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What’s prompting this shift?

Nardelli pointed to persistent inflation — the consumer price index rose 0.3% in January, higher than expected — and wage increases, which could be curtailing demand for labor as employers scramble to cut costs.

For example, automaker Stellantis recently cut hundreds of temporary workers after the UAW secured massive raises for workers and converted thousands of temp staff to permanent status.

Besides blaming the government for rising energy prices that contribute to inflation, Nardelli was also critical of its electric vehicle (EV) push, and said, "Ford laid people off because of EV. GM laid people off because of the Cruise program."

Following a white-hot labor market of previous years, where many workers either jumped ship or negotiated for higher pay and better benefits at their existing jobs, recent data suggests power could be shifting back to the employer.

A recent report from the Indeed Hiring Lab reveals January job postings were down 5% from Dec. 1 levels, while searches rebounded by 13%.

“Many professional sectors typically ramp up hiring in the new year after the holiday lull, but the annual rebound in postings was sluggish in 2024, a signal of cooling employer demand,” wrote associate economist Allison Shrivastava. This may help explain recent posts on social media by people complaining about the job market.

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How to prepare

Even if you’re comfortable at your current job, or work in a sector that hasn’t been affected by layoffs, there’s no harm in still browsing postings on job networking sites like LinkedIn or Indeed and checking to see what’s out there.

Don’t forget to update your resume and LinkedIn profile with any new skills you’ve acquired or projects you’ve worked on, so you can stand out to a prospective employer and be ready for a situation where you suddenly find yourself out of a job. You can even look into upskilling opportunities or extra certifications that could catch a hiring manager’s eye.

It’s also a great idea to build your professional connections and attend industry events to increase your visibility and gain greater access to job opportunities. And consider whether you have any skills that could get transferred over into other industries — for example, some tech workers are also finding jobs in the government or in health care.

There are some helpful personal finance moves you can make too, like setting up and contributing to an emergency fund to give you some cushioning in the event of a job loss. Most experts recommend saving three to six months’ worth of expenses.

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About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis

Reporter

Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.

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