In tech & social media, the labor market got shot. In the rest of the economy, it remains very tight.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.
The announcements of global layoffs by tech and social media companies and by startups make all the news. But these are announcements, not actual layoffs, and they’re global, with only part of them in the US. Tech and social media are a relatively small part of the US economy, while companies in much larger other sectors are trying to hire. Boeing, which added 14,000 employees in 2022, said it wants to hire an additional 10,000 people in 2023, most of them in its business units, engineering, and manufacturing. Chipotle said it will hire 15,000 people in 2023. Other companies are trying to hire as well, in a labor market that remains tight.
But job openings in the “Information” sector collapsed by half in December, the biggest drop since the Dotcom Bust. The sector includes web search portals, data processing, data transmission, Information services, software publishing, motion picture and sound recording, broadcasting including over the Internet, and telecommunications. Many tech and social media companies are categorized in it (others are in the “Professional and Business Services” sector, that we’ll get to in a moment).
In Information, job openings collapsed to 109,000 in December from 204,000 in November and 229,000 in October, according to today’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That brought job openings back down to the middle of the pre-pandemic range.
But “Information” a small sector with only 3 million employees, in the vast US economy, and it didn’t move the overall needle of job openings, as we’ll see in a moment, as companies in other sectors are going on a hiring binge.
It’s in the