Job Numbers Suggest Economic Cool Down or Just a Sign of the Season

business people sitting in chairs meeting

October labor numbers imply that more chairs are filled and staying that way, indicating that hiring is slowing and employees are staying put, says Brian Miller, CEO of Patrice & Associates Staffing & Recruiting.

This month’s job report could be tied to a desired economic cool down or just a sign of the season. For months now, the Fed has been steadily raising interest rates to lever down inflation and ease the economy into a soft landing rather than a full recession. Conscious Capital Growth business accelerator tapped Brian Miller for his take on the numbers.

CCG: A job report cool down. The first in months. What do you make of it?

Miller: The job market has cooled off some; however, let’s not mix that up with a decline. It remains remarkably resilient, just not quite as hot. We are still in a hiring mode, not in a downsizing cycle. We’re still adding jobs, albeit not at the immediate post-pandemic pace.

CCG: Can you share the numbers?

Miller: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total non-farm payroll employment increased by 150,000 in October, and the unemployment rate changed little to 3.9 percent. The sectors that saw the biggest job gains were health care, government, and social assistance. Employment actually declined in manufacturing due to strike activity in the automotive sector.

CCG: How about in hospitality and leisure, both are areas of focus for Patrice & Associates?

Miller: In October, employment in leisure and hospitality didn’t change much, adding only 19,000 jobs. Compare that with the average of 52,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months. That record pace of adding jobs has slowed. Some say it’s the economy, but it may be seasonality. Hiring typically eases somewhat this time of year when restaurants have already staffed up in preparation for the holidays.

CCG: Does this cool down mean more people are unemployed and looking for work?

Miller: Unemployment claims did increase a bit, but many economists are not alarmed. Again, it is likely seasonally adjusted claims, which happened about the same time last year. The labor market still remains tight, with 1.5 job openings for every unemployed person.

CCG: It’s still a tight labor market despite everything the Fed is doing to slow the economy. Does that surprise you?

Miller: Not at all because, just as our franchise owners continue to tell their clients, the declining fertility rate and the aging of American workers is a long-term reality. It’s not going to be fixed for decades if then. To me, a tighter labor market is likely to remain in focus for some time. Of course, peaks and valleys in the economy occur, but the demographic trends are clear.

CCG: So, employers are still in hiring mode?

Miller: Yes, companies are still hiring; however, and this is good news for Patrice & Associates because they are being extremely selective and more cautious about who they bring on their roster. Employers are only offering jobs to people who truly meet or exceed their expected qualifications and within reasonable salary guidelines. Often, that means they need recruiting assistance, and we’re ready.

CCG: What about trends for candidates?

Miller: Candidates applying for jobs appear to be more cautious than they were in previous months. More applicants are accepting counter offers from their employers, meaning they are attempting to stay put. The reality, however, is that 80% of the people who accept those counter offers leave the company within 6 months. Companies are also hanging onto people longer because they fear the difficult work of finding the right candidate and the right fit again. Thus, the rise in counter offers seems to be a trend.

CCG: That 80% number is surprising. But as you have said many times, the best candidates are employed and actively recruited for new opportunities.

Miller: It’s true. We often find our best candidates by reaching out directly to people on the job. Companies are hanging onto their employees longer, too, because they don’t want to let people go for fear of having to go through the often-painful cycle of finding the right fit again. It isn’t easy as our recruiters can tell you.

CCG: Any wild cards out there we should be watching?

Miller: The biggest one is the global effect of the volatile wars in Asia and the Middle East. They are certainly devastating lives in those regions, sadly, and could throw the economy into a harder landing than desired. Especially if we see unchecked spikes in energy prices.

CCG: Last words, Brian, for us this month?

Miller: In general, the current job market report should do little to deter the Fed at this time from backing off of their “pause” position. After a hot report last month, people who are looking for lower inflation and a stabilization or even a lowering of interest rate will feel encouraged for the first time in over a year.


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,


Read More Testimonials