Talent Market Update: August 2023

By TERRA Staffing Group

Posted on August 10, 2023

Talent Market Update Infographic, August 2023

“Boring” news is good news when it comes to the state of the employment market.

Feds were hoping for a “Goldilocks” jobs report—not too hot, not too cold—and they got it.

As the labor market continues to tighten, some view this as good news for the economy, while others see the status of the market as a looming sign that we’re on the precipice of a recession. 

We’ll discuss the latest trends in the employment market and what this means for employers and for the economy.

Key Takeaways: 


Unemployment data, August 2023
Unemployment rate July 2019-July 2023. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Unemployment dipped slightly from 3.6% to 3.5%.

Layoffs fell to the lowest level in nearly a year, a 42% drop from the number of layoffs in June and an 8% decrease from July last year based on a report released by employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Since March 2022, feds have been increasing interest rates to cool off the economy, propelling talk of another recession. This appeared to be a very possible reality given the amount of layoffs early this year. 

But fear of an upcoming recession is ebbing. Employers are less “trigger happy” with layoffs given the shallow pool of workers available. And the recent wage increase could be attributed to employers’ efforts to retain employees.

Workforce Participation

Workforce participation data, August 2023
Civilian labor force participation rate, January-July 2023. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Workforce participation has stayed exactly the same, holding steady at 62.6% for the 5th month in a row. 

The number of part-time workers for economic reasons changed very little and is currently at 4 million

Though overall, part-time employment increased from 261,81 thousand in June to 27,153 thousand in July, possibly due to the increase in jobs added in the service industry. 

The labor market continues to look healthy and some economists are even feeling optimistic about the future of the employment market.

Number of Jobs Available

Job openings data, August 2023
Job openings January 2020 – June 2023. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job vacancies decreased to 9582 thousand in June from 9616 thousand in May. These numbers are still higher than the pre-pandemic average.

Some are predicting a spike in jobs added come September for the holiday season.

We’re seeing a tight labor market that is holding steady and proving resilient against increasing interest rates.

This is good news for workers given the decreasing unemployment rate and increase in hourly wages. And good news with an asterisk for employers and central banks since increased wages could negatively impact inflation.

What does this mean for employers?

Though we’re continuing to see a very tight labor market, there are things employers can do to stay ahead of labor market trends and set themselves up for success.

Unemployment is decreasing and there is a shallow pool of talent available for hire.

Winning move: For employers that are hiring, be prepared to continue to compete for talent. Make sure your hiring process is speedy and your pay and benefits package is something you’re excited to talk about.

Wages have increased 4.4% since last year.

Winning move: Continue to explore retention as the new recruitment. Invest in employees that are eager to learn and grow with your organization and provide training to help them level up their skills.

Overall winning move: Don’t staff yourself into a recession. Resist hiring freezes and layoffs, and create a more strategic approach to staffing needs.

If you’re looking for some help navigating the nuances of the job market, we want to be a resource for you

Temporary or contract staffing is a great way to meet your staffing needs.

Our mission is to create Success Stories daily for the employees and clients that we serve.

Categories: Staffing Tips & Recruiting Trends

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