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An IT services review of the jobs report

Let’s not miss the jobs data that came out late last week.   

The jobless rate fell from 4.2 percent to 4.6, which is a notable swing for a single month.   Unemployment was 6.7 percent in December — an improvement that took three and a half years in the last cycle, from March 2014 to September 2017.   In the age group 25 to 54, it’s nearly back to pre-covid levels.      The one disappointment was the number of new jobs added – while lower than expected, it could be evidence of a tight labor market.     The consensus – this is a tight labor market.  

Workers are coming back – and a key question being asked is what kept them out.  Was it lack of childcare or fear of the coronavirus?  

Why do we care?

More data to broadly indicate that workers have a lot more power right now.     That’s the key reason we care, as technology providers are broadly continuing to grow, and many of the initiatives talked about on this show, such as business consulting, likely require new roles… or training existing staff.

One other thing – in the spirit of treating COVID as an accelerant, here’s another data point supporting that.  The recovery came fast too – and so if you’re considering trends, note that they appear to be moving a lot faster than previous cycles and data sets would have predicted.   Use that insight for planning.