Quiet Hiring Freezes Signal Looming Fear of Recession

For the last two and a half years, a record number of new job postings have been listed, and workers have leveraged better salaries and more perks in a job market that leaned in their favor.

Now, per the June Jobs Report from the US Department of Labor, it looks like that may be over, for now at least.

Bloomberg pointed out that US employers are projected to add the lowest amount of new job listings in more than a year. Experts, however, say that the downtick isn’t worrisome just yet. But we should still be aware of the shift bosses are making.

“They don’t want to talk about a hiring freeze, but what they are doing is adding an extra layer of scrutiny, like saying only the CEO can approve these jobs,” said David Vied, the global sector leader for medical devices and diagnostics at executive recruitment and consulting firm Korn Ferry in an interview with Bloomberg. “There is this stealth slowdown.”

He’s not wrong.

Big companies like Amazon Walmart have shared they’re leaning out hourly worker count through attrition. This is interesting since they are two of the country’s biggest employers.

“The balance of power is shifting,” Vied said to Bloomberg. “There is this erosion of the power of the job candidate.”

More than 60% of CEOs say a recession is definitely coming according to findings from a Conference Board survey of 750 C-suite executives.

“Virtually every organization we work with has an absurd number of open job requisitions right now,” said Melissa Swift, the US transformation solutions leader at workplace consultant Mercer in a statement to Bloomberg. “They sit around unfilled for very long periods of time. This is both a crisis, and an interesting indication that we simply might not need some of those jobs.”

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