May 2024 Career News

Welcome to the Career Economy!

How is it already May 9th? 

As we <gasp> head into the second half of the year, I’m seeing positive indicators of things to come. The overall labor economy continues to prove the markets wrong with its resilience and consistency, yet the professional/white-collar sectors are still feeling the pinch. Luckily, that’s where I’m observing some movement that gives me hope. 

First, projections and forecasts have suggested the labor market will continue to improve (shall we say loosen) throughout the year. 

Recruiter friends have indicated increased hiring requisitions (yay), and some have shared with me that the predicted “recovery” from the past 18 months of tech transformation fallout will be realized in January 2025. 

If that timeline is accurate, we should see continual and gradual improvements in hiring across professional services, including the tech sector, as we approach that assumed and hopeful date of “full” normalization

🙃 Loaded word: normalization. 

To be honest, I’m not sure the tech sector, in particular, will ever go back to normal, but I do think the dust is settling, and we’re starting to see glimpses of what that new state will be. We still have some work – and bottlenecks to alleviate – to get there. Getting hired in the tech sector still feels excruciatingly painful, but the good news is there’s a slow upward trend, and (more importantly) we now know how to navigate job searches in this likely forever-changed landscape. 

👇 Let’s get into the numbers. 

Here’s what I found in my analysis of the latest Economic Situation Report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  

➡️ The overall unemployment rate remained stable at 3.9%. 

➡️ We created a total of 175,000 jobs. 

While this increment is lower than the monthly average of the past year and slightly lower than the forecasts, it represents steady economic activity, which is still a win considering that the whole recession/inflation/soft-landing “thing” is still flowing around out there. 

Unemployment rates have hovered between 3.7% and 3.9% continuously since August 2023, further confirming the market’s resilience.

While the report did not explicitly highlight IT and tech industry statistics this month, broader indicators suggest that the tech sector continues to experience upward trends. Nationally, sectors such as health care and social assistance have seen growth, which often correlates with increased demand for IT support and innovation. 

Over here on the front lines, my tech executives and engineering job seekers are also seeing increased activity, including more jobs, better networking opportunities, and more interviews. The disclaimer here is that there are more candidates in these hiring pools than there ever have been, so you tech professionals should expect to have to go through more overall interview processes, with more individual interviews per process, than you previously experienced. 

👉 The message: don’t let off the gas when you get the first callback!

Lower unemployment rates in this sector reinforce the aforementioned observed hiring boost, so if you’re considering a shift in roles, it’s time to get active…because, #newsflash, it’s still going to take a hot minute to land (even with more opportunities out there)!  

🤔 If you’ve been thinking about a new role but waiting for the markets to improve, it’s likely time to get off the sidelines and step into the game!

Whether you’re a tech professional or otherwise, here are some things to consider as you get active and take advantage of what will be a continuing upward trend: 

✔️ Expand your skill set: Explore new certifications or courses that align with emerging technologies or your specialty areas. Continuous learning is key. 

✔️  Network actively: I might be a broken record on this one, but engaging with your community is the number one way to improve your visibility and land a new opportunity. In the digital age, hiring is still largely about who you know (or who you can get to know). 

✔️ Update your digital presence: Ensure your LinkedIn profile is optimized to land in recruiter searches and engage with the content created by thought leaders in your industry to build visibility. You’ll be surprised at the traction you get with just a little more lift on LinkedIn. 

The Summary

  • We aren’t moving in the wrong direction. While that seems like a ridiculous thing to say, for a good 12 – 14 months, that was our reality, so stabilization is a welcome sign. 
  • Fortunately, it looks like we’re a step or two beyond stable, especially in the tech job market, where a positive movement feels like a breath of fresh air!

 

If the sudden uptick in interest from potential new clients is any indication, you’re all feeling the hope as well! 

Let’s do it together!

Your Friend and Coach, 

Angie

THe No-BS Blueprint for a successful job search

Award-winning career coach Angie Callen covers everything you need to know about job searching in the current market. 

No more trolling job boards and free advice for hours on end, just outcomes-based strategies to maximize your career. Click the link below to grab your copy today! 

Get the guidance you need to land your next great role. 

  • Strategies to make your search efficient and effective.
  • Resources to create a resume that resonates.
  • Ideas on how to remove the ick from networking
  • Proven framework to help you nail your next interview.

Angie’s resume guidance transformed my job search. I used her feedback to revamp my resume, responded to a rejection, and within a month, I landed the job of my dreams! – Will, Netflix Engineer

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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