Friday Five for November 10, 2023 ReporterBy Reporter
November 10th, 2023 • 4 Minutes

Navigate the ever-evolving terrain of HR with our ‘Friday Five’ digest. This week, we’re dissecting pivotal industry movements, from improving veteran employment to the surprising decline in voluntary job exits. We’ll also examine the latest layoffs from Amazon and how remote work is revolutionizing job opportunities for mothers. 

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1. Veteran unemployment bounced back after rough stretch

In October, the unemployment rate for veterans showed a promising decline to 2.7%, a notable improvement from the previous two months when it hovered above 3.5%. This decrease occurred despite a slight uptick in the overall national jobless rate. The labor market added 150,000 jobs, suggesting resilience even amidst high interest rates. Younger veterans, particularly those who served post-9/11, experienced a more significant drop in unemployment from 5.1% to 4%, with approximately 45,000 finding employment in October compared to September.

The improvement in veteran unemployment rates, especially among younger veterans, indicates a robust recovery and presents a valuable opportunity for talent acquisition professionals. Companies can tap into this skilled and disciplined workforce, which brings diverse experiences and a strong work ethic. As the labor market remains competitive, veterans could be a key demographic for filling roles, especially in industries that value leadership, teamwork and adaptability. Organizations should consider tailoring their recruitment strategies to attract veteran talent, potentially leveraging their unique skill sets to enhance their workforce diversity and capabilities.

2. The New Headache for Bosses: Employees Aren’t Quitting

The article from The Wall Street Journal discusses a shift in the white-collar labor market, highlighting a new challenge for companies: the decline in voluntary job departures, a stark contrast to the recent trend of the Great Resignation. This change suggests that employees are opting to stay put, which could signal a softening labor market.

This trend may lead to a more stable workforce, reducing the urgency and frequency of hiring drives. Talent acquisition strategies might need to pivot towards retention and internal talent development, as the pool of active job seekers shrinks. Companies may also face increased difficulty in attracting new talent if the perception of job security becomes a priority for potential candidates.

3. Amazon cuts jobs in music streaming unit

Amazon has initiated layoffs within its Music division, impacting employees across Latin America, North America and Europe. The company confirmed the job cuts but did not disclose the number of employees affected. This move is part of a broader series of layoffs over the past year, impacting over 27,000 Amazon employees. Despite the cuts, Amazon’s third-quarter net income surpassed estimates, and its fourth-quarter revenue is expected to meet forecasts, highlighting the company’s financial resilience during its most critical period, which includes holiday sales. Amazon continues to streamline its workforce, having previously reduced positions in its Studios, Video and Music divisions.

These layoffs at Amazon could signal a shift in the company’s strategic priorities, potentially affecting talent acquisition trends in the tech and music streaming sectors. As Amazon adjusts its focus, talent acquisition teams may need to pivot, seeking professionals who can drive innovation in areas the company chooses to invest in. Additionally, the job market may see an influx of skilled workers from Amazon’s Music division, creating opportunities for other companies in the industry to acquire experienced talent. This could also prompt a reassessment of talent acquisition strategies across the sector, with an emphasis on agility and the ability to quickly capitalize on emerging talent pools.

4. Top Career Platform The Muse Appoints Industry Veteran Todd Brengel as Senior VP of Sales

The Muse, a prominent career platform, has appointed Todd Brengel as Senior Vice President of Sales. Brengel, an industry veteran with a successful track record at PandoLogic, where he significantly grew revenue and played a key role in the company’s acquisition by Veritone, will now be responsible for scaling The Muse’s sales teams and accelerating channel partnerships. His expertise from previous roles at CloudBees and Snagajob, combined with his part-time sales coaching at Harvard Business School, positions him well to help The Muse in its mission to assist employers in improving hiring efficiency and employee retention.

Brengel’s appointment could signal a strategic enhancement for The Muse in terms of talent acquisition. With his experience in AI-based recruitment and a deep understanding of the job market, Brengel is likely to introduce innovative sales strategies that could benefit employers using The Muse’s platform. This move may lead to more effective employer branding and candidate attraction, ultimately impacting the way companies source and retain top talent.

5. Moms and remote jobs are helping to prop up the economy

The resilience of the U.S. economy amidst recession fears is significantly credited to the robust labor market, particularly the increased workforce participation of prime-age women, especially mothers, and the rise of remote job opportunities. According to Wells Fargo economists, the participation rate of women aged 25 to 54 has reached its highest since 2002, with remote work being a key factor enabling mothers with young children to join the workforce. This surge in employment among mothers has been crucial in bolstering the economy, offering a glimmer of hope for a “soft landing” despite ongoing economic challenges like childcare availability and inflation.

The shift towards remote work has opened up a new demographic for talent acquisition specialists: mothers with young children. This group, previously underrepresented due to childcare constraints, is now increasingly active in the job market. Companies looking to tap into this growing talent pool may need to offer flexible work arrangements and consider the unique needs of this demographic. The trend also suggests that roles offering remote work options might see a higher number of applicants, potentially increasing competition but also providing a wider selection of candidates.

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