From the desk of Stephanie Klein – CEO Experience Factor

What a time we are in! A short month ago, we certainly were in a different headspace – stock market was flying high, unemployment continued at record lows, and companies were having extraordinary difficulty finding talent.

Now, here we are. A new world. As a company, Experience Factor is heading into its 17th year of business. But, in just a few short weeks, our world has caused slight panic, control issues, and perhaps, a time to actually reflect. Many of the people in our firm have deep roots and relationships here in Colorado that serve us in great times…and in not such great times. This community is one of the reasons we focus on recruiting locally.

We see our role for the foreseeable future as helping our Experience Factor Family keep up-to-date on the employment and hiring trends we are tracking in the market. Besides having access to the Denver Economic Development Council, we stay on top of anything and everything hiring in the news. We hope to provide you with quick, relevant, and timely data to inform your business, friends, and family.

We’ve all felt it. This pandemic has impacted every industry, company, and location throughout the country. It’s hard to know where we are in this cycle as well as the toll the pandemic will have on all of us physically, mentally and financially. Hopefully, reflecting on the past and looking toward the future will bring some peace of mind.

THE PAST:

  • As far as the Denver MSA is concerned, February’s unemployment rate was at 2.5 percent. Combine that with average work week hour increases (33.1 to 33.7 hours/week) and hourly wage increases (from $29.95 to $30.95) – things were looking great!
  • At the beginning of the year, the largest private sector job gains were in financial services and professional & business services. The largest decline was in construction.
  • The national unemployment rate declined from 3.8 percent in February 2019 to 3.5 percent in February 2020.
  • In February of 2020 – just 4 weeks ago, we added 273,000 new jobs nationally! Fantastic!

THE PRESENT:

  • COVID-19’s impact on the job market started about the 2nd week in March. In response to health risks and in order to ‘flatten the curve’, Mayor Hancock and Governor Polis issued stay-at-home initiatives for our region on March 23rd.
  •  A total of 6.6 million U.S. workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending March 28, surpassing the previous week’s record total of 3.3 million.
  • The Federal government has warned that the Pandemic will be worse before it gets better. In response, the government enacted the unprecedented CARES Act to support small businesses. Unemployment benefits have been augmented and expanded.
  • Every business that can has moved their operations to home, schools have moved online, and Tiger King was the most watched series on Netflix.
  • Most of us now long for time with friends, a busy night at a restaurant, and a vacation from this reality.
  • I would argue that March of 2020 was the longest month of my entire life.

THE FORESEEA