There are increasing signs that workers’ power — a consequence of the hot COVID-era economy — is leveling off or even eroding in some sectors.
Why it matters: The super-tight labor market has been great for working people but a little too spicy for the Fed’s taste — chair Jerome Powell has cited it as a factor driving inflation. Now there are signs his rate hikes are having the intended cooling-off effect.
What they’re saying: “It’s not that workers have lost power, it’s just that they’re not increasingly gaining it,” says Nick Bunker, economic research director at Indeed.
Details: There are still way more job listings on Indeed than there were before the pandemic started — a clear sign of high demand for workers — but postings are coming back down from the highs of last year.
The tech sector, where we’ve seen the most layoffs over the past month, is notching some noticeable declines. Listings for “software developers” fell about 7% over the past four weeks, Bunker says.The folks at the Layoffs tracker website noted 109 layoff events so far in June, compared to 75 the prior month and just 17 in March.
Fear factor: You can’t discount the role psychology is playing in the power equation. Employers fearing a recession are pulling back postings, Bloomberg wrote earlier this week. At the same time, workers are starting to worry about job security, as we reported.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is giving advice on how to keep your job.
And yet: Remember, the unemployment rate is still really low!
What to watch: Whether the quits rate starts to ebb, Bunker says. So far it’s held relatively steady, a sign that workers are still feeling that leverage — confident enough to risk a new job.
The next report is due out from the Labor Department in July.