What's going on?

You may remember that November began with the release of the monthly jobs report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS.

The jobs reports had become monotonous: month after month, hundreds of thousands of jobs had been added to the US economy.

The report for October, released on November 4, was more of the same, with another 261,000 more jobs. That report came a day after BusinessWire touted the findings of a report on the staffing plans of “digital leaders.”

The BusinessWire piece noted that, while 81% of digital leaders in the U.S. have concerns about the economy, 46% still plan to increase their overall technology budget and 47% expect to grow their headcount over the next 12 months. The findings were part of the 2022 Nash Squared Digital Leadership Report. The Digital Leadership Report is the longest-running and largest technology leadership survey in the world.

The article quoted Jason Pyle, president of Harvey Nash USA, a Nash Squared company, who said, “The growth expectations expressed in this year’s report show that companies are strongly committed to continuing their digital transformation, which will be critical for the economy and jobs moving forward given the current global environment..”

Just a few days after the October jobs report, TechServe Alliance threw some cold water on the optimism by noting that IT employment had dipped 0.14% over September’s numbers. On a year-over-year basis, IT employment slipped 0.19% from October 2021, down a net of 10,200 jobs.

TechServe Alliance is the national trade association of the technology staffing and solutions industry. Mark Roberts, TechServe Alliance CEO, said, “Headlines may say that there are significant economic headwinds, but it’s important for businesses to understand that the 2.3% unemployment rate for IT tells a different story. It tells us that the lack of growth in IT jobs is not a demand issue, it remains a supply problem. Fundamentally, there are simply not enough people to fill the vacant jobs, and that will not change in the foreseeable future.”

And then a whole lot of things happened. On Wednesday, November 9, Meta announced that it is laying off 13% of its staff, or more than 11,000 employees. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement in a letter to employees.

And most recently, Amazon announced a layoff of approximately 10,000 employees, with the bulk coming from the group responsible for Alexa.

In trying to make sense of all the tech layoffs, The New York Times wrote, “The chorus of conceding by tech executives that they hired too many people is ricocheting across Silicon Valley as the industry rushes to make cuts, blaming a worsening economy. But at least part of the surge in layoffs was self-inflicted. When the companies enjoyed soaring profits and a belief that the pandemic-fueled boom times would keep going, they aggressively expanded by hoarding the most fought-over and expensive resource in the software business: talent.” 

Talent was so sought after that quits tracked by the BLS were above 4 million every month. We published a blog post about the “Forever Resignation” as seen  by some industry experts. Each month, 3% of the work force was resigning.

Workers are still leaving jobs; the quit rate for October was 2.7%.

And even with the high-profile layoffs, talent is still a scarce commodity. The Times story mentioned that more than 100,000 tech workers have been laid off this year, but that’s a drop in the very big bucket of 2.7 million tech jobs.

You probably know how scarce talent is today. LRS Consulting Services has a staff of experienced, successful recruiters to help you meet your needs. Contact us!