Job Market Cooldown Leads to Struggles for American White Collar Workers

As the labor market in the United States continues to stagnate, white-collar workers are facing increased struggles with job searches as employers, while reluctant to fire workers, are equally hesitant to hire new workers.

According to Axios, the labor market’s ongoing cooldown may help to combat inflation, but leaves unemployed workers frustrated in their efforts to secure employment. Meanwhile, those who are already employed feel trapped in jobs with no upward mobility and have little to no prospects for work elsewhere.

The stagnant job market is driving people crazy,” says Phoebe Gavin, a career coach who specializes in the industries of media, entertainment, and tech. She described how her clients are experiencing “really long processes with many, many stages” when it comes to the hiring process.

According to data released by the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) on Tuesday, job openings are currently at their lowest level in three years. At the same time, the number of people being fired is lower than it was in 2023, as is the unemployment rate.

Many job seekers are also facing increasingly frustrating interviews and negotiation attempts when closing in on a potential new job. Applicants are being asked by potential employers to perform complex tasks as part of the hiring process, while employers refuse to give much breathing room when it comes to salary negotiations.

Nick Bunker, an economist with Indeed, says that although the hiring market is extremely slow, those seeking work will eventually find employment. He also claims that this is in line with the Federal Reserve’s plan, first initiated in 2022, to hike rates in an effort to combat inflation.

“Even if it’s very frustrating that a person with a job, can’t go out and find a new job and get a huge pay raise very quickly,” said Bunker. “That’s actually probably the least painful way for the labor market to have cooled down over the last few years.”

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: The boardroom table in the boardroom of UniCredit SpA at the company's headquarters in Milan, Italy, on Sunday July 31, 2022. UniCredit top corporate and investment bankers are betting on surging demand for risk products in the most volatile market in a decade, and taking deal-making business from rivals to help meet ambitious revenue targets set down by Chief Executive Officer Andrea Orcel. Photographer: Francesca Volpi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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