Following interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, the American labor market appears to be cooling down. American employers reportedly added 236,000 jobs in March, which is below expectations, and numerous online users complain that it’s harder than ever to find a job.
Now, another user on TikTok has sparked discussion after showing what it’s like on the hiring side.
In a video with over 63,000 views as of Saturday, TikTok user Mike (@realisticrecruiting) shows five open roles at his company. Each one has over 300 applicants.
“This market is rough!” he writes in the caption. “I’ve been on both sides of it. Its not just bad hiring causing the issues.”
@realisticrecruiting Job search tips: this market is rough! Ive been on both sides of it. Its not just bad hiring causing the issues. #jobsearchtips #jobinterviewtips #jobsearching #layoffs #jobsearch #careeradvice ♬ original sound – Mike | Realistic job advice
For context, bad hiring practices do appear to be causing at least some of the issues.
In a March 2023 article for the Wall Street Journal, writer Te-Ping Chen notes that numerous companies have admitted to posting job listings for roles they weren’t actively looking to fill.
“In a survey of more than 1,000 hiring managers last summer, 27% reported having job postings up for more than four months,” writes Chen. “Among those who said they advertised job postings that they weren’t actively trying to fill, close to half said they kept the ads up to give the impression the company was growing, according to Clarify Capital, a small-business-loan provider behind the study.”
That said, many of the factors controlling the job market are out of the hands of hiring managers.
One factor is the Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate hike. Put simply, rising interest rates make it more expensive to borrow money. This can, theoretically, lower inflation by encouraging consumers and businesses to save rather than spend.
However, doing this also has a human cost, something readily acknowledged by economists.
“While higher interest rates, slower growth, and softer labor market conditions will bring down inflation, they will also bring some pain to households and businesses,” said Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell in August 2022. “These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation.”
Some put it more explicitly—former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has called for higher unemployment as a means of controlling rising costs, saying, “We need five years of unemployment above 5% to contain inflation.”
On TikTok, users shared their job search woes.
“Dude I’m trying to get out of teaching after 7 years and I’m applying to everything curriculum/training development I can and nothing,” one user wrote under Mike’s video.
“My industry has had a lot of layoffs so if there is any open position, it’s like 1000+ especially if it’s remote,” another said.
“3,000 applications, dozens of interviews. Multiple professional resumes. Multiple reviews. 20+ years exec experience. 12 months. No job,” a third stated.
We’ve reached out to Mike via Instagram direct message.