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Talent Talk: Workforce Megatrends of 2023

We try to remain focused in Talent Talk on a single topic. In the weeks to come, we will go deeper into several workforce-related issues, but this week I want to soar to the altitude of a weather balloon (too soon?) and explore some megatrends we are seeing.

Remote work is losing popularity, at least among employers. As recently reported in the Wall Street Journal, remote jobs accounted for 13.2% of postings advertised on LinkedIn the previous month, down from a high of 20.6% in March 2022. Employers willing to hire remote workers are in the driver’s seat, though — 13.2% of remote opportunities attracted 52.8% of all applications.

Pay increases remain well above recent historical norms. In January, the ADP Employment Report showed that those who stayed in their jobs received an average 7.3% year-over-year pay increase, while those who changed jobs received an average 15.4% increase.

Due to inflation, even with these increases, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that real average earnings decreased 1.7% during CY2022. Inflation has been driving pay increases, and it seems these increases will continue to drive inflation, at least in the short term.

There is a growing divide between HR executives and employees over compensation, according to a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Employees strongly believe fair and competitive adjustments should be a top priority for their organizations in 2023. Meanwhile, HR often does not have the budget for this, and is being pressed to reduce costs.

The workforce demographic continues to change. Many workers of all ages left the workforce in early 2020 as COVID hit. Those in the 16 to 24 age bracket were the hardest hit, but almost all have returned. Similarly, almost all in the 25 to 54 age group have returned. Those 55 and older, however, have not returned, maintaining the same labor participation rate as during the pandemic.

This may be a transitional year for what many are calling the great workplace reset, as opposing forces battle. A recent poll by Monster showed a whopping 96% of workers will be looking for a new job in 2023; yet 66% of those same respondents think it will be difficult to find one.

About the author

Paul Sturgeon is CEO of KLA Industries, a national search firm specializing in plastics, packaging, and polymer technology. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, a company that is growing, or other ideas for this blog, e-mail Sturgeon at [email protected].

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