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Hiring Trends: Following the effects of gas prices, pandemic easing, and frictionless applications 

Highlights

Overall, hourly jobs are up 185% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 6% month-over-month gain, and an 83% year-over-year growth. Google searches for hourly jobs are up 17% from this time last year.

Rising prices continue to eat into the paychecks of US workers, particularly among those with lower-paying jobs. With inflation rising at 8% (and gas prices surging at an even higher rate since the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine), workers are faced with tough decisions on whether to remain at their current jobs or to level up for jobs with higher pay. Gig drivers are especially at a crossroads.

Inflation is also affecting the decision-making of people on the sidelines, deciding when and where to re-enter the job market. Rising gas prices may make commuting prohibitively expensive, which is particularly impactful for people seeking jobs where remote work is not an option.

US businesses are looking for answers as well, particularly from the Federal Reserve. With talk of a possible US recession looming (Goldman Sachs estimates there’s a 35% chance), the government is expected to raise interest rates by .25% this week (less than the .50% hike anticipated before the invasion of Ukraine).

Higher interest rates may make it more difficult for businesses to expand operations as summer demand increases.

There is good news on the pandemic front, as restrictions continue to be lifted across the US. United Airlines recently announced that 2,200 unvaccinated employees can return to work, and nationwide schools are easing restrictions for masks. There are murmurs of a BA.2 variant of Omicron gaining a foothold, but so far the cases are limited. A new “Deltacon” variant is also being reported ( a combination of the Delta and Omicron), but this appears to be the result of lab contamination and is causing no concerts for employers or employees.

As businesses gear up for summer hiring, frictionless hiring is taking center stage. For example, WM (formerly Waste Management), looking to hire as many as 15,000 workers, has streamlined the time required to fill out an application from 20 minutes to 3 minutes. The application is also being made available via a QR code to expedite the process.

Small businesses are taking suit as well, including the team at Denver-based Booyah. After a 20% layoff once the pandemic started, they’re now having trouble hiring. “It was an over-correction,” said CEO Troy Lerner. “Within eight weeks…we went into accelerated hiring that we had never faced before.” To compensate for losing candidates who are getting multiple offers, Booyah has reduced interview steps and is expediting hiring times by 50% or more.

Month-over-month hourly hiring job trends:

  • Largest gain: Warehouse & Production (+19%)

  • Smallest gain: Healthcare (+1%)


While economic issues ranging from inflation and interest rates to a possible recession dominate the news, US businesses continue to march on. Teams are staffing up as quickly as possible, anticipating high demand this summer after two years of Covid restrictions. Hiring still remains challenging, however, as there are only 6.4 million workers available to fill 10.9 million jobs. 

Jobs

All industry data is from 3/2/20-3/15/2022

Here are the latest overall job numbers:

Overall jobs are up 185% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 6% month-over-month gain, and an 83% year-over-year growth. Google searches for hourly jobs are up 17% from this time last year.



Here are the latest job numbers by industry:


Food & Restaurant jobs are up 45% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 3% month-over-month gain, and a 27% year-over-year growth.


Hotel & Hospitality jobs are up 46% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 3% month-over-month gain, and a 23% year-over-year growth.


Healthcare jobs are up 115% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 1% month-over-month gain, and a 28% year-over-year growth.


Retail jobs are up 56% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 3% month-over-month gain, and a 36% year-over-year growth.

Warehouse & Production jobs are up 733% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 19% month-over-month gain, and a 302% year-over-year growth.



Workers

Google searches for hourly jobs are up 17% year over year.



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.