July 2023 Career News

Welcome to the Career Economy!

Is the cool-off here? Perhaps. But maybe not. 

June hiring clocked in at just about 200k new jobs, falling fairly closely to predictions (225k) and, after a small surge in May, on pace with what we saw in February, March, and April. 


Unemployment fell an insignificant tenth of a point, a potentially positive indication that the layoffs in big tech (and subsequent transformation in that market sector) are rolling to a halt. No one would be more excited if that truly were the case than me! 


There are a few interesting data points within this month’s report worth highlighting, along with some observations I’ve seen that may boost your confidence as a job seeker – or nervous “made it through the layoffs” employee. 


1️⃣ The economy has added 1.67 million jobs in the first half of this year, which is the 12th largest January to June on record since the BLS began keeping this type of data in 1915. 


That blew my mind considering how tight this market feels for job seekers, although we have to take into account that the service industry has driven much of the growth. In addition to the continued upward trend in hospitality and leisure, we also saw increases in government, health care, social assistance, and construction hiring last month.


Notice professional services and technology is not in the top five…(hence that tight market).


2️⃣ Total labor force participation has remained the same for four months (62.6%). 


This means – in my mind – we will continue to see low unemployment, labor shortages in some areas, and uber-competitive hiring in professional markets due to the disparity between job seekers and the types of positions open. 


An influx of people sitting on the sidelines isn’t bad when you’re vying for jobs fetching 1000000 applicants, so I can live with these factors. Plus, all of these indicators suggest we may be seeing that “soft landing” economists keep mentioning when it comes to lowering inflation without tanking the entire economy. 


3️⃣ The participation rate for women (25 – 54) is at an all-time high of 77.8%! 


Women are taking the professional world by storm. Of note, did you know a higher percentage of women are employed in white-collar jobs versus a 50-50 split between men in white and blue-collar occupations? Neat. 


4️⃣ My two cents: It’s what you’ve all been waiting for, right? 😆


While new job creation slipped in June over the previous month, I’ve seen the following indicators that could suggest we’ll see positive movement now that mid-summer and Fourth of July are in the rearview. 


📍 Increase in new job listings

The last week of June and the first week of July are essentially Christmas (so maybe there is something to that whole Christmas in July saying) when it comes to hiring activity. Crickets.

You can understand why I found it odd – and encouraging – to see an influx of new positions come online during the last week of June.  


📍 Callbacks!

At the same time, I also had an oddly large number of clients receive callbacks for first-round interviews in that same week. What was even more interesting is that those recruiters wanted to conduct calls on the Friday before the Fourth of July!

Some of those candidates even had subsequent interviews on July 5th.

This is just plain weird – and suggests to me that hiring teams are making moves.

Of note: it’s taking nearly 50 days for companies to facilitate a hire right now, which is about the longest is ever been (and yes, it’s painful). Do the math, and we can assume that the activity we’re seeing now is a slow lead-in to fall hiring, with companies starting what they know will be a long, slow process to bring someone in mid-September – about 50 days from now!


📍New Clients

After spending a few weeks as a sweaty entrepreneur – and not because of the heat waves – new client inquiries kicked up in the past two weeks, indicating that job seeker sentiment is getting stronger, and people are ready to get back out there.


Are you one of them? Let’s chat. 



Yesterday, I sat down at my desk and opened my inbox to find a “thank you, Jesus, praise the Lord” email from a client who landed a role as a …🥁🥁🥁 Product Manager! 

This celebratory news was shortly followed by a note from Acacia, our couch for young professionals and transitioning teachers, letting me know that one of her clients landed a role at an EdTech company. 

Two wins in one day, both in the tech sector. Hallelujah!

A few other clients landed new roles over the past 4 – 6 weeks, so perhaps the tides are turning. 


How does this all impact you and your job search? 

First off, universal job search rules of engagement and best practices still apply and have always applied, despite whatever changing market conditions we’re weathering:

  • Be clear on your goals
  • Tailor your resume to those targets
  • Network like a champ
  • Do your homework for interviews
  • Be patient

If you’re skimping on any one area of the job search, you’re going to lose out because methodical, consistent, and strategic are the keys to success – more now so than ever. 


In case you haven’t noticed, the feeding frenzy that was “I can apply online and get 17 offers” has waned, and we’re back to who you know and who knows you.

Do you have the exposure you need? 

Are you building relationships with the right people? 

Have you gotten desperate and started throwing everything at the wall to see what’ll stick? 


If you smirked, nodded, or gasped in fear to any of those, it’s time for us to talk.


In the meantime, keep your head up. Remain confident in the value you offer, and tackle your job search with gusto! 


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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