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Hot jobs market is showing some cool spots, staffing agencies say

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A stack of clipboards holding job applications.

In some industries, the job market is showing signs of cooling. In others, the market is still hot. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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For all the talk of a potential recession, the job market right now still looks pretty good.

We got the latest data on job openings and labor turnover from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday, and there are still almost two openings for every available worker.

So, we were wondering: In this kind of market, what’s it like trying to help people find jobs?

Everything you’ve been hearing for the last year or two about how hot the job market is and how it’s a great time to be looking has been true in Hugo Malan’s experience. 

His team at the staffing agency Kelly Services helps people find jobs in science, engineering, tech and telecommunications.

“There has seldom been as favorable an environment as this in which to find interesting jobs, and to get them with the sort of parameters that you’re looking for,” Malan said.

Whether that’s a certain salary or the ability to work remotely, a lot of the job seekers he sees have lots of options to choose from.

“I will say, we have seen some slowdown over the last, call it 60 days,” he said. “The market is not quite as overheated as it’s been.”

That’s true in the industries Chad Leibundguth works with too. That includes accounting and finance, office and administrative, information technology and legal.

Leibundguth works with staffing agency Robert Half in Florida and Louisiana, and he said in the last few months companies do seem to be getting a little pickier and hiring a little less.

“It might be a little bit of a tale of two cities, is kind of what we’re seeing these days,” he said.

People in highly specialized, well-paid jobs still have a lot of options, but increasingly, if you’re looking for a less-specialized, lower-wage job, that could be tougher.

“You might find a little bit more of a challenging market, maybe a little bit harder to find the right role,” Leibundguth said.

It depends a lot on the industry, though.

Manny Rodriguez runs a three-month construction training program in Chicago through the nonprofit Revolution Workshop, and he said it’s never been easier to help graduates find jobs.

“It’s been amazing,” Rodriguez said. “I mean, we have a cohort right now, and we still got three more weeks to go, and half the group’s already placed. They’re already working.”

Many are also getting higher salaries than in the past. And everything he’s hearing from the contractors he works with is positive, even looking ahead to next year.

“Are we concerned about ’23? Of course, right, everybody is a little bit,” he said. But when it comes to hiring in construction, he’s still optimistic.

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