With a quarter-plus of 2022 in the books, the question on everyone’s mind is what the rest of the year will have in store for us – personally, professionally, and/or culturally. Although much has proven uncertain, the numbers show that this year has proven to be professionally productive for many, with positive trends carrying us into the summer and latter parts of the year. Statistics aside, the general tone of the business community has been efficacious as compared to expectations coming out of 2021, aside of the obvious hurdles offered up by the shortage of available talent and the increased costs of, well, everything. It’s worth taking a closer look to determine where you come down in your forecast for the remainder of 2022.
By the Numbers
On a national level, unemployment fell to 3.6% in March – down from 3.8% in February. First time claims for unemployment benefits fell below 200,000, while the US economy added 431,000 new jobs in March (exceeding estimates by 7.2%). The number of long-term unemployed professionals dropped in March by 274,000, which tells us that more people are going back to work than filing unemployment. This is excellent news for business owners in many sectors, specifically retail and hospitality. All measurable employment statistics point to there being greatly increased probability that your favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or hotel will be open for business when you are out looking for that well-earned rest and relaxation.
Another compelling statistic is related to the percentage increase in voluntary self-employment. Self-employment was 618,000 above the national 2-year average. With an ever-tightening labor market, this increase points to the fact that self-employed professionals are doing so by choice and not necessity. Entrepreneurship and innovation are on the rise which will likely continue to fuel our employment market for the near future, along with other previously illustrated trends.
On a local level, New Hampshire’s unemployment dropped to 2.5% in March – down from 2.7% in February. What’s most compelling and encouraging are the year over year increases in leisure and hospitality as well as business services. NH’s leisure and hospitality employment has increased by nearly 10% since this time last year. This figure is significant in telling us just how many people are going back to work since the heat of the Covid era. Business services employment has also increased – up 9.7% year over year. Historically, the increase in business service hiring indicates, at the very least, an optimistic employment outlook in the near term as these hires are necessitated by thriving businesses needing more services and a general lack of talent available to hire directly.
So, what’s the current pulse of the market?
If I’m removing my obsession with numbers and statistics, the general tone of the market is exceptionally upbeat. Employers are struggling with a variety of nice-to-have problems which all stem from their own thriving organizations and potential for available market share. Yes, it may be difficult to redefine your post-covid culture, hire and train remote employees, and deal with ever-increasing salary demands, however the trends all speak to an ever-flourishing employment market with minimal end in sight.
From the job-seeker’s perspective, well, it remains a good market to be a job seeker. A good market doesn’t necessarily lay the groundwork to write your own ticket or exploit your current/prospective employer, but it does put today’s job seeker in a favorable position to negotiate for optimal benefits, salary, or work-from-home opportunities. It is increasingly important that current career-seekers keep in mind that these prosperous times won’t necessarily last forever, and it is critical that you don’t negotiate yourself into a position where you’re first out the door when the market does take an inevitable turn.
As someone who regularly analyzes the numbers and interfaces with thriving businesses and sought-after job-seeking candidates, I can say that it is generally a great time to be “out there”. The way many professionals and organizations have honorably fought through a global pandemic and come out in today’s burgeoning position has been satisfying to be part of, while the stats indicate more prosperous times to come. Happy hunting to all.
About BANKW Staffing
Through its portfolio companies, KBW Financial Staffing & Recruiting, Alexander Technology Group, The Nagler Group, Sales Search Partners, and KNF&T Staffing Resources, BANKW Staffing, LLC is the leading regional provider of temporary and direct-hire staffing services in the areas of finance, accounting, information technology, office and administration, legal, human resources, and sales.
BANKW Staffing companies have received over 100 awards for rapid growth, business excellence, and workplace quality. Recognition includes Inc. 500, Boston Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” and Business NH Magazine’s “Business of the Year”.
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