Over the past several years, the job market has been great for industrial employees, but when we look ahead to 2024, does that still hold true?
At Ignite Industrial Professionals, we have been keeping tabs on trends in 2023 to help prepare for 2024, and while we don’t want to be alarmist, it appears employers are downsizing.
For more than 20 years, we have seen retailers increase their headcount by roughly 25 percent to handle the labor needs required for the peak holiday season. In fact, in the past, retailers would start adding staff in their distribution centers in early September – keeping that seasonal staff until the end of December.
Ignite CEO Brian Devine has been tracking the number of warehouse job postings each month, because it is a good barometer of what the labor market will look like in 60 days or so. Unlike previous years, he didn’t see an increase in warehouse job postings in the fourth quarter of 2022. And there are even fewer warehouse jobs posted this year as compared to last year.
In fact, there are even fewer job postings for industrial employees than in 2019. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from February to August of 2022, there were 2 open jobs for every single unemployed person. In October of 2023, that number decreased to 1.4 open jobs per unemployed person, meaning that job seekers have fewer options now than they did last year. And, given what we’ve seen in the last few months, I anticipate 2024 to continue the decline of job openings.
So, what does this mean for industrial employees?
They better act now! If people have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the perfect job, they should adjust their expectations and take a job that meets most of their preferences because they will have fewer options in the near future.
As we go through 2024, it will be interesting to see if we enter into a recession – or not.
Are you a hard worker looking for a new job in the industrial supply chain industry? Or are you an employer looking for hard workers? If you want to learn more about SPARK Flex Platform, contact us today.