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Slump in job market will rebound

 The immediate reaction of companies, in a slumping western economy, is to pull back on hiring activity, declare hiring freezes and even make layoff announcements. But these are only short-lived strategies as employers soon realize that they are deficient on talent in a competitive job market. After a period of reactionary cutting and freezing, hiring activity will return to a level of normalcy.

Hiring is largely a function of 'job churn' and there is no evidence that churn will do anything but accelerate in the coming quarters. Churn is the result of continuous movement among workers. In other words: workers quit, retire, get fired, find new jobs, return to school, move to new locations, etc. - even during a recession. In fact, today's professionals change jobs every three years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Churn can often accelerate during economic hardships. Like star athletes who don't want to play for losing teams, top professionals seek out opportunities to play for more successful organizations. The downturn of 2001 is an important guide for what recruiters and job seekers can expect of the job market in the months ahead. There was a dramatic reduction in the number of online job listings in September 2001, on the heels of the tragic events of 9/11. But by the end of the year, job postings were at a record high.



Working in a downturn from TUC

Last updated 3rd March 2009