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U.S. employers added 353,000 new jobs in January, much more than expected, according to the latest employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care and retail trade.
In 2024, employers will invest more resources in generative AI across the HR function, the skills-based hiring movement will grow and employers may refocus their new AI tools to upskill and reskill internal talent.
By many measures, the U.S. labor market outlook for 2024 is characterized by stability and normalization following pandemic-era volatility. A dreaded recession appears less likely, inflation is trending lower and the labor market overall is holding steady after the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, job gains are expected to moderate, unemployment will tick up and wages will continue to cool.
Employers have made a steady stream of layoff announcements this past month, particularly in the tech sector, but job cuts remain at historically low levels, despite high interest rates and inflation.
Job seekers are still very interested in remote work several years after the COVID-19 pandemic made it a temporary necessity, but the number of remote-work opportunities continues to dwindle as employers increasingly ask new hires to report to the office.
Hiring was better than expected as 2023 came to a close, with employers adding 216,000 new positions in December. The unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent.