Job Market Slowdown

School is not the only thing at a standstill in the summer. Experts predict the job market will slowdown this summer, too. The main reason is that the job market is gradually returning to its pre-pandemic rate. While the job market experienced highs and lows during the pandemic, it was at its peak in the spring of 2022, when wages were increasing rapidly, and job postings outnumbered unemployed workers by a 2 to 1 margin. Naturally, this period was considered a job hunter’s market, and companies were eager to fill positions.

Since this peak, job openings have fallen by more than 30%, even though the unemployment rate has slowly increased. Pre-pandemic, the unemployment rate averaged 3.5%, and that rate is expected to be 3.9% in 2024. To put it into perspective, there are currently 8.5 million job openings and 6.5 million unemployed workers.

Market to Level Out

As the job market grows, experts forecast it will reach the pre-pandemic rate in 2028 as the economy evens out with inflation and jobs become more readily available.

Some even believe the unemployment rate will be lower than the target of 3.5%. This belief exists because experts predict widespread job availability among various industries that are looking to expand what their workforce will look like in the years to come. Additionally, wages are predicted to grow at a healthy scale.

Considering these two factors, experts predict these will appeal to people who have been out of the workforce for a while and even attract more “non-traditional” candidates. Looking at these types of candidates is already on the rise in 2024, where recruiters are prioritizing skills and experience over degrees, or focusing on soft skills vs. technical skills.

Hiring Increase in the Fall

The good news for job seekers is that when the fall months arrive, there is usually an uptick in hiring. At this time, people are returning to the office refreshed from vacations and are ready to focus on filling positions that support company goals. There is also a sense of urgency to hire before the holiday season starts in November. Take advantage of the summer slowdown by strengthening resumes and freshening interviewing skills to be ready for the fall surge.