Friday’s jobs report is a mixed bag for hiring managers

Hourly Hiring Report 12/07/22

Highlights

Overall, while hourly jobs are up 137% from February 2020's pre-pandemic numbers, we are seeing a 7% month-over-month drop and a 1% year-over-year gain. 

Friday’s jobs report for November from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) brought some good news and meh news to hiring managers. But ultimately it serves as a reminder that it’s still going to take a focused effort to successfully staff up for the holiday rush.

The bottom line is that there’s less holiday hiring this season than expected. Although, this does allow you the opportunity to successfully staff up in December, while providing better customer service than others. But again, the challenge is finding job seekers eager to work those holiday hours.

The main concern is that hourly wages are again on the rise, gaining 0.6% during November according to the recent BLS report. That’s twice the wage growth expected by most economic experts, leaving US wages up 5.1% from this time last year. 

As long as wages remain high (and trending up), businesses are going to pay more for staffing. Hiring managers are also going to face stiffer competition for workers, as more remain on the sidelines until the right opportunity comes along. Although, on paper, the Fed’s job report did reveal that the US labor force participation rate remained relatively steady at 62.1%. So perhaps fear of layoffs is helping encourage workers to take those open holiday shifts now while they still have the upper hand.

In response to economic conditions, businesses continue to hire cautiously and not fill positions that are suddenly open. Retail was hit particularly hard in November, with 30,000 jobs lost (warehousing followed suit, with 15,000 jobs lost). In total there remain 10 million open jobs, which is over twice as many as the pre-COVID average of 4.5 million.

For hourly hiring, during November we saw job postings down 7% for the month. Specifically:

  • Down: Warehouse & Logistics (-18%), Retail (-9%), and Hotel & Hospitality (-4%)

  • Up: Healthcare (+18%) and Food & Restaurant (+9%) 

However, the jobs report does bring some positive news to businesses as well.

Although the US economy added more jobs than expected in November (263,000, while experts anticipated a 200,000 gain), this was the smallest monthly gain since April of 2021. This suggests that the growth is tapering, which will help bring both inflation and wages down.

There is also optimism in the fact that the November unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7%. Hence, with a strong pool of available workers, hiring managers who are willing to pay top wages and offer plentiful benefits should find the staff needed to meet holiday demands.

Jobs

All industry data is from 3/2/20-11/30/2022

Here are the latest overall job numbers:

Overall hourly jobs are up 137% from February 2020's pre-pandemic numbers, we are seeing a 7% month-over-month drop and a 1% year-over-year gain. 

Here are the latest job numbers by industry and category:

Food & Restaurant jobs are up 13% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 9% month-over-month gain, and a 19% year-over-year decline.

Hotel & Hospitality jobs are down 3% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 4% month-over-month drop, and a 45% year-over-year decline.

Healthcare jobs are up 267% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing an 18% month-over-month gain, and a 74% year-over-year growth.

Retail jobs are up 35% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 9% month-over-month drop, and an 11% year-over-year decline.

Warehouse & Logistics jobs are up 680% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing an 18% month-over-month drop, and a 28% year-over-year decline.



Shifts by Snagajob requested shifts are up 305% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 16% month-over-month gain, and a 19% year-over-year growth. Fill rates are down 6% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 13% month-over-month gain, and a 34% year-over-year growth. 

The bottom line

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

Darrell Jones |
Darrell is Snagajob’s Manager of Content & Copywriting, where he enjoys writing and editing advice that helps workers and businesses align and succeed. His first hourly job was totally chill, bagging ice at an ice cube f-f-f-factory.