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Decoding the recruiting market

Over the past few months, we have seen new and varied unemployment numbers as well as new terms for unemployment. What do these mean and how do they effect companies who are hiring?


The official unemployment rate dropped last month to 13.3% from 14.7%. However, a few days later the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said the May figure when adjusted for data errors, would have been 16.4%. According to the BLS, the main problem stemmed from respondents misunderstanding questions or survey-takers failing to properly code many people as unemployed when temporarily laid off. Subsequently, this number includes many people who continue to be in a temporary state of lay-off. Nearly 75% of all unemployed Americans state they expect to be reinstated to work within the next 6 months.


We have started to hear the term “core unemployment” more frequently. Core unemployment takes out all temporary unemployment and keeps the rest of the standard unemployment definition which is: permanent job loss, job leavers and people returning to or entering the labor force. In addition, this includes those who are available to work but counted as out of the labor force verses unemployed as they have not searched for work in the past four weeks. In May core unemployment stood at 5 %, which is up from 4.6 % percent in April, and up from a low of 3.7% in December 2019. Since the business closures in March and many businesses in the country just now re-opening, there should be no surprise that this particular definition of unemployment has shown a slight increase.

What these numbers mean is that there is a large number of Americans who are attached to a role and expect to be re-hired in the coming weeks and months. Further, although there have been layoffs, there is demand for workers in the construction and tech space, both who have seen decreases in available labor during this pandemic.

Have a question about what these numbers mean for your firm’s ability to find talent? Please reach out and we can strategize for your upcoming hiring needs.

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