(Part 1) The Paradox of Layoffs and Low Unemployment: Exploring the Contradiction and Its Implications for Job Seekers

It is crucial for job seekers to know what type of job market they are facing so they can strategize and make the most effective decisions on what types of opportunities to pursue and what to expect from their endeavors. Recent data shows both continued low unemployment rates, while also a rise in layoffs among major US companies, so it can be challenging to get a clear sense of the state of the job market. Typically when layoffs occur, unemployment rates increase since people are out of work, so what is contributing to this seeming contradiction?


Learn more about the paradox of layoffs and low unemployment and its implications for job seekers:

Conditions Vary Significantly by Industry

The overall unemployment rate is low at 3.6%, according to February 2023 findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and has remained steady. Layoffs that have been occurring have been limited to specific industries, notably technology, as well as finance, real estate, and media. Other industries are booming and in high demand for workers, especially healthcare, leisure and hospitality, education, and government. For job seekers, it can be a good time to change industries, whether to utilize transferable skills and pivot from one experiencing layoffs or simply because you want to explore new opportunities in fields experiencing labor shortages. 


Job Openings Remain High

The labor market is still overall favorable toward workers – according to January 2023 findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 10.8 million job openings and 6.4 million hires. These figures demonstrate that there are an abundance of opportunities for job seekers and significantly more openings than hires. This competitive advantage means job seekers can have more negotiating power in terms of not just salary but other perks like schedule flexibility, remote work, and additional paid time off. 


The Hiring Time Turnaround is Quick

Another explanation for the paradox of layoffs and low unemployment is the fast hiring process. Employers are still competing for top talent, and understand that they cannot make candidates wait too long to receive offers, and are streamlining the process more than ever.  Even for workers who unfortunately get laid off, it may not take long for them to get hired elsewhere due to the speedy turnaround by employers. According to February 2023 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than two-thirds of workers found new jobs within three months after being unemployed. 


Find New Opportunities

Are you ready to explore new job possibilities? Team up with The Hire Firm for your job search. With nearly three decades of experience in connecting candidates to employers in New Mexico, we can help you find the job that is right for you. Get in touch today to get started.

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