By Allison Philips
Recent college graduates in search of new jobs will find a tale of two economies as they venture forth into the labor market. One economy is riddled with turbulence while the other is replete with jobs. Turmoil has racked the U.S. economy all year from record-setting inflation and stock market nosedives to interest rate hikes and the prospect of a recession.
Expert economists are not in total agreement that the U.S.’s turbulent economy is currently in a recession or if it is poised to experience a recession in 2023, according to CNBC. However, there appears to be general consensus that the economy will slow down to a certain extent.
Despite all the harrowing headlines about the turbulent economy and an overall drop in economic growth in the first two quarters of 2022, the labor market has continued to strengthen to the surprise of economists and employees alike.
Add to that ongoing inflationary woes with prices for goods and services running higher than expected in September, and workers and businesses alike are feeling the financial pressure.
The Great Resignation Is Here to Stay in This Turbulent Economy
The Great Resignation continues apace with more than four million workers quitting their jobs each month so far in 2022. CNBC notes that approximately 40% of workers are seriously contemplating quitting next year.
Experts expect this trend to continue relatively unchecked, even with the threat of a potential recession looming on the horizon. They continue to emphasize the fact that the Great Resignation is more than some simple trend or an event that was instigated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ground has shifted in regard to the overall concept of work, particularly the widespread acceptance of remote work. Workers are remaining focused on their highest personal priorities and are opting for jobs that allow for a strong work-life balance.
The Turbulent Economy’s Competitive Labor Market Gives Workers More Power
This ongoing labor shortage is making it difficult for employers on a number of fronts, including hiring new workers and budgeting for higher salaries, which makes goods and services that much more expensive and contributes to rising inflation. It also means workers possess more bargaining power than they’ve had in decades; they can negotiate higher wages, enjoy remote work opportunities and even begin to unionize again, at least for the time being.
In September 2022, employers added more workers than previously estimated according to Reuters, which means the labor market continues to stay strong and favor workers. Leisure and hospitality, healthcare, professional and business services, manufacturing, and construction were all arenas that experienced growth. While 2023 may usher in an economic downturn, it appears for the moment that a robust labor market may continue to be one of the most positive elements upholding the swirling U.S. economy throughout the new year.