RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Nationwide, employers added more than a half of a million jobs in January. And that trend could continue, based on a new survey that finds 58% of companies plan to add jobs.

That’s according to a recent study conducted by staffing firm Robert Half, which found that nationwide, 58% of all employers surveyed are reporting plans to add workers in new positions during the first half of 2023.

“All of my clients are hiring, have plans to hire, are excited,” said Christiaan Heijmen, managing partner at Focus Search Partners, a Vaco Company, in an interview with WRAL TechWire.  “I am not seeing the Triangle, or Triangle-based opportunities, or Triangle-based companies, do anything abnormal than what we’ve seen for the last 12 years.”


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Whether that’s true in the Triangle remains to be seen. WRAL TechWire Jobs Report, which is published on Tuesdays, finds that  the number of job openings fell in January to the lowest levels in at least 13 months. The total stands at nearly 300,000 – not accounting for duplications in postings.

That’s about the same number of job openings as observed a week ago.

But employers, including 48 of 50 of the region’s top companies, are expecting to hire more workers, even as headlines about a rising tide of layoffs flooding across the economy continue to emerge.

Need a job? More than 3,100 are available at 48 top Triangle employers

What’s happening

No employer surveyed by Robert Half reported that they expected to eliminate positions, but 3% did say they intended to freeze hiring.

That 58% is even more than what employers expected to hire during the second half of 2022, as a prior Robert Half survey found 46% of employers had expected to hire during that period.

Further, it seems that the so called “Great Resignation” is expected to continue, as 39% of employers reported in the most recent survey that they expect to need to hire for positions that have been vacated due to retirement or a worker leaving for a new role.  


The latest on the Triangle labor market

Compared to a week ago, the total number of job openings jumped up by 1,421 advertisements, an increase of 0.48%.

This is now the third time in 2023 – or 50% of the weeks thus far this year – where the total aggregate job postings are below 300,000 advertisements.

That’s only the third time where total job advertisements have been below that 300,000 mark since WRAL TechWire expanded the WRAL TechWire Jobs Report in January of 2022 where there have been fewer than 300,000 openings.

Jobs surprise: US economy added 517,000 jobs in January, well more than expected

A theory

One theory, as discussed with WRAL TechWire by Heijmen, is that hiring is down in the beginning part of the year because companies slow down their searches due to many workers preferring to stay in their current roles until annual bonuses are paid out, which happens sometime between mid-February and the end of March for many companies. 

Heijmen also said there are companies that are headquartered elsewhere in the United States who have begun to cut jobs or slow hiring.  That could impact job postings for Triangle-based roles, even at those same companies.  

“One theory is that they’re offering jobs internally, or they’ve implemented a company-wide hiring freeze, but the people who are located here, are hiring here, they seem to be doing great,” said Heijmen. 

The most recent analysis of job posting data shows 11 of the 20 job board searches found fewer postings than a week ago, but the nine job posting searches that show a positive gain outperformed, resulting in an increase overall.

And 12 of the 20 job searches tracked for the weekly report have more advertisements than a month ago. Each week, WRAL TechWire tracks the total number of Triangle-area positions posted on major job websites, across 20 different searches.

The month-over-month totals are compared to our January 10 jobs report, and the year-over-year totals compare to our February 8, 2022 report. Here’s what’s changed since last week’s WRAL TechWire Jobs Report.  



Triangle Startup Jobs Report

In the Triangle's startup economy, job opportunities are again on the rise for the third consecutive week.  In fact, the analysis of the jobs data tracked a 4.8% increase in the number of job postings in the startup economy, or 800 additional roles posted this week compared to last.

That's also 864 job roles more than a month ago, or 5.24%. 

"Simply put, we are continuing to see a high hiring volume in 2023," said Josh Haymond with Vaco in Raleigh.  "Our team is busy with new search work, taking in new projects each week."

And while layoffs are a factor, most of the firm's clients are not experiencing layoffs, according to Haymond.  In fact, Haymond noted that more of the firm's clients are hiring than experiencing layoffs.

"We have seen the layoffs impacting large, multinational corporations versus high-growth clients which continue to grow organically and through acquisition, which drives a continued need for talent," said Haymond.  "We are also seeing more and more clients rely on Vaco for point-in-time staff augmentation from our consulting base, as we’re able to help get through the work on the required cadence, bringing added horsepower to our client’s teams that often can’t high quickly enough due to the (still high) demand."


Who's hiring in the Triangle?

Companies with offices in the Triangle continue to hire, with some looking to hire hundreds of workers.

Still, job openings at 50 of the region's most well-known employers have dropped by 9.15% from a month ago, with a 4.5% decline just in the last week alone. 

For example, the companies that have shown the largest drop in the overall number of open jobs in the region include Wolfspeed (-53), Fidelity (-50), Google (-39), Toshiba (-37), and Cisco (-32). 

However, some employers are hiring more than they were a month ago, including BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina (+27), Eli Lilly (+19), Insomniac Games (+16), and Sensus, which is also known as Xylem (+12). 

“I get as many calls as I always do about roles, about people, about positions,” said Heijmen.  “I work much more with mid-sized, mid-market companies that are here.”

And, said Heijmen, because the Triangle has such an interesting blend of companies which are headquartered here, he is anticipating continued labor market pressures in the months to come.  "“All of my clients are hiring, have plans to hire," said Heijmen. 

Meanwhile, there are still more than 3,100 openings at the 48 firms who remain hiring for open roles (Amazon and Amgen currently have no openings for full-time roles in the Triangle).  And, despite more than 100,000 layoffs announced in January 2023, the U.S. economy added 517,000 jobs last month.   

“The economy is not slowing,” said Dr. Gerald Cohen, the chief economist at the Kenan Institute, in a briefing last Friday about the latest jobs data.  “Because if we are creating 517,000 jobs in January, we are very unlikely to go into a recession in February, March, April, or May.”


Other resources to find Triangle job postings

Below, we’ve gathered the latest upcoming job fairs, student-centric resources, and a list of Twitter accounts that track local job openings. If you’re a student looking for an internship or entry-level position at a local company or organization, your university has resources to help you get started.

Quick links below:

For Johnston County job seekers: The recently launched JoCo Careers website helps job seekers find companies hiring in Johnston County. (More TechWire coverage here.)

Look for Triangle job postings on these Twitter accounts

Here are some locally run Twitter accounts that regularly share job openings in the Triangle: