U.S. Jobs & Labor Report: January 2023

Report summary

The U.S. labor market remains strong moving into the new year, but the outlook for 2023 is less bright. While Morning Consult’s labor market data is not flashing red, it is no longer flashing green either, as the incidence of lost pay and job loss expectations edge higher. Job growth has slowed but companies are still hiring on net, and job vacancies continue to outnumber those looking for work. Critically, nominal wage growth remains strong as businesses continue to compete to attract and retain workers. While this is positive for workers, it is a worrying sign for policymakers at the Federal Reserve who view the current pace of wage growth as inconsistent with inflation targets. Continued tightness in the labor market may lead to even more tightening in the new year.

Key Takeaways

  • Morning Consult’s Lost Pay and Income tracker fell in December, with 11.1% of U.S. adults reporting a pay or income loss compared to 11.3% last month.
  • Talk of a recession is not causing workers to hunker down yet, with the prospect of higher wages continuing to lead a large share of employed U.S. adults to look for work.
  • According to Morning Consult’s Small- and Medium- Sized Business Survey, SMBs are already facing challenging operating conditions in Q4 2022 and are increasingly planning to pull back on investment moving into 2023.

About the authors

A headshot photograph of John Leer
John Leer
Chief Economist

John Leer leads Morning Consult’s global economic research, overseeing the company’s economic data collection, validation and analysis. He is an authority on the effects of consumer preferences, expectations and experiences on purchasing patterns, prices and employment.

John continues to advance scholarship in the field of economics, recently partnering with researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland to design a new approach to measuring consumers’ inflation expectations.

This novel approach, now known as the Indirect Consumer Inflation Expectations measure, leverages Morning Consult’s high-frequency survey data to capture unique insights into consumers’ expectations for future inflation.

Prior to Morning Consult, John worked for Promontory Financial Group, offering strategic solutions to financial services firms on matters including credit risk modeling and management, corporate governance, and compliance risk management.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and philosophy with honors from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in economics and management studies (MEMS) from Humboldt University in Berlin. 

His analysis has been cited in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, The Washington Post, The Economist and more.

Follow him on Twitter @JohnCLeer. For speaking opportunities and booking requests, please email [email protected]

A headshot photograph of Jesse Wheeler
Jesse Wheeler
Senior Economist

Jesse Wheeler previously worked at Morning Consult as a senior economist.