Try to glean anything out of the 24/7 media spin regarding the economic outlook for the next year and it will be one word: recession, recession, recession. However, much of that inflated hype involves 20-second soundbites that have been carried over from channel to channel, anchor to anchor, without any follow-up or deeper verification.
Getting Down to the Ground-Level Perspective
Instead, one needs to go a bit deeper and look at some of the metrics coming out, as well as how industries overall are treating their current position and expectations on how to move forward. In general, the long-term perspective from the federal economists through 2031 expects that overall hiring will continue to keep growing at a rate of 0.5 percent annually. That seems like a small number, but when the base is already 158.1 million, even a half percent is a big value.
Fundamental Pandemic Changes in Full Swing
There is no argument that an economic slowdown is in order; it’s been expected since 2019 and in pre-pandemic days. Yet the massive retirement wave that occurred, as a result, reshaped the job market fundamentally. The changes are being felt differently from one industry to the next.
Hotels and Services are Booming
The hospitality industry is probably rehiring the fastest as people are traveling again, staying in hotels and eating out, or wanting entertainment. This area is probably the most responsive to change and will likely see the most immediate job offerings, particularly in service and customer interaction as well as realizing additional help needed for a very large retired customer base itching to get back on the road after two years of being cooped up. 1.3 million jobs are expected here.
Healthcare is Under Full Pressure
Healthcare has been in a double hit, both by the Boomer generation moving in full mass into senior health demand as well as by the burnout that occurred with staff during the pandemic. Just about every level of healthcare, from support services to nurses and doctors have serious shortages and will be hiring for the next few years solidly as a result. That said, it’s not just medical skill and cleaning support; much of health is pushing for IT help as well as for digital medicine, which requires more hardware installers and software technicians. 2.6 million new jobs are expected in this category.
Government Will Begin to Retract
Government is at its zenith of hiring right now and will likely slow down as public budgets have to be scaled back. Add in the fact that the military downsizing from the Middle East has been in drive mode since the Afghanistan pullout, and government jobs are likely to become scarcer over the next three years. Those in them are taking full advantage of promotions, but that domino effect only leaves open the bottom levels for new hires.
Technical Repair is at a Premium
Machinery repair is in high demand. Due to inflation, fewer new vehicles, appliances, and big machine systems are being bought and old equipment is being maintained longer. That requires additional help and skill. This is expected to continue strongly for the next three years until inflation settles down.
Retail Took a Beating
Retail sales took a beating during the pandemic as online sales became established. While big stores will survive and are hiring, small businesses have folded en masse, hampering what used to be the biggest job creator sector prior to COVID.
So, word to the wise, skills and trades will likely continue to hire next year. White collar and government, on the other hand, are definitely going soft in 2023.