Economic Forecasts for 2024 – No Recession, But.

The good news is that no one seems to be talking about a recession in 2024, as many were just a few months ago (summer 2023). There is also some really good news for the staffing industry reported by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) on December 7, 2023. They were reporting on a survey of 1,850 managers with hiring responsibility, done by the New York Stock Exchange company, Robert Half International Inc. The title of the article/report was “Resilient Job Market forecast for first half of 2024, Robert Half Reports.”.

Their survey results show that more than half of the respondents (57%) “plan to add new, permanent positions in the first half of 2024.

But the really good news for Staffing Companies in their report was that “67 percent expect to hire contract workers.”

Forbes Magazine, back in mid-October 2023, carried an article titled “2024 Workforce Outlook: An Emphasis on Growth.” In that article Forbes said that in 2024 “The job market is continuing to grow steadily, the economy is beginning to resemble its pre-pandemic self, recession has been avoided(for now!) and companies are once again investing in growth”. Although this article was written in mid-October it seems to be confirmed by the December 7th article cited above.

In a December 8, 2023 article in Morningstar, their enthusiasm for 2024 was more cautioned yet they remained optimistic about the future saying that;“In our latest economic outlook (4th Q 2023), our research examines several factors that contribute to our optimism” (my emphasis).

  • Inflation
  • Interest rates
  • Consumer spending
  • Labor markets
  • The Federal Reserve

So, it looks like things look pretty good on all the major fronts and, in other parts of the article, only look better as we move into 2025 and 2026.

Although the general outlook is good, and a lot better than what we were hearing this past Summer, there are some details that are cautionary, and include some tips on how best to proceed. Let’s take a look.

Challenges, and Tips

 Robert Half International, Inc.

Challenges

  1. Finding candidates who align with Corporate Culture.
  2. Meeting Candidates salary expectations.
  3. Lack of Candidates applying for open roles.

 

Tips

  1. Hiring is expected to increase early in the year.Employers need to have a strategic hiring plan in order to land the talent they need.

 

Forbes

Challenges

  1. Potential fallout from under performing employees hired during the pandemic.
  2. An unpredictable economy calls for future-proofing your business.

Tips

  1. Focus on quality rather than quantity.
  2. Hire for growth (sales and marketing) and invest in technology.

 

Morningstar

Challenges

1.Although optimistic about 2024 (see above), challenges are seen in slowing job growth but, that is to be expected because of solid job gains in 2023 that need filling.

  1. Workers may be looking for one time wage increases due to inflation in 22-

23 but this will curtail throughout 2024.

Tips

Look for formerly early retired to return to the job market as well as discouraged workers coming back because of the solid job openings and recent wage growth.

 

Other notes on the 2024 outlook

The ongoing war in Russia and Ukraine, and the threats in the Middle East could have negative implications on supply chain issues and inflation. The “back to the office” problem is expected to continue into 2024. The effect of Ai is expected to increase in 2024 but not to the extent of major disruptions. Forbes believes that due to greater job market confidence on the part of both employers and employees, it is likely that there will be a greater “movement of talent” during the first few months of 2024.

They also make the point that because 75% of potential employees consider the brand of an employer before applying, companies should work on “building and marketing their brand.”

So, good luck with the new year and continue to pray for Ukraine, Russia, Israel, and Gaza. We also wish all of our friends and clients (and Everyone!) to have a great Holiday Season!

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