The good times keep rolling for the labor market — there's still nearly two open jobs for every person who's looking -— but a spate of recent headlines about high-profile layoffs may be giving "spring 2020" energy.
Netflix today said it's laying off 300 employees, around 3% of its workforce.
Elon Musk uttered the word "bankrupt" at an event and freaked everyone out, saying new Tesla factories are "losing billions of dollars."
Yesterday, JPMorgan Chase let go of hundreds of staff in its mortgage division, citing rising rates that are curbing demand.
Last week, real estate giants Redfin and Compass, which flourished in the pandemic era of low mortgage rates and ravenous demand, announced major cuts.
The whiplash is also hitting crypto hard: Coinbase last week abruptly laid off 18% of its staff, froze hiring and even rescinded job offers.
Spotify, StitchFix and Carvana are also making cuts.
Seeing all those household names in the headlines might make you think the economic recovery, defined as it's been by a mind-blowingly strong labor market, might be sputtering.
But labor economists caution that it's too early to know whether all of this is a harbinger of broader turmoil. After all, unemployment remains near a 50-year low.
"A bunch of press releases from dozens of companies is still just a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of the workforce," labor economist Aaron Sojourner told me recently.
"We've seen very fast, consistent job growth...so there's a lot of reason to expect deceleration — whether it turns negative is not clear yet."