17 Nov “under the hood are signs of deterioration”
“The Job Market Slowdown Is Getting Hard to Ignore
The payrolls data still looks fine, but under the hood are signs of deterioration for the growing number of people who are unemployed or keen to switch jobs.”
–https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2023-11-14/the-job-market-slowdown-is-getting-hard-to-ignore#xj4y7vzkg published November 14, 2023
Yeah . . . the thing is: by the time you hear there’s trouble in the MSM, you’ve waited too late. IMO, it’s too late to only just now be thinking about the “payrolls data” or BLS stats as being, well, utterly bizarre and incorrect. To keep the car metaphor going, it’s better to perform routine care and maintenance than to wait for the engine to explode. It’s better to know the truth about the economy and the job market than to listen to hot air and BS and be blindsided later.
It’s easy to look at the rise in the unemployment rate over the past six months and attribute it to a growing labor force, as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. argued over the weekend, or a normal rebalancing of the economy that will help control inflation, as I suggested last week was one possibility. Neither argument captures the nuance of labor market changes this year, and how workers should be thinking about their job prospects going forward.
While the odds of getting laid off remain very low, for the small — but growing — percentage of people who are either unemployed or looking to change jobs, conditions are arguably worse now than they’ve been in more than five years, outside of the pandemic. It’s important not to gloss over this reality because a number of signs point to a continuing deterioration so long as the Federal Reserve keeps interest rates at a level that restrains the economy.
A few thoughts here:
+ Anyone telling you not to worry about the climbing unemployment rate (which is already considerably higher than what you’re told, IMO) is not your pal. Full stop.
+ Don’t worry about unemployment growing because that just means the labor force overall is growing. 😆 Yeah, OK. That makes me think of a dirty weightlifting bulk where you eat anything you want in the name of muscle growth but then end up with more fat you need to lose than muscle you’ve gained.
+ We’re getting quite a bit of the “nothing to see here, people. This is a normal rebalancing” narrative these days. What they’re not saying is: “The Fed and the cronies artificially manipulated the ever-loving hell outta these markets and now the sh*t’s gonna crash. It’ll benefit the fat cats but not you. Good luck!”
+ Are the odds of experiencing a layoff very low? I wouldn’t bet my life on it. As the saying goes: when the neighbor gets laid off, it’s a recession. When I get laid off, it’s a depression.
+ You and I don’t control the Fed. Whether they do QE or QT is not in our control. If they fire up the printing press and make more fiat currency, we will all suffer the consequences. *Gestures broadly* Look at the mess we’re in right now. When you go to the grocery store, how far does $1 go? I don’t even think that would purchase a package of chewing gum.
“Holiday Hiring Demand Drops Off, a Warning for the Job Market
Businesses need fewer extra workers for holiday jobs this fall after fighting in recent years to find enough staff to stock shelves”
Like the house in Vegas, Corporate America always wins. For a while, all we heard was “Labor shortage! Labor shortage! Ca-caw, ca-caw 🦜” Now it’s: good luck getting a holiday job because businesses need fewer employees this time around.
What would you recommend a person do if they experience a layoff during the holiday season?
Ideally, you should have a job loss survival plan put together before you need it. This is truly a situation where an ounce of prevention is worth about 20 pounds of cure. At the very least, I suggest having a list of your first five phone calls post job loss. After you’ve called your spouse or best friend to vent about what’s happened, who are the first five people you will call who have a real chance of helping you find another job ASAP? Once you have five, it’s even better if you can create a list of ten. This is not about random networking or calling people you haven’t spoken to in decades. It’s about focusing on at least five people who know you and who have some possibility of helping you find another job.
Don’t assume your odds of facing a layoff are “very low.” Be wary of glowing statistics or reports that do not match objective reality. To me, the job market car is not simply showing signs of wear and tear under the hood. It’s already a rust bucket but you’re not supposed to know it yet.