26 Jan Ruh-roh. You’re finally allowed to know a sliver of truth!
“Zwei, drei, vier, one, two, three, it’s easy to see / But it’s not that I don’t care, so / ‘Cause I hear it all the time, but they never let you know / On the TV and the radio…” -“Der Kommissar”
As I’ve said many times: IMO, if you wait to be “officially” told something in the MSM, you have waited too late. Apparently Monday, January 23rd was the day you were finally allowed to know from a mainstream source that- Ruh-roh. Um, well, uh, ya see, perhaps that labor market ain’t so red hawt and uh, maybe, um, you should like look into unemployment benefits. If you’ve tuned in here and/or read my blog, you knew this was coming months ago. Or did you wait to hear it on the TV and the radio from Der Kommissar?
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. First things first. I mean, here we go. I told you so. I’m not shy in saying so because it’s true. For months and months and months, I have been on this podcast, and on my blog, warning you. And I bucked the trend. I went out on a limb and I bucked the trend, because you had other so called experts and so called economists telling you well, you don’t have anything to worry about. We are in a red hot labor market. That great resignation is going to last forever. You can just hippity hop all over that job market. We still have two legitimate open jobs for every one unemployed person 3.5 or 3.7% unemployment rate. Why people are just flush with cash, they’re still living off those 2020 stimmy checks. They’re in grandma’s basement, or they’re on a girlfriend’s couch. And well, people are doing great. Sure, of course they are. Even last week, you know, Monday today, I’m sitting here and I’m recording this I’m doing this sort of like I do my Saturday broadcast because I want to be able to track this in real time for you. Even today, I published the bonus episode about job market clown world, because last week, we were still seeing that BS. Oh, don’t worry about tech workers. They’re finding jobs quickly and for more money. Rati da Oh, okay, really. Your idea of finding a job quickly. And my idea of finding one quickly appear to be two different things. I also feel pretty sus about where that data is coming from. But yeah, sure. Of course. Let’s don’t worry about them. We were still told that it is a workers market. That great resignation. It is still going strong. Oh wow. Y’all just got nothing to worry about. Don’t you worry your pretty little heads mattifying darlin. Yeah, right. But suddenly, the tide changed on Monday. So I guess the powers that be decided it was okay to start feeding the peons and plebs information about who Oh, maybe it’s not really looking so good up to roll on the 23rd. I don’t know why. just reporting what I am saying to you. Again, I know I’m a broken record here. But to me, it’s not just about waiting to be officially told. It’s about what you’re officially told. It’s like we’ve gone from Hey, don’t worry about it, everything’s gonna be fine to here’s what you need to know about filing for unemployment benefits. What if unemployment benefits are not enough for you? What if you don’t qualify for them? What if the amount of money that you get is a pittance and you can’t get by on it? I have known several people to whom that happened. Not anecdotally, oh, people somewhere out there in the sweet bind by people I know personally, that have been laid off with no severance. They went and filed for unemployment thinking that it was going to really help them and it didn’t. By the time you are officially told and then you’re given some kind of official strategy about how to handle the issue. God help you. I know that sounds Debbie Downer. I know that sounds gloom and doom, somebody will write in and tell me Oh, that just sounds so terrible. But you should be talking about having a positive mental attitude. And yes, having a positive mental attitude and keeping your head and shoulders up. That is important. I’ve told you before I think it’s best if you can marry your mindset with the practical tactical strategies that you’re using. To me, that’s really when you have a winning hand. I don’t give advice and I don’t tell you what to do. I sit here I opine for your entertainment only. And in my opinion, if you’re waiting around and you’re hoping that the government is going to save you through unemployment benefits, or maybe your employer will really step up and do the right thing and give you two or three months worth of severance to help out. I hope that that works out for you. But what if it doesn’t? So on Monday on CNBC, we begin to see some interesting headlines. Spotify cuts 6% of its workforce, Google employees scramble for answers after layoffs hit longtime workers. Over on the side panel, we find what workers need to know about filing for unemployment benefits after a layoff. Well, wait a minute. Why? Why would we need to know that? I thought everything was peaches and cream. When we scroll down a little bit we also find as layoffs pick up, here’s what workers need to know about filing for unemployment benefits. Oh, okay. So apparently you need to know how to file for unemployment benefits because layoffs are picking up. But I thought we were supposed to believe red hot labor market. Hot jobs everywhere. tons of jobs, abundance of jobs. Um, what happened? Over on Yahoo Finance, we find NASDAQ leads stock rise as big earnings week begins. So apparently the markets are feeling pretty good about the layoffs. Spotify cuts 6% of workforce content chief to depart Microsoft to invest billions in open AI. Wait a minute, didn’t they also have a layoff? But now they have billions to invest in open AI? Hmm. Wonder how the people who lost their jobs in the layoff feel about that? Don’t you think it’s kind of interesting that whenever these companies want to find money for something that they want to do, or that they think is more important, they can always seem to find that money? Hmm, isn’t that interesting. Now they can make every justification in the world for cutting you loose, but they can find that money to invest, can’t they? On LinkedIn today, we also find it’s taking longer to get hired. Told you that one too, despite an overall strong labor market and a plentiful number of job openings. Really, it’s taking longer for unemployed workers to land on their feet. With a recent swell of layoffs across multiple industries and hiring slowing down due to an uncertain economic forecast. The length of time that job seekers are out of work has grown significantly. According to the Department of Labor 826,000 unemployed workers were out of work for three and a half to six months in December, up 36% From April of 2022. Down think about that, think about what it would look like to be unemployed for six months. Then think about that statistic that we learned in one of those documentaries I talked about in the living on the brink bonus episode. that a majority of working Britons if they were suddenly laid off, they could only survive for 19 days. So not even three full weeks. But yet, three and a half to six months. And this is not a small number of people either. That’s what we’re being allowed to know we’re being allowed to know that more than 800,000 unemployed workers have been out of work for three and a half to six months in December. Wow. said it before say it again if you wait to be officially told you have waited too late. Can you imagine being blindsided by that information and then having to just hope it all works out. I have to believe that there would be a lot of reliance on credit cards to get through that period of time. There’s so much I want to say about that but I just can’t. The the main thing that I want to drive home is I hope that you have a job loss survival plan. I hope that you’re not waiting to be blindsided. One of the commentators on this article is guy burger, principal economist and head of macro economics at LinkedIn. In this post, he writes I got to talk to the great Sarah Cheney Camborne at the Wall Street Journal about an important but unfortunate topic that I hope is at some point I We’ll have to talk about much, and what LinkedIn data have to say about it. Here’s two better labor market news. Some point in the coming year well, guy, if I were a betting woman, I sure wouldn’t bet on that. He also writes, If you’re somebody who has lost a job, your opportunities of finding one quickly have diminished somewhat since the spring. Yeah, I would say so. 2023 is not 2021. For that matter, I don’t even think it’s going to be the first half of 2022.
What will the rest of the week unfurl? What else will be? Will we be allowed to know? Or will there just be more hot air and hopium? Is this sort of line in the water? A test, if you will, we’re going to see how people react to this news. We’re going to see how they handle it. If they ignore it, do they process it? What do they do with it? And then we’ll go back to telling you everything is sunshine and roses. Let’s just stay tuned and see what happens. Today, it’s Tuesday, the 24th and I want to drop in an update. I knew I would have one. My spidey senses told me so. I’ll be publishing a blog post tomorrow regarding the ever growing BS pile that we seem to find ourselves in. All right, so on January 15, we were told you need to get a raise. It’s a workers market as job numbers show the great resignation is still going strong amid recession fears. I’ll drop a link to the article on Yahoo Finance so that you can read it for yourself. But see over on Market Watch. An article was first published on January 23, at 5pm Eastern Time, and then updated as of this recording as I’m sitting here. It was last updated January 24. At 7:40am. Eastern Time, and it is titled it is an employer’s market. Tech layoffs may have turned the great resignation into the great recommitment. Hmm, well, so which is it? Is it on January 15, that you need to get a raise because it’s a workers market. And the job numbers are showing that the great resignation is still going strong? Or is it a few days later, somehow, you know, in this span of time, it just Flippity floppity right around. And now it’s an employers market. Because of these tech layoffs. We could not make this up. I know I say this a lot. But if you and I were at the Markerboard and we were writing a satire or we were coming up with some kind of dystopian dark comedy type movie, we couldn’t make this up. Another thing I always say is, in my opinion, if you wait to be officially told something, you are waiting too late. I mean, can you imagine if you were just sitting back looking at these headlines, just kind of digesting snippets. And on the 15th you saw, hey, it’s a workers market, you should get a raise man. Like even though people are afraid of recession. It’s still a good time. And then a few days later, you saw Oh, well, okay. No, it’s an employers market now. And these big tech layoffs? Well, Gosh, darn it, they’re just going all over the place and kind of ruining the pond for everybody. I mean, how would you make sense of that? To me, it’s not difficult to figure out because I’m in the job market every single day, as I have been for well over a decade. I know the signs and symptoms, I can read the ebbs and flows pretty well. And I knew way before this, that it was not a workers market, I knew that people were languishing unemployed. It wasn’t like they just okay, they walked out of a job or they got laid off handed a pink slip. And then within a week, they were back at work where they had multiple offers in hand and they were just kind of sitting back with a daiquiri in their hand on the beach going, Wow, I have five amazeballs offers and I just have to really consider them and figure out what’s best. I wasn’t seeing that happening. And as I would interact with others out on the job market, whether they were peers in the industry or whether they were job seekers looking for work, they weren’t saying, Oh man, it’s so easy right now. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I wasn’t hearing that from anyone. Okay, so then we get into this MarketWatch article, it will also drop a link to it, please check it out for yourself. And the people who are, in my opinion, telling you the truth, or the people who are on the market themselves, and they’re saying months long search for a job. There’s one respondent who says the outlook is pretty barren. You have to decide for yourself who do you think is telling you the truth? Who do you think is keeping it real right now? I mean, Wow, how how do you go in that span of time? Just a little over a week from saying it’s a workers market to then saying it’s an employers market. long pause so that you can just decide for yourself what to think about that. Today, it is Wednesday, January 25. I’ll have to wrap it up with today’s headlines so that this will be out for broadcast in the morning. But it was a treasure trove today, not in a good way. Over on Yahoo Finance, we find layoffs in corporate America spread from tech to conglomerates. Told you so I warned you that this was coming. And unfortunately poopoo rolls downhill. So even though we may see it at global humongous companies right now, please understand this very well could be coming to a theater near you. In other words, the small mom and pop shops and the medium sized regional firms, please do not assume that they are immune. Okay, well, it was big tech and Silicon Valley. Okay, but like now it’s this huge global conglomerates, but it would just never know, don’t be so sure. In this article, we find layoffs roiling the tech sector have been the biggest economic story of 2023. And now it seems those layoffs are spreading into new corners of corporate America. On Tuesday morning 3am announced it would cut 2500 manufacturing jobs as slower than expected growth followed from what the company called Rapid declines in consumer facing markets, a dynamic that accelerated in December, along with significant slowing in China due to COVID related disruptions. The news from 3pm followed an announcement Monday from Newell brands that the Sharpie maker would cut 13% of its office staff. With so many layoff related stories in the headlines. It has become ever more challenging for investors and the broader public to square official data that shows hiring remains robust. This month alone tech companies have announced more than 50,000 layoffs including from Amazon alphabet and Microsoft. This week’s news suggests executive comfort with announcing staff reduction continues to grow in this environment are still in December, the US economy added 223,000 jobs. The unemployment rate stands at at its lowest level in over 40 years. Last week, just 190,000 workers filed claims for unemployment insurance, the fewest in four months. Mounting layoffs in the tech sector do not seem to be up ending the broader labor market, as these workers are being readily absorbed elsewhere, wrote Bob Schwartz, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics in a note to clients last week, and quote readily absorbed elsewhere. Hmm. Hmm. So is that the case for the people that I see online talking about how they’ve been unemployed for weeks or months? That doesn’t even square with the data that we saw on LinkedIn, about people in December being unemployed from anywhere to from like three and a half to eight months at a time. can use the phrase desert, come on, man. These people are being readily absorbed elsewhere. Oh, and then remember that article that told us we should not feel sorry for laid off tech workers because within three months, they’re getting better work. Right? That might be a very difficult three months if you didn’t have anything and savings if you had been living paycheck to paycheck and unemployment benefits weren’t going to be enough to help you get by. Might have been a very bleak three months where you were living off of credit cards. Were trying to beg loans from friends or your family members. Hello, not everybody lives in an ivory tower or some of us are down here in the real world having to make tough decisions. But right. The mounting layoffs in the tech sector do not seem to be up ending the broader labor market as these workers are being readily absorbed elsewhere are right. I’m no offense guy, but I don’t buy it. Sorry, I don’t buy it. Also on Yahoo Finance, we find Bank of America warns that the US economy will begin to lose 175,000 jobs per month in q1 of 2023 expect is a harder landing rather than a softer one? Here’s why.
If you have tuned in to this podcast with any frequency, if you drop in and you read my blog post with any frequency, this should not surprise you. You should already be prepared. You should know kind of how the industry you’re in is standing. What is your own personal standing at work? And do you have a job last survival plant? Do you have those first five phone calls lined up so that once you’ve called your spouse or your best friend, you’ve told them the sad news and you’ve had your time to vent? Who are you going to get on the phone with in Media Monday to try to get another job? Or are you just going to post on LinkedIn and hope that someone will like crowd surf your way into a new job? You know how many people are doing that now and how many people will be doing that? That feed is going to be very crowded indeed, with layoff announcements. In this article we read the latest jobs report shows that the US labor market is in decent shape. But Bank of America sees trouble looming in the distance in December 2022. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 Beating economists expectation of a 200,000 increase, it also means that America’s job growth is heading in the right direction. What? Okay, Bank of America, however, expects Non Farm Payroll gains to turn negative this year, during the first quarter of 2023, the bank projects the US will be losing roughly 175,000 jobs a month. And it’s not just the labor market that’s going to take a hit and quote, so let’s let’s toggle back to the last article from Yahoo Finance, where we were told by an economist mounting layoffs in the tech sector do not seem to be up ending the broader labor market as these workers are being readily absorbed elsewhere. Okay, let’s toggle back over here to this article about Bank of America. Bank of America however, expects Non Farm Payroll gains to turn negative this year, during the first quarter of 2023. The bank projects the US will be losing roughly 175,000 jobs in a month. So which is it? These people are just finding a J-O-B ASAP and they’re going back into the labor market and so like, who cares, it’s really not that big of a deal. Or it’s a big effing deal because we’re about to start hemorrhaging jobs every quarter, which is it? I’ll continue to read. We are looking for a recession to begin in the first half of next year Bank of America is head of us economics Michael gaping told CNN last October, the premise is a harder landing rather than a softer one. Let’s take a look behind the bearishness. The US Federal Reserve has a dual mandate to ensure price stability and aim for maximum employment. The first task has been a challenge prices have been anything but stable in June 2022. US Consumer Price Index saw its biggest 12 month increase in 40 years. While the headline CPI number has cooled off from its peak recently December’s inflation rate was 6.5% year over year, it’s still worryingly high the labor market, the Feds second task seems to be in much better shape. In December, the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, a multi decade low. Given this labor market strength and rampant inflation, the Fed is raising interest rates aggressively to bring price levels under control. The central bank increased its benchmark interest rates by 50 basis points in December marking the seventh rate hike for the year. Gap and expects the Fed to remain hawkish. They’ll accept some weakness in labor markets in order to bring inflation down, he says adding that we could see six months of weakness in the labor market. According to the Feds latest projection, Federal Open Market Committee participants have a median forecast of 4.6% for the unemployment rate in 2023. gaping on the other hand, sees the unemployment rate in the country rise to 5% or five and a half percent this year, unquote. Yeah. Six months of weakness in the labor market, how many months will really be we will see unemployment rise to five or five and a half percent what will really be what is it really now? I don’t personally believe it’s three and a half or 3.7%. I don’t not at all. So if they’re telling you that it’s going to be five or five and a half percent at some point this year. How significant will it really be how much more than that? Because see, I think we’re already in a recession even though you’re still being told, Oh, we’re recession is forthcoming now. It hasn’t started yet. But it’s going to this is sort of like on the Fourth of July when you want to go to the firework show, but that time of the year it’s so late before it even gets dark enough to see the fireworks so you’re kind of sitting there on the tailgate like it’s a dark enough yet. We’re going to pop off these fireworks yet isn’t happening yet isn’t happening yet. You’re supposed to just think that the fireworks haven’t started yet. But once it’s dark enough, we’re gonna start popping them off. But it feels very obvious to me that we’re in a recession we have been for months now. And when you’re finally told, okay, now the recession is happening. How bad will it really be? For that matter? This? None of this is a surprise to me. And it shouldn’t be a surprise to you either. I warned you about this. All the different possibilities of spin. Oops, a daisy. We didn’t see this coming. How could anyone have known it was just unpredictable. Right now we’re getting this weird, contradictory nonsense. Oh, the labor market is still strong. Unemployment is still low, you can still go out there and find a good decent paying living wage job. lickety splickety Oh, right. Oh, but now okay. So there’s layoffs, but they’re not going to spread from the tech sector. Okay, well, so they spread from the tech sector, but it’s only for global conglomerates. Okay. Well, they’ve spread from that. Do you see what I mean? When you really say it out loud. When you bring this information together. And you say these things out loud. You realize the absurdity of it, the emperor is naked. He has no clothes on. Hello. Also, over on LinkedIn Today we find remote layoffs become harsh reality. In that article we read. Some 60,000 tech workers have been laid off already this year. On top of the 160,000 who lost their jobs in 2022. The sense of turmoil has been heightened by remote work. The New York Times reports with work from home employees often discovering that they’ve been let go via email, Slack or video call. One study suggests that losing a job can be more traumatizing than getting a divorce. All but in to tell you I’ve talked about that to a job loss going through a layoff. Most psychologists placed that on the same list of traumatic life events as things like a death in the family. Having to make a cross country move. Having to deal with a divorce. A job loss is not a freakin joke. I don’t give a rip who goes on social media with a bunch of bravado and acts like oh f these people anyway, I’m the greatest thing and who cares, I’ll have a job next week. It sucks. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise, I’ll continue to read. The process is especially destabilizing for remote workers. The Times notes as many don’t have colleagues they can easily turn to or clear guidance on next steps. A Harvard professor says layoffs can be done more thoughtfully citing a 2011 Nokia restructuring as an example. She says the 18,000 people affected were given one year of advance notice and were presented with different options to consider and quote. Okay, so do you feel that that’s a realistic expectation? Do you feel like most companies in this country are going to give people a one year advance notice, hey, by this time next year, you’re not going to have a job that gives you 12 full months to go out there and pursue something different, you’ve got a lot of runway ahead of you, if you need it, you can stay here for that full time or you can leave whatever needs to be done. You really think that that’s what’s going to happen in corporate America? I mean, I don’t. I’m also very suspicious. Anytime that we see the anti remote work hit pieces along with the RTO back in the office fluff pieces. I think it’s really important to look at the sources behind the sources, are they funded by some huge mass media outlet that, you know appears to be pushing a very particular agenda or some huge global bank that you know, can by whatever influence that they want, they can push the news in whichever direction they see fit.
It’s good food for thought. But here’s the thing, this is the here and the now. This is reality, layoffs are occurring. I do not want anybody to be naive and to think well, okay, it’s big tech. It’s Silicon Valley or Oh, it’s a huge company like it’s, it’s not going to happen to me it would never happen at a mom and pop shop and Midwest America are down in the Bible Belt, it could very well happen. Now I’m not telling you to be paranoid, scared to death losing sleep at night. To me, it’s really much more about what can you do ahead of time so that you’re not so scared. You’re not so knocked off balance if and when ever happens to you? I don’t know why that January 23 was officially the day when you started to see mainstream media saying, oh, oh, layoffs and employers market and maybe the Great Resignation is now the great recommitment. Maybe everybody just needs to slow down on quitting. I don’t know why is it completely coincidental that the WEF meeting at Davos was last week and then Monday, on the 23rd? You were allowed to know a sliver of the truth? I don’t know. Maybe that is purely coincidental. Maybe it’s not have no idea. I’m not privy to their information. But thankfully, I do have common sense and a brain and I’m able to trust my own judgment. Look around and see what’s going on. Stay safe, stay sane. And I will see you in the next episode.
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