January Labor Numbers Are In and Here’s What They Mean for Staffing and Recruiting

workers sitting around a conference room table working on computers

Finding top talent continues to be a challenge as the tight labor market continues into 2024.


With 2024 well underway, the economy continues to show strong job growth in Were analysts surprised by the January numbers? Yes, many were, which is surprising to Brian Miller, CEO of Patrice & Associates, who is living the numbers in the North American recruiting firm he leads. “This is what we experience day in and day out,” said Miller. Conscious Capital Growth (CCG), a business accelerator, caught up with Miller to learn more about where we’re heading.

CCG: What were the numbers this month versus the predictions?

Miller: January 2024 got off to a rousing start with the US economy creating 353,000 new jobs, whizzing by economists’ prediction of just 185,000. This is even higher than December’s revised number of 333,000, which was 126,000 more jobs than originally reported. The unemployment rate continues to hover at 3.7%, indicating the tight labor market won’t let up anytime soon.

CCG:    How does this compare to last year at this time?

Miller:  In January 2023, total non-farm payrolls increased to 517,000 compared to 353,000 last month. This is still a solid showing, however, at a more moderate pace. The unemployment rate in January 2023 was 3.4% vs. a still tight 3.7% in January 2024.

CCG:    Are the current stats affecting all sectors of the economy?

Miller:  Looking at the big picture, Julia Pollak from Zip Recruiter reported that just three sectors created over 92% of the jobs from June to December 2023: healthcare, the government, and leisure and hospitality.

CCG:  With the actual numbers are in, is Ms. Pollak’s report still holding true?

Miller:  The freshest set of data suggests that the lion’s share of the increase occurred in healthcare which added 70,000 jobs. But, other industries posted a few surprises, too, when compared to the 6 months.  Professional and business services added 74,000 jobs, and retail trade increased by 45,000 jobs. The government continued its growth trend by adding 36,000 jobs. This sector has been late to the party when it comes to making up for jobs lost during the pandemic.  

CCG: What about Leisure and Hospitality?

Miller:  This sector remained flat since December because it had already made up most of its jobs lost during the pandemic. It’s a sector that is more normalized so we can expect as winter turns into spring and summer, jobs will increase as more people travel, take vacations, eat out, etc. Also, since turnover in this industry is very high, there is movement regardless of the number of new jobs created. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hospitality industry has the highest turnover rate of any industry. Thus the need for staffing in this sector always remains high.  

CCG:  How do these trends relate to the economy, interest rates, and inflation?

Miller:   ADP’s chief economist Nela Richardson told Newsweek on January 31, “The economy has softly landed and is relaxing at its destination, with two things happening—a slowdown in hiring, but still solid, and wage pressures easing, which also helps the case to keep inflation under control.” With this news, no doubt the fed will continue to remain in a holding pattern on interest rates.

CCG:  Any last thoughts?

Miller:  In general, we will continue to see tight labor demand. However, we have certainly begun to stabilize, with a more moderate job growth pattern overall, particularly in hospitality. With the labor market tight, every industry is experiencing the challenges of finding top talent. That’s why Patrice & Associates continues to grow and help more companies. Recruiting isn’t something businesses can effectively do as effectively on their own as they used to. Particularly when it comes to managerial talent and above, it’s still a competitive market out there for talent. Just as in real estate, when the inventory is tight, many houses will receive multiple offers. That’s the environment we’re in with the labor pool. Top talent has choices.


Duke Witte absolutely was amazing! 

I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to Duke Witte for his assistance in finding me a new job in the hospitality industry. I was disgruntled with my previous job, and I was feeling very discouraged about my prospects. I had been working in the restaurant industry for many years, and I had a lot of experience and skills, but I was having a hard time finding a better opportunity.

I was contacted via LinkedIn by Duke, and thank goodness I was.  Mr. Witte was incredibly helpful and supportive throughout the entire process. He took the time to understand my skills and experience, and worked tirelessly to find me a job that was a good fit.

Duke was also very honest and upfront with me about the job market. He didn't sugarcoat things, but also didn't give up on me. He kept me motivated and encouraged, and never gave up on finding me a job that I would love.

I am so grateful to Duke Witte and his team for their help. I am now happily employed, and I am so happy that I was able to find a job that I love. I would highly recommend him to anyone who is looking for a job in the restaurant industry. He is a true professional, and is dedicated to helping his clients find the perfect job!

Thank you again for everything!

Nick Grubbs

Working with Chris Bovio made job searching so much easier! 

Not only was he available and involved in my search, but also knowledgeable regarding the position. Chris used his industry experience and recruiting network to find the best position for me and my skill set. My only regret is that my new job is so perfect for me that I won’t need to use Chris or Patrice & Associates later.


Nick Guarino

Michael Greig was absolutely fantastic in every way! 

He gave me options and suggestions & eventually found a great for me. Communication was easy and he went above & beyond. Also, he seems like an all around good dude. Thanks again Michael. Solid work out there. You’re hired :)

Nic Callahan

Bryan Curtis was fantastic to work with!

Bryan was very on top of things throughout my recruiting process to the engineering firm I accepted my position with.  I responded to his LinkedIn posting and heard back from him within 24 hours. He continually spoke with me throughout the process checking in regularly and answering all my questions. Bryan was instrumental in helping me find a great job.



Frank Rondeau was a really big help! 

When it came to helping me find my new job, he knocked it out of the park!  He was very honest and thorough throughout the entire process. We had multiple conversations along the way and he always checked in after interviews. Frank was amazing to work with, and I'm super excited to start my new journey thanks to him.       

Many Thanks,


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