple with the challenge of attracting and retaining key talent, according to a report by WTW. Of the organizations surveyed, 80% said competition for talent is a top priority influencing their benefit strategies, while 67% cited rising costs.

“Employee benefits are significant differentiators in attracting and retaining key talent, and companies must prioritize in order to be an employer of choice,” Courtney Stubblefield, managing director and insights and commercialization leader at WTW, said in a press release. “Employers must focus on what their workforce needs by assessing the value of benefits and their impact on employees. This can be challenging given the complexity of benefit programs and the need to simplify operations.”

While competition for talent has been a priority for the past few years, WTW found it to be top of mind this year. Of the employers surveyed, 65% feel that their current benefit plan is effective or highly effective in attracting and retaining key talent, and 49% are focused on their benefit plans meeting needs across all employees. In addition, 43% of employers plan to improve their benefits position in financial well-being.

However, as 75% of organizations focus on managing plan costs in their strategy, balancing employee needs might prove more difficult, according to the report. Employers anticipate costs as a top challenge for benefit budgets in the next two years. While 46% of employers are concerned about the persistence of higher inflation on their benefits budget, 36% expect an impact from the weakening economy and current business environment.

According to the report, to manage costs and simplify offerings, 66% of employers have taken action to improve vendor contract terms; 83% are planning to do so. Meanwhile, for some employers, their only option is strategically evaluating the benefits they offer in response to rising costs.

WTW surveyed 595 organizations across a broad range of industries in the US between March and April for the report.

IT Employment Stabilizes in June after Posting Losses in Past Year

Daily News, July 13, 2023

IT employment was essentially flat in June when compared to May, falling by only 0.03%, the TechServe Alliance reported.

“After the better part of a year losing more than 10,000 jobs a month, IT employment has stabilized the last two months, coming in essentially flat in June,” TechServe Alliance CEO Mark Roberts said in a press release.

June’s month-over-month decline represents a decrease of just 1,500 jobs.

“As I have noted before, the drop through much of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 reflected both a correction of the over-hiring by some sectors and employers being generally more cautious amid economic uncertainty,” Roberts said.

IT employment also remains tight even though overall IT employment hasn’t yet returned to a growth trajectory. “After rising to 2.7% in Q1, the IT unemployment rate dropped to 2.4% in Q2 — well below the unemployment rate of 3.6% of the overall workforce and what is deemed full employment,” Roberts said. “While the data may appear to be sending mixed messages, the bottom line is it remains a sellers’ market in high-demand IT skill sets.”

In addition, data analyzed by the TechServe Alliance showed that tech jobs were down by 2.25% in June when measured on a year-over-year basis.

The organization also tracks engineering employment. Engineering jobs were up 0.17% in June compared to May and up 2.73% when compared to a year ago.

The TechServe Alliance is a trade association representing the technology staffing and solutions industry.

Generative AI Job Posts Surge; Firms Track Executive Interest: Tech Roundup

Daily News, July 11, 2023

Talent platform Upwork Inc. said job posts related to generative AI are up 230%. Meanwhile, IBM said nearly half of CEOs have hired additional workers because of AI, and a Capgemini report found that 74% of executives believe the benefits of AI outweigh the risks.

Job posts and more

Job posts related to generative AI surged on talent platform Upwork Inc., the company reported today. Posts calling for expertise in AI tools such as ChatGPT, Dall-E, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, Jasper and others are up 230% in the second quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. Upwork also noted its previous research that found that 49% of business leaders said they will hire more freelancers as a result of generative AI.

Upwork also said today it launched several generative AI-enhanced beta features powered by OpenAI technologies, including a job post generator to help clients create fully customizable job post drafts, an enhanced Upwork chat using AI, tips to help talent create proposals and other resources, such as guides to integrating generative AI into business.

Upwork isn’t the only ecosystem firm focusing on AI

Separately, last month released research that found 75% of freelancers use generative AI in their work.

In addition, RecruitBot, an AI-powered hiring platform, announced an $8.2 million seed funding round led by Slow Ventures. The financing follows a previous $3 million funding round. RecruitBot provides a database of candidates, an outreach tool and recruiting CRM.

Hiring because of AI

Nearly half of CEOs, 46%, have hired additional workers because of generative AI, and 26% say they have plans for more hiring ahead, according to a report by IBM with results released June 27. However, only 28% of CEOs have assessed the potential impact of generative AI on their workforces, although 36% plan to do so in the next 12 months.

The report also found that 43% of CEOs have reduced or redeployed their workforce because of generative AI, and 28% plan to do so in the next 12 months.

For the report, IBM interviewed 3,000 CEOs from more than 30 countries in 24 industries. The report was carried out in cooperation with Oxford Economics.

AI benefits vs. concerns

Despite risks such as copyright infringement and cybersecurity, 74% of executives believe the benefits of generative AI outweigh the associated concerns, according to a survey by IT services provider Capgemini. It also found that 21% anticipate a disruption in their industries, 40% of organizations across industries have already established teams and budgets for generative AI and a further 49% are contemplating doing so within 12 months.

Generative AI will lead to the emergence of new roles such as AI auditors and AI ethicists, according to 69% of executives. And the integration of generative AI into the workforce will require significant investment in upskilling and cross-skilling of talent.

For the survey, Capgemini surveyed 1,000 organizations interested in exploring generative AI in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain and Sweden. Ninety-nine percent of organizations surveyed had annual revenue of more than $1 billion, and 55% had revenue of more than $5 billion. Capgemini also conducted in-depth interviews with 10 industry executives.

Small Business Hiring Rises in June

Daily News, July 11, 2023

The Cbiz Small Business Employment Index rose 1.98% on a seasonally adjusted basis in June. The report noted seasonal trends of additional hiring in recreational activities contributed to the employment gains.

“June’s employment data for small businesses shows a robust labor market where employers are hiring at a healthy pace amid a skilled labor shortage,” said Anna Rathbun, chief investment officer at Cbiz Investment Advisory Services. “Part of the rise in hiring can be attributed to seasonal trends, as summer typically brings a demand for extra personnel in recreational sectors.”

Hiring increased in nearly all industries, according to the report. The most notable gains were seen in administration and support services, arts, entertainment and recreation, and rental and leasing services.

On the regional level, the report found the largest increase in hiring in the Central and Northeast regions at 2.67% and 2.45%, respectively. The Southeast region had a minor increase at 0.78%, while the West remained flat at 0.02%.

In addition, 28% of companies in the index increased staffing in June, 56% made no change to their headcounts and 16% reduced employment totals.

Rathbun noted June’s index reflects a competitive landscape for the small business market, where hiring talent is a priority amidst the labor shortage.

“Business owners are looking to hire first and manage their margins later,” Rathbun said.

The Cbiz Small Business Employment Index tracks payroll and hiring trends for over 3,200 companies that have 300 or fewer employees.

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 324,000 Jobs in July; 375,000 of the New Job Creation comes from Small & Medium Establishments; Annual Pay was Up 6.2%

ROSELAND, N.J. – August 2, 2023

Private sector employment increased by 324,000 jobs in July and annual pay was up 6.2% year-over-year, according to the July ADP® National Employment ReportTM produced by the ADP Research Institute® in collaboration with the Stanford Digital Economy Lab (“Stanford Lab”).

The ADP National Employment Report is an independent measure and high-frequency view of the private-sector labor market based on actual, anonymized payroll data of more than 25,000,000 U.S. employees. The jobs report and pay insights use ADP’s fine-grained anonymized and aggregated payroll data to provide a representative picture of the private-sector labor market.

The report details the current month’s total private employment change, and weekly job data from the previous month. Because the underlying ADP payroll databases are continuously updated, the report provides a high frequency, near real-time measure of U.S. employment. This measure reflects the number of employees on ADP client payrolls (Payroll Employment) to provide a richer understanding of the labor market. ADP’s pay measure uniquely captures the earnings of a cohort of almost 10,000,000 employees over a 12-month period.

* Sum of components may not equal total, due to rounding. The June total of jobs added was revised from 497,000 to 455,000.

“The economy is doing better than expected and a healthy labor market continues to support household spending,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP. “We continue to see a slowdown in pay growth without broad-based job loss.”


Private employers added 324,000 jobs in July.  Job creation remained robust in July, with leisure and hospitality again driving growth. One weakness was manufacturing, an interest rate-sensitive industry that shed jobs for the fifth straight month.

Change in U.S. Private Employment: 324,000

Change by Industry Sector

Goods-producing: 21,000

Natural resources/mining 48,000

Construction 9,000

Manufacturing -36,000

Service-providing: 303,000

Trade/transportation/utilities 30,000

Information 36,000

Financial activities -5,000

Professional/business services 5,000

Education/health services 12,000

Leisure/hospitality 201,000

Other services 24,000

Change by U.S. Regions

Northeast: 276,000

New England 114,000

Middle Atlantic 162,000

Midwest: 129,000

East North Central 68,000

West North Central 61,000

South: -144,000

South Atlantic -87,000

East South Central -34,000

West South Central -23,000

West: 55,000

Mountain 8,000

Pacific 47,000

Change by Establishment Size

Small establishments: 237,000

1-19 employees 114,000

20-49 employees 123,000

Medium establishments: 138,000

50-249 employees 152,000

250-499 employees -14,000

Large establishments: -67,000

500+ employees -67,000


Pay growth continued downward trend in July Job stayers saw a year-over-year pay increase of 6.2%, the slowest pace of gains since November 2021.

For job changers, pay growth slowed to 10.2%.

Median Change in Annual Pay (ADP matched person sample)

Job-Stayers 6.2%

Job-Changers 10.2%

Median Change in Annual Pay for Job-Stayers by Industry Sector


Natural resources/mining 6.2%

Construction 6.4%

Manufacturing 5.7%


Trade/transportation/utilities 6.0%

Information 5.5%

Financial activities 6.4%

Professional/business services 6.0%

Education/health services 6.7%

Leisure/hospitality 7.2%

Other services 6.1%

Median Change in Annual Pay for Job-Stayers by Firm Size

Small firms:

1-19 employees 5.2%

20-49 employees 6.2%

Medium firms:

50-249 employees 6.4%

250-499 employees 6.2%

Large firms:

500+ employees 6.2%

Bottom-line:  To my audience of recruiters, always remember this:  Our ‘bread and butter’, especially on the contingency side of the house, has historically been, and continues to be, small and medium-sized client companies.  Along with the large companies, these companies need to be included in your niche!

The August 2023 ADP National Employment Report will be released at 8:15 a.m. ET on August 30, 2023.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary – June 2023

August 1, 2023         

The number of job openings was little changed at 9,600,000 on the last business day of June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, the number of hires and total separations decreased to 5,900,000 and 5,600,000, respectively. Within separations, quits (3,800,000) decreased, while layoffs and discharges (1,500,000) changed little. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, and by establishment size class.

Job Openings

On the last business day of June, the number of job openings was little changed at 9,600,000, while the rate was unchanged at 5.8%. In June, job openings increased in health care and social assistance (+136,000) and in state and local government, excluding education (+62,000). Job openings decreased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-78,000), state and local government education (-29,000), and federal government (21,000).


In June, the number of hires decreased to 5,900,000 (-326,000), while the rate was little changed at 3.8%. Hires decreased in durable goods manufacturing (-54,000) and in finance and insurance (-54,000).


Total separations include quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations include separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm.

The number of total separations in June decreased to 5,600,000 (-288,000), while the rate was little changed at 3.6%. Over the month, the number of total separations decreased in retail trade (-134,000), health care and social assistance (-84,000), and durable goods manufacturing (-54,000). The number of total separations increased in professional and business services (+129,000).

In June, the number and rate of quits decreased to 3,800,000 (-295,000) and 2.4%, respectively. The number of quits decreased in several industries, with the largest decreases in retail trade (-95,000), health care and social assistance (-75,000), and construction (-51,000). The number of quits increased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+20,000).

In June, the number of layoffs and discharges changed little at 1,500,000, and the rate held at 1.0%. Layoffs and discharges increased in professional and business services (+112,000). The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in durable goods manufacturing (-26,000) and in wholesale trade (-26,000).

The number of other separations was little changed in June at 339,000.

Establishment Size Class

In June, establishments with 1 to 9 employees saw a decrease in their quits rates and an increase in their other separations rates. Establishments with more than 5,000 employees saw increases in their quits rates.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey estimates for July 2023 are scheduled to be released on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

As we recruiters know, that 9,600,000 number only represents 20% of the jobs currently available in the marketplace.  The other 80% of job openings are unpublished and are filled through networking or word of mouth or by using a RECRUITER.   So, those 9,600,000 published job openings now become a total of 48,000,000 published AND hidden job orders.



Online Labor Demand Increases in June

July 12, 2023

The Conference Board−Lightcast Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Index rose in June to 168.6 (July 2018=100), up from a downwardly revised 165.4 in May. The 1.9% increase between June and May follows a 4.8% decrease between April and May. Overall, the Index is up 0.8% from one year ago.

The HWOL Index measures the change in advertised online job vacancies over time, reflecting monthly trends in employment opportunities across the US. The Help Wanted OnLine® Index is produced in collaboration with Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass), the global leader in real-time labor market data and analysis. This collaboration enhances the Help Wanted OnLine® program by providing additional insights into important labor market trends.


Prior to 2020, The Conference Board constructed the HWOL Index based solely on online job ads over time. Using a methodology designed to reduce non-economic volatility contributed by online job sources, the HWOL Index served an effective measure of changes in labor demand over time.

Beginning January 2020, the HWOL Index was refined as an estimate of change in job openings (based on BLS JOLTS), using a series of econometric models which incorporate job ads with other macroeconomic indicators such as employment and aggregate hours worked. By adopting a modeled approach which combines other data sources with data on online job ads, the HWOL Index more accurately tracks important movements in the labor market.

The Conference Board-Lightcast Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Index measures changes over time in advertised online job vacancies, reflecting monthly trends in employment opportunities across the US. The HWOL Data Series aggregates the total number of ads available by month from the HWOL universe of online job ads. Ads in the HWOL universe are collected in real-time from over 50,000 online job domains including traditional job boards, corporate boards, social media sites, and smaller job sites that serve niche markets and smaller geographic areas.

Like The Conference Board’s long-running Help Wanted Advertising Index of print ads (which was published for over 55 years and discontinued in July 2008), Help Wanted OnLine® measures help wanted advertising—i.e., labor demand. The HWOL Data Series began in May 2005 and was revised in December 2018. With the December 2018 revision, The Conference Board released the HWOL Index, improving upon the HWOL Data Series’ ability to assess local labor market trends by reducing volatility and non-economic noise and improving correlation with local labor market conditions.

In 2019, Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass) joined the Help Wanted OnLine® program as the new sole provider of online job ad data for HWOL. With this partnership, the HWOL Data Series has been revised historically to reflect a new universe and methodology of online job advertisements and therefore cannot be used in conjunction with the pre-revised HWOL Data Series. The HWOL Data Series begins in January 2015 and the HWOL Index begins in December 2005. HWOL Index values prior to 2020 are based on job ads collected by CEB, Inc.

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

About Lightcast

As the global leader in labor market analytics, Lightcast illuminates the future of work with data-driven talent strategies. Formerly Emsi Burning Glass, Lightcast finds purpose in sharing the insights that build communities, educators, and companies, and takes pride in knowing our work helps others find fulfillment, too. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and Moscow, Idaho, Lightcast is active in more than 30 countries and has offices in the United Kingdom, Italy, New Zealand, and India. Lightcast is backed by global private equity leader KKR. 


The next release for July 2023 is Wednesday, August 9, 2023, at 10 AM

U-6 Update

In July 2023, the regular unemployment rate fell to 3.5% and the broader U-6 measure fell to 6.7%.

The above 6.7% is referred to as the U-6 unemployment rate (found in the monthly BLS Employment Situation Summary, Table A-15; Table A-12 in 2008 and before).  It counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment (the more familiar U-3 rate), but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.”  Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week.  And the “marginally attached workers” include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work.  The age considered for this calculation is 16 years and over.

Here is a look at the July U-6 numbers for the previous 20 years:

July                  2022                6.7%

July                  2021                9.2%

July                  2020                16.5%

July                  2019                6.9%

July                  2018                7.5%

July                  2017                8.5%

July                 2016                9.7%

July                  2015                10.4%

July                  2014                12.2%

July                  2013                13.9%

July                 2012                14.9%

July                  2011                16.1%

July                  2010                16.5%

July                 2009                16.4%

July                 2008                10.4%

July                 2007                8.3%

July                 2006                8.5%

July                  2005                8.9%

July                  2004                9.5%

July                  2003                10.3%

The July 2023 BLS Analysis

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 187,000 in July, and the unemployment rate fell by 0.1% to 3.5%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Job gains occurred in health care, social assistance, financial activities, and wholesale trade.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised down by 25,000, from +306,000 to +281,000, and the change for June was revised down by 24,000, from +209,000 to +185,000. With these revisions, employment in May and June combined is 49,000 lower than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.)

The unemployment rate is also published by the BLS.  That rate is found by dividing the number of unemployed by the total civilian labor force.  On August 4th, 2023, the BLS published the most recent unemployment rate for July 2023 of 3.5% (actually, it is 3.495%, down .073% from 3.568% in June.

The unemployment rate was determined by dividing the unemployed of 5,841,000

(–down from the month before by 116,000—since July 2022, this number has increased by 123,000) by the total civilian labor force of 167,103,000 (up by 152,000 from June 2023).  Since July 2022, our total civilian labor force has increased by 3,113,000 workers.

(The continuing ‘Strange BLS Math’ saga—after a detour in December 2016 when the BLS {for the first time in years} DECREASED the total Civilian Noninstitutional Population—this month the BLS increased this total to 267,002,000.  This is an increase of 152,000 from last month’s increase of 183,000.  In one year, this population has increased by 3,113,000.  For the last 3 years the Civilian Noninstitutional Population has increased each month—except in December 2016, December 2018, December 2019, & December 2020—by…)

Up from June 2023by152,000
Up from May 2023by183,000
Up from April 2023by175,000
Up from March 2023by171,000
Up from February 2023by160,000
Up from January 2023by150,000
Up from December 2022by1,118,000
Up from November 2022by136,000
Up from October 2022by173,000
Up from September 2022by179,000
Up from August 2022by172,000
Up from July 2022by172,000
Up from June 2022by177,000
Up from May 2022by156,000
Up from April 2022by120,000
Up from March 2022by115,000
Up from February 2022by120,000
Up from January 2022by122,000
Up from December 2021by1,066,000
Up from November 2021by107,000
Up from October 2021by121,000
Up from September 2021by142,000
Up from August 2021by155,000
Up from July 2021by142,000
Up from June 2021by131,000
Up from May 2021by128,000
Up from April 2021by107,000
Up from March 2021by100,000
Up from February 2021by85,000
Up from January 2021by67,000
Down from December 2020by379,000
Up from November 2020by145,000
Up from October 2020by160,000
Up from September 2020by183,000
Up from August 2020by184,000
Up from July 2020by185,000

Subtract the ‘civilian labor force’ from the ‘civilian noninstitutional population’) and you get 99,899,000 ‘Not in Labor Force’—up by 49,000 from last month’s 99,850,000.  In one year, this NILF population has decreased by 122,000.  The government tells us that most of these NILFs got discouraged and just gave up looking for a job.  My monthly recurring question is: “If that is the case, how do they survive when they don’t earn any money because they don’t have a job?  Are they ALL relying on the government to support them??”

This month, our Employment Participation Rate—the population 16 years and older working or seeking work—remained at 62.6%.  This rate is .2% higher than the historically low rate of 62.4% recorded in September 2015—and, before that, the rate recorded in October 1977—9 months into Jimmy Carter’s presidency—almost 40 years ago!

Final take on these numbers:  Fewer people looking for work will always bring down the unemployment rate.

Anyway, back to the point I am trying to make.  On the surface, these new unemployment

rates are scary, but let’s look a little deeper and consider some other numbers.

The unemployment rate includes all types of workers—construction workers, government workers, etc.  We recruiters, on the other hand, mainly place management, professional and related types of workers.  That unemployment rate in July was 2.4% (this rate was .2% higher than last month’s 2.2%).  Or you can look at it another way.  We usually place people who have college degrees.  That unemployment rate in July was 2.0% (this rate was the same as last month’s 2.0%).

Now stay with me a little longer.  This gets better.  It’s important to understand (and none of the pundits mention this) that the unemployment rate, for many reasons, will never be 0%, no matter how good the economy is.  Without boring you any more than I have already, let me add here that Milton Friedman (the renowned Nobel Prize-winning economist), is famous for the theory of the “natural rate of unemployment” (or the term he preferred, NAIRU, which is the acronym for Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment).  Basically, this theory states that full employment presupposes an ‘unavoidable and acceptable’ unemployment rate of somewhere between 4-6% with it.  Economists often settle on 5%, although the “New Normal Unemployment Rate” has been suggested to fall at 6.7%.

Nevertheless (if you will allow me to apply a ‘macro’ concept to a ‘micro’ issue), if this rate is applied to our main category of Management, Professional and Related types of potential recruits, and/or our other main category of College-Degreed potential recruits, because of the COVID-19 shutdown, we are not that far above the 4-6% threshold for full employment…and that will change as soon as we all return to work!


“The economic goal of any nation, as of any individual, is to get the greatest results with the least effort.  The whole economic progress of mankind has consisted in getting more production with the same labor…Translated into national terms, this first principle means that our real objective is to maximize production.  In doing this, full employment—that is, the absence of involuntary idleness—becomes a necessary by-product.  But production is the end, employment merely the means.  We cannot continuously have the fullest production without full employment.  But we can very easily have full employment without full production.”

–Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt, Chapter X, “The Fetish of Full Employment”

On July 27th, 2023, the real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.4% in the second quarter of 2023, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 2.0%.

The GDP estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency.  The “second” estimate for the second quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on August 30, 2023.

The increase in real GDP reflected increases in consumer spending, nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government spending, private inventory investment, and federal government spending that were partly offset by decreases in exports and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

The increase in consumer spending reflected increases in both services and goods. Within services, the leading contributors to the increase were housing and utilities, health care, financial services and insurance, and transportation services. Within goods, the increase was led by recreational goods and vehicles as well as gasoline and other energy goods. The increase in nonresidential fixed investment reflected increases in equipment, structures, and intellectual property products. The increase in state and local spending reflected increases in compensation of state and local government employees and gross investment in structures. The increase in private inventory investment reflected increases in both farm and nonfarm inventories.

Compared to the first quarter, the acceleration in GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected an upturn in private inventory investment and an acceleration in nonresidential fixed investment. These movements were partly offset by a downturn in exports, and decelerations in consumer spending, federal government spending, and state and local government spending. Imports turned down.

Comprehensive Update of the National Economic Accounts

BEA will release initial results from the 2023 comprehensive update of the National Economic Accounts, which include the National Income and Product Accounts as well as the Industry Economic Accounts, on September 28, 2023. The update will present revised statistics for GDP, GDP by Industry, and gross domestic income.

*          *          *

Next release, August 30, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. EDT
Gross Domestic Product (Second Estimate)
Corporate Profits (Preliminary Estimate)
Second Quarter 2023


‘Unemployment’ is an emotional ‘trigger’ word…a ‘third rail’, if you will.  It conjures up negative thoughts.  But it is important to realize that, while we want everyone who wants a job to have the opportunity to work, unemployment can never be zero and, in fact, can be disruptive to an economy if it gets too close to zero.  Very low unemployment can actually hurt the economy by creating an upward pressure on wages which invariably leads to higher production costs and prices.  This can lead to inflation.  The lowest the unemployment rate has been in the US was 2.5%.  That was in May and June 1953 when the economy overheated due to the Korean War.  When this bubble burst, it kicked off the Recession of 1953.  A healthy economy will always include some percentage of unemployment.

There are five main sources of unemployment:

1.  Cyclical (or demand-deficient) unemployment – This type of unemployment fluctuates with the business cycle.  It rises during a recession and falls during the subsequent recovery.  Workers who are most affected by this type of unemployment are laid off during a recession when production volumes fall, and companies use lay-offs as the easiest way to reduce costs.  These workers are usually rehired, some months later, when the economy improves.

2.  Frictional unemployment – This comes from the normal turnover in the labor force.  This is where new workers are entering the workforce and older workers are retiring and leaving vacancies to be filled by the new workers or those re-entering the workforce.  This category includes workers who are between jobs.

3.  Structural unemployment – This happens when the skills possessed by the unemployed worker don’t match the requirements of the opening—whether those be in characteristics and skills or in location.  This can come from new technology or foreign competition (e.g., foreign outsourcing).  This type of unemployment usually lasts longer than frictional unemployment because retraining, and sometimes relocation, is involved.  Occasionally jobs in this category can just disappear overseas.

4.  Seasonal unemployment – This happens when the workforce is affected by the climate or time of year.  Construction workers and agricultural workers aren’t needed as much during the winter season because of the inclement weather.  On the other hand, retail workers experience an increase in hiring shortly before, and during, the holiday season, but can be laid off shortly thereafter.

5.  Surplus unemployment – This is caused by minimum wage laws and unions.  When wages are set at a higher level, unemployment can often result.  Why?  To keep within the same payroll budget, the company must let go of some workers to pay the remaining workers a higher salary.

Other factors influencing the unemployment rate:

1.  Length of unemployment – Some studies indicate that an important factor influencing a worker’s decision to accept a new job is directly related to the length of the unemployment benefit they are receiving.  Currently, workers in most states are eligible for up to 26 weeks of benefits from the regular state-funded unemployment compensation program.

Extended Benefits are available to workers who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment. The basic Extended Benefits program provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits when a State is experiencing high unemployment. Some States have also enacted a voluntary program to pay up to 7 additional weeks (20 weeks maximum) of Extended Benefits during periods of extremely high unemployment.

Studies suggest that additional weeks of benefits reduce the incentive of the unemployed to seek and accept less-desirable jobs.

2.  Changes in GDP – Since hiring workers takes time, the improvement in the unemployment rate usually lags the improvement in the GDP.


Now back to the issue at hand, namely the recruiting, and placing, of professionals and those with college degrees.

If you look at the past 23 years of unemployment in the July “management, professional and related” types of worker category, you will find the following rates:

July                 2022                2.4%

July                 2021               3.3%

July                 2020                6.6%

July                 2019                2.4%

July                 2018                2.4%

July                 2017                2.7%

July                 2016                3.0%

July                 2015                3.1%

July                 2014                3.5%

July                 2013                4.1%

July                 2012                4.8%

July                 2011                5.0%

July                 2010                5.0%

July                 2009                5.5%

July                 2008                2.9%

July                 2007                2.5%

July                 2006                2.5%

July                 2005                2.7%

July                 2004                3.1%

July                 2003                3.7%

July                 2002                3.5%

July                 2001                2.2%

July                 2000                1.8%

Here are the rates, during those same time periods, for “college-degreed” workers:

July                 2022                2.0%

July                 2021                3.1%

July                 2020                6.7%

July                 2019                2.1%

July                 2018                2.2%

July                 2017                2.3%

July                 2016                2.5%

July                 2015                2.5%

July                 2014                3.1%

July                 2013                3.8%

July                 2012                4.1%

July                 2011                4.3%

July                 2010                4.5%

July                 2009                4.7%

July                 2008                2.5%

July                 2007                2.1%

July                 2006                2.1%

July                 2005                2.4%

July                 2004                2.7%

July                 2003                3.1%

July                 2002                3.0%

July                 2001                2.2%

July                  2000                1.7%

The July 2023 rates for these two categories, 2.4% and 2.0%, respectively, are pretty low.  But regardless, these unemployment numbers usually include a good number of job hoppers, job shoppers and rejects.  We, on the other hand, are engaged by our client companies to find those candidates who are happy, well-appreciated, making good money and currently working and we entice them to move for even better opportunities—especially where new technologies are expanding.  This will never change.  And that is why, no matter the overall unemployment rate, we still need to MARKET to find the best possible job orders to work and we still need to RECRUIT to find the best possible candidates for those Job Orders.

Below are the numbers for the over 25-year old’s:

Less than H.S. diploma – Unemployment Rate


H.S. Grad; no college – Unemployment Rate


Some College; or AA/AS – Unemployment Rate


BS/BS + – Unemployment Rate


Management, Professional & Related – Unemployment Rate


Or employed… (,000)


And unemployed… (,000)


For a total Management, Professional & Related workforce of…(,000)


Management, Business and Financial Operations – Unemployment Rate


Professional & Related – Unemployment Rate


Sales & Related – Unemployment Rate