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July 4, 2022

How the internet exaggerates job market chaos

According to the newsfeed, the jobs market is imploding.

Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict have destroyed economies, people are refusing to work en masse, and replacing staff with cheap remote teams is the new offshoring.

At least, this is the narrative that generates the most online traffic. But it’s actually not true.

Layoffs have frequented newsfeeds since 2020, especially on LinkedIn ‘the social media site for people who like to talk work’.

But in real terms, layoffs are at a record low. After 2020’s peak of 400,000, redundancies in the UK were down to 56,000 by April 2022. Unemployment peaked at 14.8% in April 2020, went down to 5.4% by July 2021, and down again to 3.8% by April 2022. For contrast, two years after the financial crisis in 2010, the UK figure was still over 7%.

The number of people in employment never sank below 2017, even at the December 2020 low point. These figures paint a very different picture to the decade of high unemployment predicted by the media. And they’re a world away from the ‘1/10 unemployed’ scenario predicted by news outlets two years ago.

Layoffs are happening, with many sectors still feeling 2020’s impact, and some seeing the other side of their own ‘gravity-defying’ growth. But for the most part, companies are still struggling to find and retain staff.

And in optimistic news for candidates, layoffs are a drop in the ocean compared to resignations, which peaked at over 390k in Q1 2022. That’s 50,000 more than the prior record in 2007. With a historic 1,300,000 vacancies listed between March and May, more people are finding work in 2022 than losing it.

Through these figures, we can see the great resignation in action, marking a turning point where candidate choice became a key feature of the job market.

For active LinkedIn users, it’s a confusing time. There can either be a jobs shortage, or a staffing crisis, but there can’t be both. The mass layoffs on your newsfeed is an algorithm trying to get your attention.

Finding and keeping staff is still the top priority for many, if not most businesses. And finding and keeping great talent is one of the biggest indicators of a company’s ongoing success.

The job market might be sending mixed signals – but your recruiting strategy should be consistent. At Concentric, we only connect companies with the top drawer talent who can add value, fast. Get in touch today to learn how we can partner up.

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