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Are Cracks Showing in the Labor Market?

Though unemployment remains low, companies across industries are rescinding job offers, showing cracks in “the tightest labor market in decades,” according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription). 

What’s going on: Companies in the technology, real estate, insurance and consulting sectors, among others, have begun “a more cautious hiring approach” and “others [have] announced layoffs.”

Why it’s important: Though the unemployment rate is at 3.6%, “these signs of caution in hiring show that executives are finding it tougher to predict the next 12 months in the economy, say hiring managers and recruiters.”

  • “When a company revokes a job offer, it indicates a company’s business outlook has changed so quickly it has to undo hiring plans made sometimes weeks before.”

However … employers still cannot find enough workers to fill open positions in many jobs, and “it’s still a job candidate’s market, said Keith Feinberg, senior vice president with professional staffing firm Robert Half. Still, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if job seekers evaluate some opportunities more cautiously than a few months ago.”

  • In a Gartner survey of more than 350 human resources executives in May, more than half said they predicted competition for job talent would increase in the next six months.

Proceed with caution: Some jilted candidates are continuing with their job hunts more conservatively than in months past.

  • One told the Journal that she “plans to complete every hiring process before accepting any offer, even if it means asking for more time to decide.”
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