Demand for workers remains strong as businesses look to this week’s job report

Highlights

Overall, hourly jobs are up 155% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing an 8% month-over-month decline, and a 14% year-over-year growth. 

The news this week is anticipation over Friday’s June job report from the Department of Labor, which has everyone’s attention as it may impact markets considerably. With talk of a “soft” recession looming, the findings may push markets in one direction or another, thus affecting hiring.

Economists estimate that the June jobs report will show job growth in the neighborhood of 250,000. This would be less than last month’s report of 390,000 jobs added in May, but still moving in a positive direction. The expected growth would also keep the US economy on the path to return to pre-pandemic job numbers by end of August.

One number we can digest while waiting for Friday’s report is the Labor Department’s release of US jobless claims, which inched down slightly from the previous week. First-time jobless claims fell to 231,000 for the week, as employers are holding onto workers as they wait to see at what speed the economy will continue to move.

However, as it stands now, despite questions about the economy, businesses continue to have a challenging time finding workers. May findings from this week’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report show there were 11.3 million job openings, down from 11.4 million in April (but still above pre-pandemic levels). That being said, the report also shows that in May there were only 6.5 million workers to fill those jobs (down from 6.6 in April). Plus, quit rates continue to be way above average, with 4.3 million Americans quitting or changing jobs in May. Layoffs remain at historically low levels now too, as businesses hold on tightly to the workers they have.

Bottom line, despite a somewhat somber economic forecast, demand for workers remains as high as ever. It’s not all bad news for those hiring, however, as many economic advisers opine. There is steady growth in many areas, which shows that Americans are returning to work in impressive numbers and that the US economy is transitioning into a historic recovery.

Naturally, one can also reason that eventually, the balance of power in the workplace will begin to slowly shift back towards an even keel. In fact, a recent Wall St. Journal article suggests that workers in the near term may need to make “more realistic” demands in the workplace.

Specifically in hourly hiring by job sector, here are the largest gains and declines for the year so far:

  • Largest year-over-year gains: Warehouse & Production (+86%) and Healthcare (+13%)

  • Largest year-over-year declines: Hotel & Hospitality (-46%) and Food & Restaurant (-18%)  

Jobs

All industry data is from 3/2/20-7/5/22

Here are the latest overall job numbers:

Overall hourly jobs are up 155% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing an 8% month-over-month decline, and a 14% year-over-year growth. 

Here are the latest job numbers by industry:

Food & Restaurant jobs are up 21% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 9% month-over-month drop, and an 18% year-over-year decline.

Hotel & Hospitality jobs are up 21% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 23% month-over-month drop, and a 46% year-over-year decline.

Healthcare jobs are up 188% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 2% month-over-month decline, and a 13% year-over-year growth.

Retail jobs are up 35% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 7% month-over-month drop, and a 2% year-over-year decline.

Warehouse & Production jobs are up 1159% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 12% month-over-month decline, and an 86% year-over-year growth.


The bottom line

We’ll continue to be your best resource for hourly job market insights as we collectively navigate towards our new normal and beyond.

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Mathieu Stevenson |
Mathieu Stevenson is the CEO of Snagajob. His first hourly job was as a lifeguard.