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What to Expect from the 2024 Job Market: Expert Insights

Are you feeling anxious about the 2024 job market? You’re definitely not alone.

Whether you’re currently looking for a new job or are worried about the security of your current position, there’s a lot to think about as we head into the new year.

I’ve done some digging, though, and I’m happy to report that I have some positive news to share! 

Listed below are five factors to consider as you prepare to navigate the 2024 job market.

1. The Likelihood of a Recession Is Lower

For months now, we’ve been hearing whispers (and, in some cases, shouts) about a looming recession. However, according to a survey of 71 economists, the likelihood of a recession is lower than it was a year ago.

According to Andrew Flowers, the lead labor economist at Appcast, “Consumer spending, driven by a strong labor market, helped stave off a recession in 2023.” He also said that momentum will continue in 2024.

Mallory Vachon, the chief economist at LaboriQ, agreed and said that if unemployment remains relatively low, inflation stays on its current path, and there are “no unforeseen challenges with layoffs,” a recession can be avoided.

2. Employment Growth Will Remain Positive (But Will Also Slow Down)

Vachon also commented on employment growth in 2024.

She noted that it will remain positive this year, but will also grow more slowly than it has in recent years, comparing 2024 to the second half of 2023. She added, “The continued cooldown means fewer opportunities, so hiring will focus on backfilling open roles as opposed to adding net new positions.”

This means there’s still hope for job seekers in the new year, especially in the first quarter. 

According to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, 42 percent of employers expect a hiring increase in the first quarter, and only 16 percent anticipate a decrease.

Jonas Prising, the chairman and CEO of Manpower Group, explained that “labor markets remain tight and demand for skilled talent is still strong across multiple sectors.”

3. More Competitive Job Postings

Job postings on Indeed fell considerably in 2023 (by 22.5%), and — based on the shared above — that trend will likely continue in 2024.

While there will still be plenty of job opportunities in the new year, it’s important to note that things will likely be more competitive.

Don’t let this scare you! Use it as motivation to give your resume a refresh, enhance your LinkedIn profile, and find new ways to stand out.

4. Gen Z Will Overtake Baby Boomers

A report from Glassdoor reveals there will be more Gen Z employees in the workforce compared to Baby Boomers. Employers looking to attract new talent in 2024 may have to shift their approach to keep up with this shift.

The increase in Gen Z employees will likely lead to significant changes in workplace culture in 2024 and beyond. After all, Gen Zers generally care significantly about community and having their voices heard. They also value transparency in leadership and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Recruiters will need to emphasize these factors when appealing to job seekers. Job seekers, on the other hand — especially Millennials and Gen Xers — may need to adjust the way they present themselves to potential employers to align with shifts in values as well.

5. The Travel, EV, and IT Industries Will Grow

PNC Financial Services predicts that the travel, electric vehicle, and information technology industries will experience significant growth in 2024.

According to Indeed data, many job seekers are shifting their attention to jobs outside their fields. If you’ve been struggling to find work this year, it might be worthwhile to adjust and look for openings in these growing industries.

Remember that there are many different positions available within each of these sectors. In other words, you don’t have to have an IT degree to work for an IT company.

How to Handle the 2024 Job Market

The 2024 job market is a bit of a mixed bag for job seekers, as well as those who are interested in career changes. If you remember these tips, though, you’ll have an easier time navigating it.

Develop New Skills

Whether you’re looking for openings in your industry or branching out in a different direction, there’s no reason why you can’t work on developing new skills this year.

Not sure what skills to focus on? According to Forbes, these are some of the most in-demand skills in 2024:

  • Generative AI
  • Project Management
  • Communication
  • Clinical Healthcare
  • Data Science
  • Interpersonal Networking
  • Cloud Computing
  • Machine Learning Engineering
  • Cybersecurity

You don’t have to spend a fortune to develop these skills, either. There are lots of free and low-cost classes available on sites like Coursera, edX, and Udemy.

Build Your Network

It’s never a bad idea to work on building your network.

Use sites like LinkedIn to expand your professional circle and connect with people in your industry (as well as sectors you’d like to break into). Join groups, publish posts, comment on other people’s posts, write articles — there are lots of ways to get your name out there and build relationships with others.

Don’t forget about in-person networking, either. Look for face-to-face events in your area — your local chamber of commerce might be hosting some — where you can shake hands with your fellow professionals and make meaningful connections.

Refresh Your Resume

Even if you’re not actively looking for a job right now, don’t put off updating your resume.

Make sure it contains the most relevant information regarding your career experience, education, and skills.

Look for ways to revise it and make it more engaging, too. Remember, if your resume is too generic, hiring managers will look right past it and move on to the next one.

If you’re not sure how to improve your resume, consider working with a resume-writing coach.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, this year’s job market is a bit of a mixed bag. There are some positives (like a reduction in the likelihood of a recession) and some negatives (slower hiring and more competitive job listings).

If you keep the tips shared above in mind, you’ll have an easier time finding your way and landing a great job in 2024.

Do you need more help tackling the 2024 job market? If so, we’re here for you! Check out our resume-writing services today.