Inflation rate in the U.S. rose in August 2021 and continued its upward trajectory on the back of post-pandemic recovery spending, supply constraints and the war in Ukraine, impacting commodities’ supply. While there are multiple forecasts suggesting that the economy might tip into recession as the Federal Reserve takes steps to rein in inflation; the job market, has continued to show strong signs of recovery in 2022.\[1\]
As we stated in a blog post last June, and it’s even more the case today, at no time in the past 20 years has the intensity of the focus on the job market been stronger. While the economy has successfully recovered from the Covid cataclysm, our landscape has been permanently altered by the tectonic shifts that rocked the world and deep aftershocks continue to reverberate throughout every aspect of post-pandemic (maybe some day?!) life.
Over the past few months, a number of high-profile employers have announced hiring slowdowns or all-out hiring freezes. In this post, we will take a quick look at the recent job listings trends from some of the companies reporting earnings this week. First, let’s check in on the companies we have already seen announce hiring slowdowns or freezes. The blue line in each chart indicates when these slowdowns were first announced, worth noting that many of these announcements came after job listings had been slashed and the data we provide was predictive of such an announcement.
It’s been more than a decade since “Satoshi Nakamoto,” a suspected pseudonymous person or persons, introduced Bitcoin—and cryptocurrency—to the world. In that time, its value has skyrocketed from zero to $60k, turning thousands of ordinary people into millionaires, a lucky few into billionaires and a long list of others into oh-so-comfortable. In 2021, the cryptocurrency market was valued at more than $3t, which came at a time when many coins reached all-time highs and crypto started to gain widespread appeal, especially among corporations and governments.
With Johnson’s resignation and new leadership on the horizon, the overall state of the UK economy is becoming more important to monitor. In today’s Insight Flash, we review the tools available in CE Transact UK for understanding overall UK spend, for looking at spend by country, and to understand which industries are driving the total growth. UK consumer spend on debit and credit cards has been growing at about 10% above pre-pandemic levels (on a three-year basis) since calendar Q2 2021.
The current cost of living crisis has seen a significant shift in consumer spending patterns as household budgets have been increasingly squeezed. The Grocery sector traditionally acts as a reliable barometer for the wider economy, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that since April, there has been a noticeable shift in consumer spend towards Discounters - Aldi, Lidl and Iceland. This has occurred at the expense of the large Multiples, and Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Morrisons are particularly feeling the pinch, as shown in the graph below.
If you've been paying attention to the news, we've been hearing a lot about inflation and recession. A quick look at some high level indicators help explain why: Dow Jones Industrial Index = -14% YTD NASDAQ = -27% YTD Bitcoin = -57% YTD U.S. Consumer Price Index = +3.4% YTD U.S. national gas price average = +34% YTD So as you can see, things are going pretty well -_- . These kind of market conditions tend to change the way people spend. We've already reported that consumers are flocking to grocery store apps to access digital coupons to save on their supermarket shopping.
Feelings of dread around the inflation rate, sunken stock prices, and recession fears still loom, of course. And hiring slowdowns are being experienced across industries, occupations, and business types. Created job listings at both public and private companies have been in sync since 2020, with sharp decreases seen in all markets lately, as hiring slows. At the industry level, companies with the largest drops in job listings in May include those in: Utilities (-8.8%); Information (-7.3%); and Transportation and Warehousing (-6.8%).
A recession is starting to look like a possibility. Household budgets are being squeezed by decades of rising inflation, housing costs are continually breaking records, and consumer confidence is plummeting. As a result, customers are less likely to spend money on non-essential things. The apparel industry bears the brunt of the impact. Consumers can easily trade down for less expensive items and stretch out the lifespan of their existing wardrobe. It’s easy to slash spending on apparel when times are tough.
On Friday Kendrick Lamar announced his first tour in 5 years and presale tickets could be purchased via Cash App. This was no surprise after our findings in the Brand Relative App Growth Index (BRAG Index) revealed partnerships was a popular mobile marketing strategy used by top apps over the last six months. The savviest of apps, like Cash App and Chick-fil-A, thought beyond brand marketing and used partnerships to drive installs by lining up value on the other side.
After the four previous months of slow, yet steady job listings growth, April jobs data shows employers are removing job postings and putting a pause on recruitment. With the uncertainty in the economy and increased interest rates businesses are being more conservative when hiring. Total active job listings in the U.S. were down by 3.1%, affecting nearly every occupation, industry, and state. Job listings with the highest rates of decline were concentrated in Healthcare, with listings down more than 5%.
As a market, Apptopia estimates the top six teen banking apps in the United States have seen downloads fall 26% year-over-year in the first quarter. Monthly active users have fallen alongside, but this is mostly due to the two largest players, Step and Greenlight, slowing growth while their competition has strengthened. Over the past five years or so, the explosion of financial tech (fintech) products and the importance consumers are placing on financial education have increased.
In order to deal with increased prices due to inflation, consumers have modified their spending habits, and are choosing lower-cost alternatives to help them stick to their budgets. Trends over the past 24-months seem to indicate that consumers are more likely to substitute products/services or procure them from less expensive sources than do away with them altogether. Shopping at retail liquor outlets instead of going out to restaurants seems to reflect this consumer switching behavior.
Annual federal tax refunds have been a reliable source of additional spending cash for American taxpayers. Covid-19 upended the regular February-April cadence of payments as many households received additional stimulus payouts and tax credits that almost doubled the amount normally deposited by the government. This tax season marks a return to more normal refund behavior, which could signal sales declines for retailers who benefited from consumers’ extra cash in 2020 and 2021.
Retention rates for crypto apps remain steadily higher than stock trading apps in Q3 and Q4 of 2021. For example, crypto app retention sits at 32% on Day 1 in Q3 in 2021, while stock trading apps average at 19%. In our most recent report, Fintech deep dive: digital currencies 2022 playbook, we collaborated with marketing analytics platform, Adjust to dive into the key drivers of cryptocurrency app adoption in 2021.
Shopify’s ( $SHOP ) software and services provide relatively simple solutions for helping people and businesses sell things online. This was a power position in the early days of the pandemic when businesses were strongly compelled to embrace e-commerce. During that time, Shopify provided the path of least resistance and it quickly became the default choice.
Dollar Tree is due to report earnings Wednesday and seems to be in a very interesting position. On one hand, they announced last quarter they would be raising their prices, after testing and finding customers would tolerate these price increases. On the other hand, reports have been recently released that they will have to shut down 400 stores indefinitely due to a rodent infestation.
For the first month of 2022, active job listings in the U.S. were, for the most part in a somewhat steady holding pattern, up just 0.3% over December. When we drill down to the occupation level we see some hidden booms (hello, Food Service and Computer and Mathematical occupations) and slides (we see you Healthcare, Transportation and Supply Chain). But overall things remained on a relatively even keel in January.
Initial filings for jobless claims declined for the second week in a row at the end of January, indicating that the labor market is recovering from the temporary disruption caused by the Omicron variant. According to the newest Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report released on February 3rd, initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, fell to 238,000 for the week ended January 29th, a decrease of 23,000 from the revised level the week before.
Escalating urgency behind the ongoing climate crisis continues to drive many facets of the economy forward. From growing technologies like electric vehicles to areas of potential job creation like infrastructure, opportunities to benefit from our collective problem solving abilities abound. But now we’re witnessing an interesting shift among investors, toward funds with more sustainable stocks. Those new to the market and seasoned investors are both showing interest in companies making measurable impact in addressing important environmental issues, as well as the social issues that fuel them