Overall, hiring has dropped 75% in 2023. Companies are firing, not hiring. If you are looking for the RDAV (Reader’s Digest Abbreviated Version), there you have it. For those that like the details…here we go:

  • Job Growth – The headline shouts, “Payrolls Rise 311,000; Job Growth Stays Hot!” What? Open jobs actually declined by 400,000 from 11.2MM to 10.8MM in February. Those 311,000 are people forced back in from the sidelines by two years of historic inflation. Inflation was 6% in February. Is it better than 9%? Of course. But consider this, inflation was 1.6% two years ago and has exceeded 5% for 22 straight months. Put another way, if you get a 5% raise this year you are actually losing money. 
  • Silicon Valley Bank: The Two Big Lies – Does SVB stand for “Silicon Valley Bank” or “Seems Very Bad?” The headlines scream “No Bank Bailout!” and “Government Won’t Use Taxpayer Money!” Both of those are a lie. First, a “backstop” IS a bailout. The government buying up bad debt IS a bailout. Second, the government does not have any money. They are $31T in debt. All of their money, every dime, IS taxpayer money. “Everyone stay calm – there is no systemic risk.” That…is also a lie. This is far from over. 
  • The Budget Crisis – As I said months ago, this is your next calamity in the “perma crisis” (defined as moving from one crisis to the next). For the last two years the government has debt financed an absolutely historic spending spree. There are now 20 hard line conservatives in Congress that will insist on spending cuts tied to the budget. At some point you must spend less than you take in. But the U.S. Government has a better solution: Increase taxes on successful people that already pay 37% a year, and triple the capital gains tax. That is not going to fly in this Congress. Get ready to rumble! 
  • Recession 2023 vs. Depression 2.0 (2008) – There is a huge difference in the employment market this time around. Depression 2.0 in 2008 literally crushed the hiring market and millions lost their jobs. In August 2008 I had 20 open searches. Two weeks later I had zero searches and didn’t place a single executive for three months. This year, despite the downturn, layoffs, raising my rates and requiring Retainers, I have 25 active executive searches. New searches come in every day. 
  • The Layoffs – Companies have shifted from hiring to firing, and a number of major gaming companies are quietly laying off. How do I know? Because I get the resumes of those in the RIF. Ladies and gentlemen, we have not hit the bad part of the road yet. America has suffered through two years of historic inflation that has crushed the middle class and working poor. I see people in their 70s re-entering the workforce because they can’t get by on Social Security. We have not crossed the wide part of the Recession River yet. Get ready to pay for those government benefits you thought were free.
  • Quietly Quitting Turns into Quietly Firing – How quickly and dramatically things change! Last year candidates wanted to double their salary and work remote. This year employers are trimming the herd and forcing workers back to the office.