U.S. Jobs & Labor Report: January 2024

Report summary

While the U.S. labor market has cooled since the start of 2023, it enters 2024 on a strong footing. After avoiding a much-anticipated recession last year, the U.S. economy remains resilient, with unemployment near historical lows.

Morning Consult’s high-frequency labor market data also shows little sign for concern going into the new year. Our Lost Pay and Income Tracker remains near series lows, in line with low levels of initial unemployment insurance claims. Morning Consult data also shows that workers remain confident in their position, with a higher share of them saying they believe they could successfully negotiate for higher pay in December compared with the previous year.

This confidence comes despite a sharp decline in job openings and a slowing nominal wage growth — both of which are very welcome indicators for policymakers at the Federal Reserve, who are looking for signs that cooling the labor market will help relieve price pressures. With both workers and the Fed feeling optimistic, the stage is set for what seemed highly unlikely at the start of 2023: for the U.S. economy to achieve a soft landing.

Key Takeaways

  • Morning Consult’s Lost Pay and Income Tracker remains near series lows, with a strong labor market benefiting a broad spectrum of workers.
  • Job loss expectations remain elevated after their early 2023 spike, despite trending lower since 2020.
  • The share of U.S. workers working 35 hours or more remains well below 2022 highs.

About the author

A headshot photograph of Jesse Wheeler
Jesse Wheeler
Senior Economist

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