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The Bayard Brief — December 2022

Labor Market InsightsLabor Market Insights

November Smashes Job Gain Expectations with Conflicting Market Results

With 263,000 new jobs, solid growth in COVID-sensitive verticals, and steady unemployment, November reflects a stable, albeit conflicting, labor market that continues to eclipse expectations ahead of 2023.

Job Seeker Traffic

On a month-to-month level, job traffic trends align with the typical decline in jobseeker activity we expect through late fall and winter. Queries have continued their expected downward trend since September, with a predictable drop over Thanksgiving.

Click Trends

In November, clicks were down 5% to last year — though still up almost 19% compared to pre-pandemic levels (November 2019). Based on traffic patters from the last three years and the tendency of jobseeker activity to cool around the holidays, we anticipate declines in traffic to persist from November to December.

What To Expect

So, what does November’s performance mean for the state of hiring going forward?

Regardless of these early vulnerabilities, workers hold the reins in the interim. Employers—especially in high-turnover industries—should continue to offer competitive wages, workplace perks, and remote flexibility to improve recruitment and retention.

For example, despite several companies moving to reduce their telework offerings in favor of hybrid or full-time scheduling, demand for remote work hovers around record levels. In late November, 50% of LinkedIn job applications were for work-from-home positions, which comprised only
15% of listings.

Needless to say, the remote or hybrid strategy reigns supreme for job seekers. Workers prioritize the flexibility and work-life balance afforded by the shift to telework brought on by the pandemic. And in light of depressed labor force participation, undeterred wage growth, and sustained employer demand, employers may have to balance flexibility with occasional in-person collaboration to entice job seekers.

Download the full Labor Market Insights report for December here.