Labor & Industry Trends - October 2021 by Michael Blackman

Labor and Industry Trends for October 2021


The 194,000 decrease in non-farm jobs in September was well below the consensus estimate of 479,000. However, the unemployment rate decreased sequentially to 4.8% — well below where the Federal Reserve thought we would be — which is a significant positive. This represents a remarkably speedy recovery in the labor market — attaining sub-5 percent unemployment a mere 17 months after the end of the deepest recession in modern times. By contrast, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the jobless rate did not reach 4.8% until January 2016 — 6½ years after the technical end of that recession. This, along with other macro-economic data that we reviewed, suggests the US economy is likely to continue to grow. Economic positives include:

  1. A significant degree of monetary stimulus
  2. High consumer net worth and savings rates
  3. Likelihood of more business re-openings
  4. Easing of supply chain problems in 2022
  5. Continuation of strong business investment cycle (with much of it going into technology)

Current Labor Indicators - 4.8% total unemployment - 194,000 total job gains and 4.6% wage growth

What does this mean for clients seeking skilled technology professionals?

There is no softness in the highly skilled technology segment of the labor market. Highly skilled resources will continue to have multiple opportunities to consider in this market. It is not an overstatement to say there is a war for technology talent. To help you win the war for talent, we strongly encourage you to consider the following:

Competitive compensation in a now inflationary environment. With a plethora of data-driven resources at their fingertips, today’s technology professionals are aware of their value in the marketplace TODAY. We all see daily in the business press the frustrations that employers are having across the skill spectrum. The technology labor market has been tight for over a decade. It is now even tighter as companies rush to fully digitize and wage inflation has returned. 

Positive work environment. Today’s professionals want the ability to grow their expertise and expand their skill set. While compensation is important, they will also be looking at what your organization offers for their career aspirations.

Efficient hiring process. The skilled technologists that you want will likely have multiple opportunities they are considering. Therefore, it is imperative that your hiring process is efficient and timely.

Amid the unprecedented current skilled labor market environment, clients should proactively plan their human capital strategy with their Kforce representative to ensure your organization is positioned to be a winner in the war for talent.  For opportunity seekers, Kforce can help align your skills and goals with the right organization to accelerate your career growth.


About the Author, Michael Blackman

As Chief Corporate Development Officer at Kforce, Michael Blackman, a 29-year Kforce veteran, is the primary focal point for the firm with the Wall Street and financial communities. He is regularly sought out by leading economists for his perspectives on the economy and labor markets, and he contributes to a number of key proprietary economic publications.