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Red-hot job market continues, as US adds another 428,000 jobs in April

Highlights

Overall, hourly jobs are up 179% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 1% month-over-month gain, and a 34% year-over-year growth. Google searches for hourly jobs are up 4% from this time last year.

In other news, the latest jobs report confirms that the US labor market is on fire as summer nears, with over 400,000 new jobs added for the 12th consecutive month. According to Labor Department records, that’s the longest streak of months with 400,000+ jobs added since 1939.

The 428,000 total new jobs beat expectations and has the economy well on pace to recoup the 20 million jobs lost during the pandemic—many labor market experts think we’ll get there by the end of August, 

However, filling these new jobs continues to be problematic for businesses. One major hurdle is sluggish workforce participation. Some workers remain on the sidelines post-pandemic, and others “reshuffle” from job to job while looking for the best opportunities (or quit their current jobs knowing they have plenty of options when they want to work again).

This is evident as unemployment claims remained flat at 3.6% (which is close to the pre-pandemic mark, which like today is at a 50-year low). Specifically, new  jobless claims rose by 19,000 last week for a total of 181,000 new claims..

How does low unemployment figure in? People have to want to find work to be counted as “unemployed'' in this data. And jobless Americans know they could get a job this week if they wanted one. Many have quit jobs without the next one lined up, or remain on the sidelines post-pandemic, looking for the best opportunity to jump back in. Labor participation was at  62.2% last month, compared to 63.4% in February 2020 before the pandemic.

But Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is optimistic, saying their committee “generally expects that we’ll get some additional participation.”

Teens continue to be a lifeline for businesses hiring this summer

One bright spot on the hiring front is how teenagers are coming to the rescue of businesses struggling to fill positions.

According to Friday’s jobs report, some 33% of 16- to 19-year-old workers are now employed. This is the highest percentage since 2008-09 when having summer and part-time jobs were more common for teens. A recent Wall Street Journal article discusses the steps businesses are taking to reach this not yet fully-tapped teen market.

In related news, a recent podcast addresses attracting first-time hires and how important it is to offer candidates a sense of community and connection. Having been cooped up during the pandemic, these initial job seekers are looking to have a social experience as well as make money. 

The benefits of offering the right work environment are becoming increasingly important today. This is especially true as more and more businesses are noting, all too often, that workers are accepting jobs and then not showing up. At all. Southwest Airlines recently reported that 15% to 20% of new hires don’t turn up on the first day. For years businesses have been accused of ignoring candidates who apply. But now that workers have the upper hand, they’re the ones doing the ghosting.

Again, this is an important reminder that it’s critical to build a good environment in order to attract and retain workers in this tight job market.




While the job market remains tight, there are encouraging signs as workers gradually return to the workplace for summer positions. Be sure to include teen workers among your pool of candidates, as they’re entering the market with gusto. After two years of being isolated, they’re ready, willing, and able to work.


Jobs


All industry data is from 3/2/20-5/10/22

Here are the latest overall job numbers:

Overall jobs are up 179% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 1% month-over-month gain, and a 34% year-over-year growth. Google searches for hourly jobs are up 4% from this time last year.



Here are the latest job numbers by industry:

Food & Restaurant jobs are up 41% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 0% month-over-month change, and a 4% year-over-year drop.


Hotel & Hospitality jobs are up 88% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 21% month-over-month gain, and a 7% year-over-year growth.


Healthcare jobs are up 133% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing an 11% month-over-month gain, and a 26% year-over-year growth.


Retail jobs are up 42% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 6% month-over-month decline, and a 9% year-over-year gain.


Warehouse & Production jobs are up 650% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 1% month-over-month decline, and a 59% year-over-year gain.



Workers


Google searches for hourly jobs are up 4% 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.