08 Dec Continuing Job Market Insanity
👻 Ghosts and bad hiring managers and lack of remote work, oh my.
Allegedly, the job market is still BLAZING HAWT! Yet simultaneously, job seekers are looking for back-up employment, side hustles, and/or part-time jobs. So… what’s actually going on? If the job market was really that robust and we still had a so-called labor shortage, then why would people feel nervous and look to hedge their bets?
Links I discuss in this episode:
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Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here’s your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. And today’s episode, I want to talk about the continuing job market insanity. You remember that part in the poison song Unskinny Bop where he’s just like, what’s right, what’s wrong? What’s left? What the hell is going on? That could really be a summary of the current US job market, as well as the bizarro contradictory things that we are told about the job market. Now I am of the opinion that once you subtract what I would call, in my opinion, hot air hopium BS statistics and a real stretching of the truth, it becomes clear, I think one of the reasons why it seems so confusing right now is it’s so much smoke and mirrors. Look over here. No, look over there. No, look over here again, oh, look at this report and look at these figures. And yeah, everything’s a hot dumpster fire, but like, we’ll try it out some feel good story to keep you all appeased. Right? We’re being told that there are still all of these supposedly open jobs. But then at the same time, it’s like employers don’t really want to hire. People are hedging their bets. They’re ghosting each other. Things are just not gelling. Something is rotten somewhere. And I want to push the push the button a little bit and poke the bear a little bit and see what we can figure out here. So we’re being told that the US has added 263,000 jobs, which was more than was forecast. So I will drop a link to the story that was on LinkedIn, you can check it out for yourself, and I’ll read from that story for you now. The US added 263,000 jobs in November defying economists expectations that a string of steep interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve would finally slow the hard charging labor market. average hourly earnings also increased by point 6%. From October, again above economists forecasts and twice the rate of the previous month. Friday’s Labor Department report will likely dampen investor hopes that the Fed might moderate interest rate rises aimed at cooling the jobs market and the hottest inflation in decades. Huh. Yeah. I think we all know what I think at this point, which is this is all being used, in my opinion, to continue their agenda. They want to see unemployment go up. They want to see wages stagnate, this is not hidden or buried information. I have plugged that story that was on CBS News many times before. If you’re if you’re still not awake, I don’t know what to tell you. There’s two little bullet points here at the end of the article that read the workforce participation rate dipped to 62.1% last month from 62.2% in October, in a sign of continued tightness in the labor supply. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7% Wow, remember when Scrooge says all retired bedlam? Yeah 3.7% Despite twice as many announced layoffs in October, Jesus let’s let’s read that all together. Now I’ll I’ll not editorialize and laugh. Let’s just read that sentence. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7% Despite twice as many announced layoffs, as in October. On what planet does that make any sense? Okay, but then, meanwhile, also back at the LinkedIn Ranch, we find workers are seeking backup jobs. When we click on that we find amid ongoing layoffs and a looming recession right a looming recession, workers are increasingly keeping their eyes peeled for new jobs while remaining in their current roles. The latest workplace trend has been dubbed career cushioning because we have to have a kitschy name for everything with which Catherine Fisher who is a career expert at LinkedIn explains as taking actions to keep your options open and cushioning for whatever comes next in the economy and The job market while some say looking for a backup gig is considered cheating on accompany Others note that career cushioning is just a fancy way of saying finding a new job. So, riddle me this Batman. If we really did have this suppose Id 3.7% unemployment rate, if there was still tightness in the labor market. If we still had all of these legitimate open jobs that paid a living wage, why would people be hedging their bets? Why would they be feeling nervous? Why would they feel the need to do this career cushioning and watch out for themselves? Something there does not add up. Let’s continue our exploration here. There was an article that appeared on energy partner network titled something is rigged, unexplained record 2.7 million jobs gap emerges in broken payrolls report. Down down down, the plot thickens. I’ll read from that article. Now. A superficial take of today’s jobs report would note that both jobs and earnings blew past expectations flying in the face of Fed rate hikes. And while that is accurate at the headline level, it couldn’t be further from the truth if one actually digs a little deeper in today’s jobs numbers. Word okay. This is another reason why I say if you wait to be officially told you’ve waited too late in my opinion. I also really encourage you to do your own research. use critical thinking and pay attention to what’s going on in your industry, as well as in the local marketplace around you. Look for yourself. See for yourself. Do not rely on little soundbite snippets and quick headlines or something you see, you know, on a tweet, there’s only so much that someone is going to be able to tell you in 140 characters. And if you just scroll, and you’re seeing these headlines, believe me you are not getting the full story. I’ll continue to read. Recall that back in August, September and October, we showed that a stark divergence had opened between the household and establishment surveys that comprise the monthly jobs report. And since March, the former has been stagnant while the ladder has been rising every single month. In addition to that full time jobs were plunging, while part time jobs were surging, and the number of multiple job holders soared. Hmm. Fast forward to today when the inconsistencies not only continue to grow but have become downright grotesque. Indeed, they have preached that word. Consider the following. The closely followed establishment survey came in above expectations at 263,000. Above the 200k expected a record seven consecutive beat versus expectations, and down modestly from last month’s upward revised 284,000 numbers which confirm that at a time when virtually every major tech company is announcing mass layoffs, that the BLS or the Bureau of Labor Statistics has a single laser focused political agenda. Mm hmm. You Yeah. So I don’t get I don’t get into politics here. It’s the most that I’ve told you is that I’m registered Independent. That’s how I like it. And I don’t personally see a whole lot of difference between either one of the major parties. So in this particular article, they’re saying they don’t want to spoil the political climate because the Democrats have just lost control of the House. Eat hawkish though, whatever, in my mind. They don’t want to spoil the agenda because the Fed wants to continue RAM running around to crash the jobs market. Dennis Miller has always said it is just my opinion, and I could be wrong. That is my opinion. That is my assessment. I think that corporate America and the fat cats want the balance of power to go back to them. You also have to really look back at any time we’ve had a significant downturn who has been the winner. You look at these major corporations that go through and snatch up properties. They snatch up businesses, they have mergers and acquisitions. The fat cats always find a way to come out on top. Like Mellencamp said it’s the simple man baby that’s going to pay for the bills and the pills and thrills that kill. Twas ever thus. I’ll continue to read it Alas, there is only so much the Department of Labor can hide under the rug because when looking at the above mentioned gap between the household and establishment surveys, which we have been pounding the table on since the summer, it just blew out by a whopping 401,000 as a result of the 263,000 increase in the number of non farm payrolls tracked by the household survey, offset by a perplexing plunge in the number of people actually employed, which tumbled by 138,000, as tracked by the household survey. Yeah, again, something is fishy. Now, part of this does come down to the fact that there are more part time jobs. Remember, I told you this before, some of these jobs are part time minimum wage jobs, there are jobs that are probably meant as a side hustle or a teenage kid or a college kid to work while they’re also in school full time. They are not meant to be jobs that pay a living wage for an adult with adult responsibilities. They’re just not. Now we can start playing the political blame game in terms of this party or that party, which is of no interest to me whatsoever. To me, this is much more about the broader scope of what is about to happen to the average working class, American person. I don’t see any way around the idea that we’re going to get squeezed. We always do. And I also don’t see any way around bailouts. Somebody, some industry, some fat cat somewhere is going to show up with their hat in their hand and start asking for sweet taxpayer money. That’s also something that seems to happen every time. There was also an article that appeared on Business Insider titled everybody’s a free agent, how employees are using a controversial tactic to force their bosses to give them a raise. Well, everybody is a free agent. This is something that I’ve talked about in different terms for a long time. We live in a more transactional economy. So people from the old school that want to tell you well, you need to stay at a job for 30 years and you need to build those relationships and all these relationships matter. Really. I remember in my early days of staffing, it was a big threat. Okay, I’m just I’m pulling the curtain all the way back for you guys. I’m being honest with you. It was a big threat. You know, if a candidate ghosted you or they were trying to squirrel out of showing up for an interview, or they did something really gauche, you were supposed to threaten them, you were supposed to tell them, we will not represent you again. You’re in a big version of a small town, everybody kind of knows everybody, and you’re gonna burn your bridges if you do this. Nobody cares anymore. We live in a global economy. We live in a transactional economy. These people don’t care. They don’t care. What an idle threat is that, Billy Bob’s staffing agency won’t ever represent you again. Well, boohoo, let me go get a Kleenex and cry into it. It’s just it’s a different world. Yeah, people are free agents. Of course they are. I’ll read for you know, how employees are using a controversial tactic to force their bosses to give them a raise when Michelle restore or rosdorf Knees and I don’t know, started off in the recruiting business. 26 years ago, it was pretty much a given that people who interviewed for a new job would take it, assuming they got the right offer. Mm hmm. But these days, Restore has found that’s no longer true. More and more candidates are applying for jobs with no intention of jumping ship. They’re just looking to land an offer that they can use to force their current employer to give them a raise, I would butt in and say sometimes they’re also doing that in order to get a benefit of some kind in order to get increased PTO in order to get a promotion. So sometimes it’s purely about race. But sometimes it’s about other things too. And with the way that the RTO battle is playing out, I imagine it could also be for the purposes of wanting to continue to work remote and not go back. I’ll continue to read. Candidates are shopping more now than they ever have resource. A district director at the staffing firm Robert Half tells me they’re looking out for themselves. And because they have so many options, they really can explore and use what they know about other companies to get more in their current work situation. Employers Not surprisingly, hate that people are using job offers as bargaining chips. If you weren’t serious hiring managers are complaining. You shouldn’t have wasted our time. And the bosses are scrambling to put together counter offers are grumbling, where’s the loyalty? And well where’s the loyalty from corporate America? How many times in your life if you’ve ever been a job sicker How many times have you ever been ghosted or left dangling by a hiring manager? This This cuts both ways. I’ll continue to read. But what does it say about the way companies dole out raises if employees are forced to land another job before their bosses will pay them what they’re worth. That strategy may work for employers in a normal job market when it’s hard to find another job, let alone a better paying one. But over the past year, in the midst of a nationwide hiring frenzy, employees began to realize that being loyal to their employer doesn’t pay. As I reported in May, those who switched jobs during the Great resignation are By one estimate making 7% more on average than those who stayed put. And in tech and finance the pay gap is even higher in quote. Connect the dots lalalalala. Yeah. Is coming clear to you yet. Okay, so the people that job hawked are making more money. People are going and they’re trying to get offers so that they can take a counteroffer from their current employer and stay they’re not even necessarily looking to leave. Hmm. Yeah, I wonder why the Fed would want to crash the job market. Hmm. I wonder why they would want to see unemployment go up. I wonder why they would want to see why wages stagnate. Mm hmm. God, I wonder what a mystery except it’s not. Okay. Remember that memo that leaked Bank of America memo about we want the power to go right back to us. The employees and job seekers have had the upper hand for too long, and we’re done with it. We want the balance of power to come back to us. What did you think was going to happen? I’ve been saying, get as much out of the great resignation as you can because when it ends, the pendulum is going to swing in the other direction. I was warning people about that very early this year. If you wait to be officially told, in my opinion, you’re waiting too late. Corporate America could not let people continue job hopping, getting more money and making life difficult for them. This is the reality that we’re facing. I’m sorry, if you didn’t realize that the power brokers and the fat cats are really running the show, but it might be time awake up. Also on LinkedIn, we find what is the danger of ghosting a job you’ve accepted. Ghosting happens even when the applicant reaches the job offers stage of the hiring process. Ghosting causes the hiring team to feel anxious hurt and disappointed. It can also impact your future job search because recruiters might tell other hiring teams that you ghosted them. Dun dun dun. Yeah. So, you know, as I just freaking said they don’t care. Okay, this hollow threat that we used many moons ago, it doesn’t work anymore. No one cares, oh, a recruiter might tell the hiring teams that you were a ghost or they don’t care. They don’t care. Now you could potentially make the argument. Well, they will care when the economy is in the dumper and they can’t find a job anymore. Maybe, maybe, I feel like part of your job loss survival plan should be at minimum, five people five separate individuals that you’re going to call to start networking with, don’t stop at one. Obviously, you want to know who is your first phone call, who’s going to be the person that’s most likely to be down for you are most likely to have a job to offer you if you get in a crisis situation. But I recommend at minimum you have a list of five, even better if you can start getting numbers like 1015 or 20. And the reality is yes, if you have pooped on those people, if you’ve tried to pee pee on their leg and tell them that it’s raining, if you acted like a jackass to them, no, they’re probably not going to want to help you. So I’m not sitting here saying that you should be ghosting everybody or that you should treat people like dirt because we live in a transactional economy. I’m really talking about the bigger picture. Are most people in this world going to care if some corporate recruiter tells the hiring manager, Bobby was a ghost. Sally accepted the job offer and then took a counter to stay. No. They’re not going to be losing any sleep over that I promise you. Also over on LinkedIn, we find unconventional way to get a raise. I’ll read from writing up those dreaded cover letters to back to back zoom interviews that take up a whole day. Oh, applying to a job is a full time gig and yet many workers with jobs are doing Doing it why employees are tired of feeling underpaid and want to use their new offer as leverage to ask their boss for a raise notes the Business Insider. However, playing the field comes with risks. It does break a lot of trust, a management expert argues, companies can avoid having their workers go from a franchise player to a free agent, by utilizing performance reviews and rewarding those that deserve a pay bump advises the head of one recruiting company in quote. Yeah, I mean, in that common sense, do you really need somebody to write an article to tell you that. So like the old political phrase, it’s the economy stupid. If you’re not paying people a decent wage, if your benefits suck, if you treat them like dirt, if you every time, something could have been an email, you demand one of those awful zoom calls, and you want to round everybody up into the conference room. And then you’re surprised about why they consider themselves a free agent. Hello. If you have no loyalty to your employees, but then you expect them to swear their undying fealty to you, as though you are a monarch, or you are the Dutch courtroom or the feudal lord and they are the serve. Well Get real, get real, nobody wants to deal with that crap. To me, it’s like I look at it with all these years of experience. And I’m like, it’s it’s not that complicated. If your hiring funnel is gone dry, if people are not wanting to talk to you, when you call, you need to take a good look in the mirror. You cannot blame everything on everyone else. But yet, there’s so many companies, and so many hiring managers that will not do that. They will try to find anyone else and anything else that they can to be a scapegoat, because by God, the problems that they’ve created are not going to be their own fault. So how do we even begin to make sense of this? Well, as I said earlier in the episode, when you start to strip away the Bs, and in my opinion, you get rid of what I would call hot air hopium, fake statistics and nonsense, it becomes a lot clearer. Do I think that there are really all of these legitimate open jobs that companies are going to really hire for? No. Do I think these jobs are full time? No. Do I think these jobs pay a living wage and have sensible benefits? No. No, I think a lot of them are part time minimum wage. I think a lot of them are probably also part time in jobs, or industries, I should say that typically have a high churn and burn rate anyway, retail, hospitality, fast food and so on. No, I don’t think that we’re talking about white collar jobs at an office that pay 75 85k with full health and dental and a 401k. No, no, no, no. Nor do I think that there are the 7 million men who have apparently still been unemployed since before the Great Recession. And they’re causing the job market to crash. Nor do I think Gen Z and young millennial kids are all causing the economy to crash. I feel like the corporate bankers and the fat cats and the politicians will point a finger of blame at literally anyone or anything else. They’re like the stuck up arrogant hiring managers that if their hiring funnel has gone dry, if their process sucks, they don’t want to listen to any kind of criticism or information that might help them. They want to assume it must be everybody else. I couldn’t possibly be the jerk in this situation, it must literally be that the whole rest of the world is full of jerks. It’s the same thing with the corporate bankers and the fat cats and the politicians. They will literally point the finger of blame at anyone else other than themselves. Sort of like the Wizard of Oz, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. Do your own research, do your own critical thinking. And please pay attention to what’s happening in real time in your industry and your local community. Because if some business down the road from you with 50 employees lays off 10 of them. That’s a significant reduction, but it’s not going to make the nightly news. Do your own research, pay attention. Stay safe, stay sane, and I will see you in the next episode. Thanks for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. We’ll see you next time.