November 2023 BLS Employment Situation — The Balance Between Labor Supply & Demand

Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Employment Situation for November 2023. The report showed that there were 199,000 jobs created last month.

The unemployment rate, which measures the number of workers who currently do not have a job but are looking for work, dropped 0.2% to 3.7%. This slight change reflects workers previously on strike, like automotive workers and actors, rejoining the labor market after reaching agreements.

In November, the healthcare sector led job creation with 77,000 jobs added to the labor market; of this total, nursing and residential care facilities represented 22% (17,000). Government was second in job growth with 49,000 new roles, while the leisure and hospitality industry was third with 40,000 jobs created.

Employment situation highlights:

  • Job data is slightly weaker than initial appearance because of formerly striking employees returning to work
  • November’s actual job creation without returning striker workers is around 160,000, which aligned with 2019 average
  • Half a million more workers entered November’s labor market with many finding jobs
  • Temporary help services fell by 14,000 jobs last month and 177,000 total in the past year, demonstrating that businesses can handle consumer demand with their current staff
  • The labor force has grown by a total of 1.16 million people since July 2023
  • Women have had record levels of workforce participation this year

While November’s data is better than economists anticipated, it is a sign of a soft landing happening in the economy. For business owners and hiring managers alike this means a soft launch into previous norms for hiring. 

For many, hiring will be similar to what it was in 2019 — but for other industries, particularly healthcare and other skilled labor fields, there is a different reality. It’s still really hard to hire. Every month, more and more jobs are created in these sectors but the number of job seekers remains the same, meaning that the competition isn’t going to disappear in the coming months.

So what can you do to find, hire, and keep the right people on your team? In December 2023 and beyond, businesses hiring skilled labor workers need to stand out to applicants while optimizing processes. Read on for our suggestions on how to strike a balance in the future hiring landscape.

Embrace your employer branding

In order to stand apart from your competitors who are trying to hire the same talent you are, great employer branding is critical. In today’s labor market, you need to advertise your open roles just like you do your goods and services — so lean into what makes you different as an employer. It’s the little things in your people policy that will make an applicant choose you over another employer.

First things first: highlight the benefits you offer workers. Aside from pay, which is and always will be a major factor for applicants, the extra perks you provide staff are what can make you more attractive than your competition. You need to give workers what they want from an employer. For example, our 2023 State of Hiring Report found that the top three benefits that would motivate a candidate to choose a lower paying offer over another were schedule flexibility, career growth opportunities, and fulfilling or enjoyable work. 

What does this look like? You may need workers in-person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer the flexibility that applicants want. You can allow your employees to dictate when and how long they work by splitting 8 hour shifts into smaller four hour shifts, or by allowing full-time employees to work four 10-hour shifts instead. You can provide candidates the job growth they’re looking for by offering to pay for the education they need to reach the next step in their career — while also filling your hardest to fill roles. These are just a few of the ways that you can develop your people policy in a way that caters to what job seekers are searching for and to make you a more attractive employer.

Optimize recruitment channels

With the labor supply and demand returning to somewhat of a balance, employers now have the opportunity to evaluate and optimize their recruitment channels to develop a strategy that is customized for their unique needs. When it comes to hiring, there are a myriad of sources that hiring managers can tap into to source the talent their organizations need — so now is the perfect time to create a winning formula built just for you.

With HR insights and analytics, your team can quickly identify the recruitment channel that delivers the best ROI for hiring. As we mentioned this looks slightly different for everyone; even within the same industry, one group achieves better results through a niche job board while another might find that partnering with local schools gives them better access to talent. Determining what works best or you will take time, but will be worth it in the long run. Be sure to develop a way to capture talent that might be switching industries, as workers will continue to swap one sector for another in this ongoing trend. 

Leverage your workers as social proof

Applicants would rather hear from your workers what they honestly think about you as an employer rather than read one more “About Us” section (but you still need to include that portion in your job descriptions!). In terms of recruiting, social proof will go far to attract and hire the right people at your business. While you can’t guarantee that your workers can talk to each and every potential applicant interested in your company, you can leverage your staff as social proof of your organization as an employer.

When your reputation does the recruiting for you, all you have to do is create and maintain an employee referral program that passively collects applicants from your workers’ existing networks of former colleagues, friends, and family. After all, good people know good people — and those are the ones you want on your team. In order to capitalize on this trend, be sure to update your careers page regularly with current testimonials from staff who love being on your team. This is a hiring best practice that you should continue to follow in years to come, as digital marketing of open roles is only more commonplace.

Automate steps for improved speed and engagement

Hiring will always need a human touch — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas where artificial intelligence (AI) can be useful. The key is to determine how automation can help your hiring process to save your hiring team time and deliver optimal results.

One of the most influential parts of the hiring process that can be handled by AI include job descriptions. Instead of wasting time trying to create the perfect job post, tag in AI. You could even use AI to keep top talent engaged throughout the hiring process with automated candidate communication that clearly lays out next steps, where the applicant is in the process, and what they can expect during this time. In fact, you’re probably already using some degree of AI if your ATS scans incoming resumes for targeted keywords that are necessary for a role at your organization. For more ideas on how AI

The November Employment Situation displayed signs that the economy is undergoing a soft landing rather than a full-blown recession, leading to a more balanced supply and demand of labor. In order to navigate this current hiring landscape, owners and hiring managers will need to focus on embracing their employer brand, optimize their recruiting channels, following hiring best practices to passively recruit, and use AI to recruit and hire better.

To see how you can hire better talent faster with a true ATS, schedule a 1:1 demo today!



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