The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary for December, showing little change month-over-month with 9 million job openings. The number of hires and separations decreased to 5.6 million and 5.4 million, respectively.
“2024 could be one of the most difficult years for businesses and their hiring plans, particularly if the economy picks up steam,” said RedBalloon CEO Andrew Crapuchettes. “The job market has had over 8 million job openings for several years, while the pre-pandemic average was between 3 and 4 million. The reality is workers to fill these openings don’t exist due to the demographic cliff from which we’ve fallen.”
“Economic growth without people growth will make the 2024 labor market the hardest in history,” continued Crapuchettes. “The Freedom Economy Index survey revealed that America’s small business community has put hiring plans on-hold, neither hiring nor reducing staff, but that can quickly change if the economy begins to grow again.”
Employers are in a wait-and-see approach. According to the January Freedom Economy Index, a joint project of RedBalloon and PublicSquare, 65% say they are neither hiring nor reducing staff.
The Freedom Economy Index surveyed a universe of over 70,000 small business owners throughout the United States, fielding the questionnaire from November 30 to December 5, with 682 respondents. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.0% at the 95% confidence level.
Founded In 2021, RedBalloon has quickly become America’s largest woke-free job board, connecting employers and employees who prioritize a positive workplace culture free from the divisiveness of cancel-culture mandates.