The US is entering an era where it went from having a strong labor market to one that is unpredictable due to macroeconomic factors and changing global events. The effort to cool down inflation through heightened interest rates by the Federal Bank, as well as chip embargos with China, have placed US companies in a difficult situation of maintaining profitability while controlling costs. The most obvious cost control factors for companies are employee cost and hiring.
Though we cannot predict the future, here are some trends that may take place in 2023:
- Will companies still be hiring?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is still showing high numbers of job openings at 10.5 million. The labor market itself is still considered “strong”, given that nationwide unemployment is at 3.5% with some California metros showing even lower numbers: Santa Clara County (San Jose – Sunnyvale – Palo Alto Metro) is at 2.4%, and Orange County is at 3%.
These statistics tell a story of a robust labor market but don’t fully account for the recent layoffs of 47,000 tech workers in the Bay Area or the continued announcement of hiring freezes.
Some good news for engineers is still on the horizon… Automation will continue to be a significant driver of employment opportunities. The World Economic Forum (WEForum) is expecting $15.7 trillion in GDP worldwide by 2030, with job opportunities in robotics, AI, and Machine Learning.
The WEForum is also expecting a hiring boom within the renewable energy sector as more countries make investments towards decarbonization and alternative fuel; these energy developments are expected to employ more than 38 million worldwide by 2030.
- Return to Office
In December 2022, the job board Glassdoor.com recently announced “Return-to-Office” as its word of the year. With COVID no longer being a critical threat, 9 out of 10 employers are now requiring their workers to be in the office at least one day of the week. Though most businesses will likely not go back to 5 days a week in the office, employees’ aversion to coming on-site even 1 day a week has caused “a great mismatch” of work arrangement expectations.
As companies choose to prioritize work culture and collaboration time, the pushback to working in the office may lessen with fewer fully remote jobs available in the market. Last February 2022, more than 20% of job postings were advertised as fully remote; but as of November of last year that figure had fallen to 14%.
- Pay Transparency
Job seekers in California will know the salary range for every job they’re eyeing in 2023. Starting on January 1st, employers must begin including pay ranges in job advertising. Additionally, employed workers will be able to request the budgeted pay range for their position.
According to Paycor, such policies will lead to more productive and contented workers and could increase the number of job applicants. By outlining the salary range for a position up front, this initiative could boost employee motivation and trust between companies and prospective employees.
- Quiet Hiring
“Quiet Hiring” is the employment trend that refers to a process in which companies fill job openings without publicly advertising them. This can include filling positions through employee referrals, recruiting from within the company, or working with recruitment firms to find candidates. The goal of quiet hiring is typically to attract top talent without drawing attention from competitors.
Quiet Hiring has the potential to offer leadership possibilities, promotions, and compensation increases.
- Contingent work in these uncertain times
During economic downturns, many businesses may cut costs by reducing their headcount. This will mean unemployment for many unfortunate workers. Taking contingent or contract roles can provide an alternative option for workers who may be facing job loss or difficulty finding permanent employment.
Contract jobs can offer a way for workers to maintain a steady income while they search for permanent job opportunities. They also provide an opportunity to gain new skills and experience, which can help workers to become more attractive to potential employers.
In conclusion, it’s important to note that the current situation is highly dynamic, and it’s hard to give definite predictions about the employment trends for 2023. It will be important for both companies and workers to be aware of these trends and adapt to them as necessary.
As more companies turn to specialized staffing firms, such as SoloPoint Solutions, to “quietly” fill their engineering vacancies or to flexibly adjust their headcount through contingent hiring, engineering job seekers can take advantage of their services by speaking with a technical recruiter on roles that could be relevant to their career objectives. If you’re looking for new opportunities, visit our Job Board today or speak with one of our technical recruiters: