U.S. Jobs & Labor Report: October 2023

Report summary

The U.S. labor market remains strong, with Morning Consult data showing little cause for concern. The incidence of lost pay and income among U.S. adults has ticked higher in recent weeks but remains relatively low, while job search activity, especially among prime-age adults, continues to move higher. Morning Consult data also shows a strong uptrend in workers’ perceptions of their own bargaining power, with the share saying their employer would provide a raise if asked or match a higher, external offer notably increasing in 2023.

Union members are feeling especially confident in their ability to successfully negotiate higher pay. With confidence high among rank-and-file members, union leadership has felt emboldened to demand higher pay and benefits, a dynamic we are seeing play out in the United Auto Workers strike. With thousands of workers on the picket line and dozens of factories shut down, the strike has the potential to hamstring a major U.S. industry. The U.S. economy has proven incredibility resilient so far in 2023, but labor strikes will add to mounting headwinds moving into Q4.

Key Takeaways

  • Morning Consult’s Lost Pay and Income Tracker ticked higher again in September but remains relatively low.
  • Job search activity among all employed adults was broadly flat from August to September but continued to rise among prime-age adults.
  • Morning Consult data shows that a rising share of workers feel they can successfully negotiate a raise in 2023.

About the author

A headshot photograph of Jesse Wheeler
Jesse Wheeler
Senior Economist

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