If you are a business owner, C-level executive, or hiring manager in the Tampa Bay area, buckle up because hiring and retaining employees is going to get even bumpier, if you can believe it. With the now non-stop daily news stories of an impending recession, we are now seeing the impact that message is having on our Tampa Bay employees.

Employer Reality Check

Nationally, employees have seen an almost 9% decrease in their real wages in 2023 due to inflation. The employees know they have been on the losing end of inflation this year. They know that their wages have not kept up. Now they are hearing that not only have they fallen behind in their wages, but per the statements of Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, they may lose their jobs too. This is cause for a touch of worry and panic. They are looking for reasons to jump from your office. Any perception or rumor of weakness will have a profound impact on retaining your employees. It doesn’t matter if it is accurate or not, how you handle your rumor mill in your own business will be exceptionally important.

Suggestions On How To Handle

From what we have seen, transparency is your best course of action. When you have trust built up with your workforce and you are transparent with them, we have seen a much more stable and calmer workforce when we have gone through similar situation previously with our Tampa Bay clients.  The places where we saw the most volatility were the businesses that ignored the impact the national news was having on their employees. Honesty and transparency really are the best policy. Tell the employees what the future looks like for your business. Provide them some comfort, if accurate, that the business is doing fine and you are financially viable. Get ahead of your rumor mill.

Employees Will Stay In Charge, Even With A Recession

Right now, and for the foreseeable future, even with a recession, employees will continue to have the upper hand when it comes to employment. The volume of candidates, even with layoffs, will not likely match the volume of open roles. When you look at last month’s job report you will see that there is still around 5.8 million people not working. Additionally, our labor force participation rate is still 1.1% below where it was in February of 2020. The conventional wisdom is that there will be more competition as there will be fewer jobs available for the candidates who need work. But with the volume of open roles, we have today and the few amounts of people looking for work. It will take an incredibly major recession to get employers back in the driver’s seat.

The Great Resignation Is Not Over

If you follow the data like I try to, it will tell you that as of today, employees have no fear about leaving their job, ZipRecruiter did a recent survey that said 1 in 4 people were so confident in finding a job that they would quit their current role without having another one lined up.  Along those same lines, LinkedIn did its own survey that showed the  “short tenure rate’ for employees is up 9.7% over last year. Meaning, the amount of people who quit their jobs before they completed one year had risen almost 10% in 2022. Employees are showing absolutely no fear in quitting right now. While that may change early next year, you cannot take for granted the employee base you have. Especially if the holiday season happens to also be your busiest season.

There is no way to sugarcoat the situation we are in. Inflation is out of control, the economy is uncertain going forward, public policy won’t provide much clarity anytime soon with mid term elections taking place in a month. In short, we are in a very uncertain time frame where retaining employees is critical. How you handle this moment in time will likely have a direct impact on how well your business pulls through the recession in the coming months.  For more insight like this article, please continue to check back to

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