In 2020, mass layoffs and shutdowns were the primary concern. Yet by the end of 2021, we were at record high levels of concern about labour shortages. Jump to Q3 2023, and we’re back where we started. This is despite a labour market that’s still strong, with wages growing well above pre-pandemic levels.
The labour market has cooled noticeably in the last several months, and the expectations of employers seem to be changing quickly – the same dataset shows almost nobody expects higher wage growth in the future. Whether this will translate to changes in office leasing and remote work remains to be seen. But the balance between employer and employee seems to be quite different than last year. And this is part of how inflation returns to a manageable level; changing expectations.