BLS Analysis for Recruiters – June 2023

Bob Marshall’s June 2023 BLS Analysis for Recruiters


June BLS Preface

TBMG Coaching Updates and Product News:

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.

In the opinion of ex-Dallas Cowboys football coach Tom Landry who coached from 1960-1988, “A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”

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 we 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!  Choose one of the coaching plans below:

3-month, Platinum Plan

This is a 3-month commitment plan.  In this plan, I will put in place all of the tools that you will need to become a profitable recruiter.  My five major products (training manual, daily planner, QRG, forms and the ‘Classics’ audio series) are included in this selection.  We will have a meeting, up to one hour, once per week and I will be available to continually work with you and answer your questions on a weekly, basis.  Admission into the Illuminati Think Tank series is included, with access to select recordings.

1-month, Gold Plan

This is a month-to-month plan.  In this plan, I will be available to you for four hours to be parceled out as you choose during a 4-week period.  Admission into the Illuminati Think Tank series is included.

Every other week, Silver Plan

This is a month-to-month plan.  In this plan, I will be available to you for 2 separate meetings, up to one hour, to be parceled out every other week to be used within a 4-week period.  Admission into the Illuminati Think Tank series is included.

Hourly, Bronze Plan

This is an ‘a la carte’ hourly plan.  Call for details and availability.

Our new TBMG Training Program:



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.

Hiring Managers Target Unnecessary Meetings, Other Time Wasters

Daily News, June 28, 2023

Most hiring managers, 68%, are identifying and eliminating employee time wasters such as online distractions and unnecessary meetings to improve workforce productivity, according to a report by Express Employment Professionals.

The most common items being targeted for elimination include disorganization, 44%; online distractions, 44%; unnecessary tasks such as approval processes and reporting, 42%; interruptions, 39%; and unnecessary meetings, 38%, according to the report.

“Today’s workforce has so many factors fighting for its attention that it makes sense to implement tactics to increase focus and productivity, but it must be done mindfully,” Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller said in a press release.

The biggest inefficiencies Express franchise owners see are unnecessary and lengthy meetings, emails, cellphone calls and unlimited access to social media.

“Employees are not able to complete all their tasks, but they check their social media pages constantly throughout the day,” Nancy Reed, an Express franchise owner in Texas, said in a press release. “Another distraction is spending too much time chatting with others, either in person or via platforms like Microsoft Teams during the workday. Having the flexibility to collaborate and build a great team is important, but if employees are unable to properly manage their time and complete tasks while doing so, then it can become a distraction.”

The survey was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between Dec. 1 and Dec. 15, 2022, among 1,002 US hiring decision makers.

81% of Enterprise CIOs Plan to Raise IT Headcount this Year

Daily News, June 27, 2023

As part of their talent strategy and to meet critical skills demands, 81% of chief information officers in large organizations plan to increase IT headcount this year, according to a report by Gartner. The report found that only 14% of CIOs expect their IT staff to decrease and 5% expect their headcount to remain the same.

“Attracting and retaining technology talent remain critical areas of concern for CIOs,” said Jose Ramirez, senior principal analyst at Gartner. “Even with advances in artificial intelligence, Gartner predicts that the global job impact will be neutral in the next several years due to enterprise adoption lags, implementation times and learning curves.”

According to the report, 67% of large-enterprise CIOs plan to grow their IT headcount by at least 10% to support their enterprise’s digital initiatives. However, while CIOs are looking to expand their IT teams, many have faced roadblocks in hiring due to economic conditions. Economic volatility resulted in slower IT hiring, according to 41%. Other roadblocks included decreasing overall IT budgets, cited by 35%, and IT hiring freezes, cited by 29%.

“CIOs are taking proactive steps to combat economic volatility by relaxing geographic and role requirements to expand their IT talent pipeline,” Ramirez said. “Some organizations have found success by hiring early career technologists and providing upskilling opportunities to fill critical technology needs.”

The report also found that with the growing demand for IT talent, the most important candidate qualities CIOs look for during the hiring process are requisite technical skills, soft skills and cultural fit. In addition, CIOs cite cybersecurity, cloud platforms and customer and user experience as the 3 most critical technical skills in 2023.

Business Activity Growth at 3-month Low in June, Jobs Grow at Slowest Rate Since January; S&P Report

Daily News, June 26, 2023

S&P’s Global Flash US Composite Purchasing Managers Index signaled a further expansion of business activity at the end of the second quarter, although the rate of growth slowed to a three-month low. The index is now at a reading of 53.0, down from 54.3 in May.

Manufacturers reported a renewed contraction in production, while service providers saw a slower but still solid upturn in output.

Jobs growth sank to the slowest since January. Although higher wages added to firms’ costs, selling price inflation for goods and services hit a 32-month low.

“The overall rate of expansion of business activity in the US remained robust in June, consistent with GDP rising at a rate of 1.7% to put second quarter growth in the region of 2%,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

However, Williamson noted that growth remains dependent on service sector spending, with manufacturing slipping back into decline after three months of growth.

“While improving supply conditions had helped boost manufacturing production in prior months, an increasingly severe downturn in new orders means factories are running out of work,” he said.

Services Sector

Services firms continued to hire amid greater new orders. That said, the rate of job creation eased to the weakest since January amid challenges replacing voluntary leavers, according to the report.

In response to problems hiring sufficient new staff, the level of outstanding business at service providers increased in June. The upturn followed a decline seen in May, though it was only marginal overall. Strong demand conditions helped support an uptick in business confidence in June. Firms were upbeat in their expectations for output over the coming year, with the level of optimism the highest since May 2022.

“The tightness of the labor market remains a concern, and upward wage pressure remains a key driver of higher costs in the service sector,” said Williamson. “However, it is encouraging to see the overall rate of selling price inflation for goods and services drop to the lowest since late 2020 in a sign that the Fed is winning its fight against inflation.”

Manufacturing Sector

In line with subdued demand, firms sought to run down their stocks and reduce input purchasing in June. Input buying fell at the steepest rate since January, and both pre- and post-production inventories declined sharply.

Greater success in finding suitable candidates allowed firms to expand their workforce numbers in June despite concerns surrounding future demand conditions. The rate of job creation slowed slightly but remained among the fastest in a year. Increased employment and lower new orders led to a substantial decline in backlogs of work. 

Although strongly upbeat in their expectations, manufacturers moderated their confidence regarding the outlook for output over the next year in June. The degree of optimism was the weakest in 2023 so far amid customer hesitancy and inflationary concerns.

5 Ways to Help Recruit, Manage and Retain Multigenerational Teams

Daily News, June 23, 2023

Understanding what motivates each of the 4 distinct generations in today’s workforce can help companies more effectively recruit, manage, and retain strong teams, according to Robert Half’s new report, “Examining the Multigenerational Workforce,” which provides insights on 5 trends companies should note.

Here are the trends from the report:

  1.  A competitive salary with regular merit increases has the biggest impact on job satisfaction and retention for millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers. However, Gen Z is more influenced by factors other than compensation. Additionally, Gen X workers (32%) are most likely to feel underpaid. Robert Half suggests companies research and benchmark salaries regularly.
  • . One-third of Gen Z professionals prefer to choose when and where to work and desire more in-person interactions than employees of other generations. Furthermore, around 6 in 10 are concerned about missing out on project opportunities and promotions when working remotely. Consider implementing a flexible work policy that allows for both remote options and purposeful in-office time for training and team-building activities, the report advises.
  •  Despite being digitally savvy, 78% of Gen Z professionals are concerned about AI impacting their job, compared to millennials (48%), Gen Xers (40%) and baby boomers (27%). However, all generations exhibit a preference for reskilling within their current company rather than seeking a different position if the job is at risk. Provide opportunities for employees at all levels to learn new skills, stay up to date with technology and explore different career paths within your company.
  •  50% of Gen Z professionals are looking for a new job this year and are interested in full-time contract work as it offers the opportunity to take several assignments and work at multiple companies, building skills and connections. Consider hiring contract professionals who have specialized skills and fresh ideas that can help your business stay nimble.
  •  Top reasons for all generations to withdraw from considering job opportunities include lack of salary transparency, unclear or unreasonable job responsibilities and poor communication with a hiring manager. Therefore, it is important to be upfront about salaries and job responsibilities with candidates.

“Building and managing teams is complicated, especially as workforce demographics and priorities shift,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. “Ultimately, all professionals want to feel supported and valued. Understanding what makes different generations tick and striving to create a work environment that addresses their various needs can go a long way toward improving engagement, productivity, and retention.”

The report is based on surveys of more than 1,000 North American workers 18 and older conducted in November 2022 and in January and April 2023.

Recession, Employee Burnout are Top Risks: Boyden

Daily News, June 22, 2023

The threat of recession ranks as the top external risk to businesses, while employee burnout is the top internal risk, according to a report by executive search firm Boyden. It found 38% of business leaders are worried about a recession, and 24% cite employee burnout as a top risk.

Despite the recession risk, not all business leaders are ready. The report found 38% of leadership teams are somewhat or not at all prepared for recession, and 35% have little or no confidence in having the right talent for their strategy.

The report also found that board-level respondents see human capital as the top driver of organizational growth; 44% said they need to strengthen their own skills in artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning. In addition, in preparation for a recession, 33% of board respondents reported increased engagement by the leadership team with the board.

“The board-level focus on talent is an ongoing reflection of the deeper engagement of the board in day-to-day business as leaders and organizations strive to adapt in real time,” Boyden President and CEO Chad Hesters said. “Coupled with this, digital capabilities and strategy have become intertwined, accelerating the pace of change and shining a light on the need for digital fluency at all levels of the organization.”

Meanwhile, for growth prospects, 77% of global business leaders are very confident or confident in their organization’s potential. However, 41% said their organizations need to strengthen skills in AI, robotics and machine learning to achieve growth, while 35% have little or no confidence in having the right talent to align with strategy.

Boyden conducted the survey in this quarter among 1,000 senior executives from different industries globally.

These are the Most Boring Jobs, according to

Daily News, June 21, 2023

Data entry tops the list of the most boring jobs, according to a survey by 39% of respondents said data entry jobs — which typically include reporting, lead generation research, customer relationship management and database updating — are their most boring day-to-day tasks at work.

Writing and customer service tasks are the second-most boring jobs, cited by 22% of the survey respondents.

On the other hand, design ranks as the most fun and exciting task with 49% ranking design as their favorite task.

“Our global survey offers valuable insights for businesses looking to improve their work environments and increase productivity,” said Marko Zitko, communications manager at “By delegating monotonous tasks like data entry to on-demand freelancers, companies can free up their in-house employees to focus on more engaging work that they enjoy doing. By eliminating the burden of repetitive tasks and administrative work, workplaces can create a more dynamic and enjoyable workplace for everyone involved.”

According to the report, the leading cause of boredom among 38% of workers is the repetition of tasks. While 30% of workers find too many small tasks boring, 27% said too much administrative work causes boredom.

For the report, surveyed 2,380 freelancers and employers across 103 countries between December 2022 and February 2023.

New Data suggests Great Resignation to Continue

Daily News, June 20, 2023

The Great Resignation looks to continue as the rising cost of living forces workers to seek better-paying jobs, according to PwC survey. The organization found that 26% of employees will change jobs in the next 12 months, up from 19% last year.

Globally, employees are increasingly feeling cash-strapped amid a cooling economy and inflationary challenges, the report found. The proportion of the global workforce who said they have money left over at the end of the month fell to 38%, down from 47% in 2022.

“With the ongoing economic uncertainty, we see a global workforce that wants more pay and more meaning from their work,” said Bhushan Sethi, strategy and principal at PwC US, in a statement. “Addressing these needs will be critical as leaders seek to transform their workplaces enabling business model reinvention, profitable growth and job creation.”

PwC found that 21% of workers now work multiple jobs, with 69% doing so because they need additional income. In addition, the economic squeeze is also driving up pay demands, with the proportion of workers planning to ask for a pay increase rising to 42% from 35% year on year. Among workers planning to ask for pay raise, 46% are struggling financially.

According to the report, workers struggling financially are also less able to meet future challenges, including the need to develop new skills and adapt to the rise of artificial intelligence. Compared to workers who can pay their bills comfortably, those who struggle or cannot pay their bills are 12 percentage points less likely to say they actively seek opportunities to develop new skills.

However, skilled workers are facing the rapidly changing economic and workplace environment with greater confidence, according to the report. Workers who say their job requires specialized skills are more likely to anticipate change ahead.

PwC surveyed 53,912 individuals working or actively in the labor market for the report. The survey, conducted in April, included responses from workers in 46 countries.

Average Time to Hire Rises Again, up to 44 Days in Q1

Daily News, June 2, 2023

The average time to hire rose by 1 day in the first quarter, according to a report released by AMS, a global recruitment process outsourcing provider, and the HR research firm Josh Bersin Co. It took an average of 44 days to hire people in the first quarter, up from 43 days reported a year ago.

In addition, the report showed a widening gap between easy-to-fill and difficult-to-fill roles across all sectors. While some jobs are filled in 14 days, many remain vacant for 2 to 3 months or more.

The report looked at data from eight industries and more than 25 countries across the globe.

“As our data shows, time to hire has risen consistently for the last four years,” said Jim Sykes, global managing director of client operations at AMS. “Make no mistake, the hiring market is not going to get easier any time soon. HR and talent leaders will need to continue to innovate and transform their strategies for acquiring, developing and retaining talent.”

According to the report, energy and defense have the longest times to hire at more than 67 days, with slower times to hire predicted for this year. The industry with the next-longest average time to hire was professional services at 47 days. Filling tech roles also remained challenging.

“Whatever may be happening in the world economy currently, it is clear that supply and demand are not in sync in terms of the type of skills available and the gaps that need to be filled,” said Josh Bersin, global HR research analyst and CEO of The Josh Bersin Co. “The real trailblazers in HR and talent acquisition have recognized this and are thinking outside the box when it comes to developing people, cross-pollinating roles from elsewhere, and actively keeping succession and new-role pipelines full.”

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 497,000 Jobs in June; 482,000 of the New Job Creation comes from Small & Medium Establishments; Annual Pay was Up 6.4%

ROSELAND, N.J. – July 6, 2023

Private sector employment increased by 497,000 jobs in June and annual pay was up 6.4% year-over-year, according to the June ADP® National Employment ReportTM produced by the ADP Research Institute® in collaboration with the Stanford Digital Economy Lab (“Stanford Lab”).

The jobs report and pay insights use ADP’s fine-grained anonymized and aggregated payroll data of over 25,000,000 U.S. employees to provide a representative picture of the labor market.

The report details the current month’s total private employment change, and weekly job data from the previous month. 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 May total of jobs added was revised from 278,000 to 267,000.

“Consumer-facing service industries had a strong June, aligning to push job creation higher than expected,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP. “But wage growth continues to ebb in these same industries, and hiring likely is cresting after a late-cycle surge.”


Private employers added 497,000 jobs in June. Job creation surged in June, led by consumer-facing services. Leisure and hospitality, trade and transportation, and education and health services showed strong gains. Still, the market was fragmented, with manufacturing, information, and finance showing declines.

Change in U.S. Private Employment: 497,000

Change by Industry Sector

Goods-producing: 124,000

Natural resources/mining 69,000

Construction 97,000

Manufacturing -42,000

Service-providing: 373,000

Trade/transportation/utilities 90,000

Information -30,000

Financial activities -16,000

Professional/business services -5,000

Education/health services 74,000

Leisure/hospitality 232,000

Other services 28,000

Change by U.S. Regions

Northeast: 250,000

New England 77,000

Middle Atlantic 173,000

Midwest: 162,000

East North Central 83,000

West North Central 79,000

South: -10,000

South Atlantic 10,000

East South Central -12,000

West South Central -8,000

West: 83,000

Mountain 3,000

Pacific 80,000

Change by Establishment Size

Small establishments: 299,000

1-19 employees 162,000

20-49 employees 137,000

Medium establishments: 183,000

50-249 employees 171,000

250-499 employees 12,000

Large establishments: -8,000

500+ employees -8,000


Pay gains slowed again in June Job stayers saw a year-over-year pay increase of 6.4%, down from 6.6% in May.

For job changers, pay gains slowed for the 12th straight month, to 11.2%, the slowest pace of growth since October 2021.

Median Change in Annual Pay (ADP matched person sample)

Job-Stayers 6.4%

Job-Changers 11.2%

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


Natural resources/mining 6.4%

Construction 6.7%

Manufacturing 5.9%


Trade/transportation/utilities 6.3%

Information 5.9%

Financial activities 6.7%

Professional/business services 6.2%

Education/health services 6.9%

Leisure/hospitality 7.9%

Other services 6.3%

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

Small firms:

1-19 employees 5.4%

20-49 employees 6.5%

Medium firms:

50-249 employees 6.7%

250-499 employees 6.6%

Large firms:

500+ employees 6.5%

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 July 2023 ADP National Employment Report will be released at 8:15 a.m. ET on August 2, 2023.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary – May 2023

July 6, 2023         

The number of job openings decreased to 9,800,000 on the last business day of May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, the number of hires and total separations were little changed at 6,200,000 and 5,900,000, respectively. Within separations, quits (4,000,000) increased, while layoffs and discharges (1,600,000) 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 May, the number of job openings decreased to 9,800,000

(-496,000), following an increase in April. In May, the job openings rate declined by 0.3% to 5.9%, offsetting an increase of the same magnitude in the prior month. In May, the largest decreases in job openings were in health care and social assistance (-285,000), finance and insurance (-139,000), and other services (-78,000). Job openings increased in educational services (+45,000), state and local government education (+37,000), and federal government (+24,000).


In May, the number and rate of hires changed little at 6,200,000 and 4.0%, respectively. Hires increased in durable goods manufacturing (+41,000).


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 and rate of total separations in May changed little at 5,900,000 and 3.8%, respectively. Over the month, the number of total separations increased in retail trade (+113,000).     

In May, the number and rate of quits increased to 4,000,000 (+250,000) and 2.6%, respectively. The number of quits increased in health care and social assistance (+69,000) and in construction (+57,000).

In May, the number of layoffs and discharges changed little at 1,600,000, and the rate held at 1.0%. Layoffs and discharges increased in retail trade (+87,000).

The number of other separations was little changed in May at 301,000.

Establishment Size Class

In May, establishments with 1 to 9 employees and establishments with more than 5,000 employees saw decreases in their job openings rates.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey estimates for June 2023 are scheduled to be released on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

As we recruiters know, that 9,800,000 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 9,800,000 published job openings now become a total of 49,000,000 published AND hidden job orders.



Online Labor Demand Increases in May

June 9, 2023

The Conference Board−Lightcast Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Index rose in May to 173.1 (July 2018=100), up from 170.1 in April. The 1.7% increase between May and April follows a 3.7% increase between March and April. Overall, the Index is down 0.7% from 1 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 June 2023 is Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at 10 AM

U-6 Update

In June 2023, the regular unemployment rate fell to 3.6% and the broader U-6 measure rose to 6.9%.

The above 6.9% 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 June U-6 numbers for the previous 20 years:

June                 2022                6.7%

June                 2021                9.8%

June                 2020                18.0%

June                 2019                7.2%

June                 2018                7.8%

June                 2017                8.5%

June                 2016                9.6%

June                 2015                10.5%

June                 2014                12.0%

June                 2013                14.2%

June                 2012                14.8%

June                 2011                16.2%

June                 2010                16.5%

June                 2009                16.5%

June                 2008                10.1%

June                 2007                8.3%

June                 2006                8.4%

June                 2005                9.0%

June                 2004                9.6%

June                 2003                10.3%

The June 2023 BLS Analysis

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in June, and the unemployment rate fell by 0.1% to 3.6%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Employment continued to trend up in government, health care, social assistance, and construction.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised down by 77,000, from +294,000 to +217,000, and the change for May was revised down by 33,000, from +339,000 to +306,000. With these revisions, employment in April and May combined is 110,000 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 July 7th, 2023, the BLS published the most recent unemployment rate for June 2023 of 3.6% (actually, it is 3.568%, down .087% from 3.655% in May.

The unemployment rate was determined by dividing the unemployed of 5,957,000

(–down from the month before by 140,000—since June 2022, this number has increased by 12,000) by the total civilian labor force of 166,951,000 (up by 133,000 from May 2023).  Since June 2022, our total civilian labor force has increased by 2,949,000 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 266,801,000.  This is an increase of 183,000 from last month’s increase of 175,000.  In one year, this population has increased by 2,966,000.  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 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
Up from June 2020by169,000

Subtract the ‘civilian labor force’ from the ‘civilian noninstitutional population’) and you get 99,850,000 ‘Not in Labor Force’—up by 50,000 from last month’s 99,800,000.  In one year, this NILF population has increased by 17,000.  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 June was 2.2% (this rate was .4% higher than last month’s 1.8%).  Or you can look at it another way.  We usually place people who have college degrees.  That unemployment rate in June was 2.0% (this rate was .1% lower than last month’s 2.1%).

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 June 29th, 2023, the real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.0% in the first quarter of 2023, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.6%.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued last month. In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was 1.3%. The updated estimates primarily reflected upward revisions to exports and consumer spending that were partly offset by downward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment and federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, were revised down.

The increase in real GDP in the first quarter reflected increases in consumer spending, exports, state and local government spending, federal government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by decreases in private inventory investment and residential fixed investment. Imports increased.

Compared to the fourth quarter, the deceleration in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected a downturn in private inventory investment and a slowdown in nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by an acceleration in consumer spending, an upturn in exports, and a smaller decrease in residential fixed investment. Imports turned up.

Updates to GDP

The increase in first-quarter real GDP was revised up 0.7% from the second estimate, reflecting upward revisions to exports, consumer spending, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by downward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, and private inventory investment. Imports were revised down.

Real GDP by Industry

Today’s release includes estimates of real GDP by industry, or value added—a measure of an industry’s contribution to GDP. In the first quarter, the value added of private services-producing industries increased 2.6%, government increased 2.7%, and private goods-producing industries decreased 0.7%. Overall, 15 of 22 industry groups contributed to the first-quarter increase in real GDP.

*          *          *

Next release, July 27, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. EDT
Gross Domestic Product, Second Quarter 2023 (Advance Estimate)


‘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 June “management, professional and related” types of worker category, you will find the following rates:

June                2022                2.2%

June                2021               3.5%

June                2020                6.5%

June                2019                2.4%

June                2018                2.5%

June                2017                2.3%

June                2016                2.8%

June                2015                2.9%

June                2014                3.5%

June                2013                4.2%

June                2012                4.4%

June                2011                4.7%

June                2010                4.9%

June                2009                5.0%

June                2008                2.7%

June                2007                2.3%

June                2006                2.4%

June                2005                2.6%

June                2004                2.9%

June                2003                3.5%

June                2002                3.3%

June                2001                2.1%

June                2000                1.7%

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

June                2022                2.1%

June                2021                3.4%

June                2020                6.9%

June                2019                2.1%

June                2018                2.3%

June                2017                2.3%

June                2016                2.6%

June                2015                2.5%

June                2014                3.3%

June                2013                3.9%

June                2012                4.1%

June                2011                4.4%

June                2010                4.4%

June                2009                4.7%

June                2008                2.4%

June                2007                2.0%

June                2006                2.1%

June                2005                2.3%

June                2004                2.7%

June                2003                3.1%

June                2002                3.0%

June                2001                2.1%

June                 2000                1.6%

The June 2023 rates for these two categories, 2.2% 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