August 2023 Career News

Welcome to the Career Economy!


Welp, I can say the prediction and good indicators I talked about in last month’s newsletter didn’t necessarily pan out like I thought they would. The beam of light that showed up around the Fourth of July ended up being a blip in the radar, as activity fell off again, but there’s new evidence to give us hope once again!

The market slowed its roll a little more last month with 187k jobs created, which is to be expected during the summer slump; however, in my little world, a flurry of activity landed seven happy job seekers new roles. Woot woot!

Offers included three tech sales executives, a Fortune 100 business executive (VP), a recruiting manager, an Agile delivery manager, and a tech consultant.

Yay, tech is hiring again!

Now that you’re done celebrating with me, here are a few noteworthy data points from this month’s Employment Situation Summary and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover reports.

  • Unemployment is still LOW (3.5)% and has maintained a 3.4 – 3.7% range since March 2022.
  • Temporary layoffs decreased significantly by 175k, and permanent and long-term layoff statistics remained flat from the months prior.
  • Job gains were above average in healthcare, social assistance, finance, and wholesale trade, with additional (as expected) upticks in personal services and hospitality.
  • The number of job openings remains consistent, and total separations decreased. Whew.

I also dug up this particularly shocking graph from Workable: 

Look carefully, and you’ll see the average number of applicants for open positions over the past year, which topped out at an all-time high of 176.7 in June before falling slightly to 169.2 in July.

If you’re getting sick of the block hole and robo-rejects, at least you now understand why that’s a trend…and now maybe you’ll listen when we coaches say: network network network!

Humans are more critical to finding a new role now than they’ve ever been.

Now I’m down the data rabbit hole!

I decided to look at historical data because I’ve been seeing a lot of similarities to this year’s hiring trends and what I remember things looking like when I was in my first two years in business (2018 – 2019). 

The feeding frenzy we experienced post-2020 has, I believe, skewed our perspective, and I found this look back at some historical data telling and grounding. 

Here’s what I found. 

I got fancy in Excel and made you a graph – check this out:

Blue is 2019, and Orange is 2023.

My in-laws must love the unintentional Syracuse-themed coloring here.

If you notice – this year is trending BETTER than 2019. I was kind of blown away by that fact when I got the visual. What’s funny is I distinctly remember that crappy blue February, but anyway…the fact that June and July look pretty similar gives me hope that we’ll see a fall that also looks like it did in 2019. 

I figured it might be beneficial to give you the rest of 2019’s hiring data in graphic form because it shows that hiring maintained consistency throughout the rest of the year. That particular November was also neat – I had clients interviewing the week of Thanksgiving, and that never happens!

Let’s hope the next few months are as consistent as I hope they’ll be!

A Closing Anecdote:

While I was working on this newsletter, I stopped and recorded a podcast featuring my friend Gianni Portale, who happens to be a young, hungry recruiting director at a third-party agency. 

Shameless plug: you will want to listen to it when it comes out (8/30) because it’s loaded with “behind the curtain” insights on how recruiters are involved in hiring.

Gianni and I got into a “what’s happening in the market” discussion on air, and it felt way too timely not to share a sneak peek of it here with you today. 

His first-hand account gave me hope, as it aligns with my forecast that the post-Labor Day hiring will, in fact, pick up. As a director, Gianni works directly with companies to secure recs for jobs, so he’s on the front lines of hiring, where he’s seeing an increase in demand and requests to fill new openings across a range of professional services. (finance, tech, healthcare, etc).

In closing: there’s a glimmer of hope.

Let’s hope!

Your Friend and Coach, 


Angie Callen, Founder

I created Career Benders to inspire confident professionals. In just three years, we have helped nearly 500 professionals navigate job searches, nail interviews, and find satisfaction in their careers. We’re here for you!

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