US job market defies predictions, adds 370,000 new openings in June

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


Overall, hourly jobs are up 172% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 3% month-over-month decline, and a 21% year-over-year growth. 

In other hiring news, the Labor Department’s just-released June jobs report turned a few heads with significantly higher-than-expected job postings.

For the month, 370,000 new jobs were added (although many economists had predicted totals near the 250,000 mark). These numbers suggest that despite an economy with a few wobbly wheels, job growth remains strong and that talk of a recession is perhaps a tad premature. 

The report also revealed that the US unemployment rate remained unchanged from May at 3.6%. However, there was a surprising (and sizable) drop in another rate many economists use to measure joblessness: a combination of 1. discouraged workers (who don’t feel the right jobs are available) and, 2. those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons (but actually want full-time jobs). This mixture of unemployed workers fell from 7.1% to 6.7%, suggesting that given the unsteady economy, people are now taking jobs they previously might not have. Stay tuned as we keep an eye on this trend, and how it might impact your hiring strategy for not only the summer but also for the upcoming holiday season.

One final stat culled from the June jobs report is hourly earnings, which rose 5.1% compared to this time last year. This was higher than many estimates but understandable, as businesses are hoping to lure job seekers by increasing their pay rates. Examples of this can be seen in California, where Los Angeles has enacted a $25 minimum wage for Healthcare workers and the state may vote to raise the minimum wage to $18 an hour for everyone.

On the topic of unemployment and a looming recession, a recent article made an interesting point. Namely, unlike in previous times, it’s possible that we could be heading into a recession without seeing a large number of layoffs (two happenings that normally go hand-in-hand). The reason for this disconnect may be that because of such severe job losses at the beginning of the pandemic, businesses were unable to hire as many people as they wanted once things turned around. Noted Lightcast senior economist Ron Hetrick, “You can’t layoff what you were never able to hire.” So there’s a case to be made that recession may surface as companies continue to scramble to hire (especially with our job market as it stands now, with roughly 6 million job seekers looking to fill 11 million vacancies). Again, this phenomenon could impact your hiring playbook, so we’ll monitor the data carefully and report back on hourly hiring strategies to align with worker expectations during this curious job market.

In related news:

  • Among all workers (full-time and hourly), retail hiring is slowing down dramatically. A recent Fortune magazine article sources Snagajob to explain why the hiring spree is beginning to slow.

  • To address inflation and a difficult hiring market, many businesses are offering mid-year raises to retain workers. 

  • A valuable tip for attracting female job seekers is to stress that your work schedules are predictable. Many women avoid jobs that are unpredictable, as they may have scheduling issues that make it difficult to change hours on-the-fly. This issue is also a factor in why women earn 17% less than men on average.


All industry data is from 3/2/20-7/12/22

Here are the latest overall job numbers:

Overall hourly jobs are up 172% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 3% month-over-month decline, and a 21% year-over-year growth. 

Here are the latest job numbers by industry:

Food & Restaurant jobs are up 24% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 6% month-over-month drop, and a 15% year-over-year decline.

Hotel & Hospitality jobs are up 18% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 25% month-over-month drop, and a 47% year-over-year decline.

Healthcare jobs are up 174% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 7% month-over-month decline, and an 8% year-over-year growth.

Retail jobs are up 48% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 3% month-over-month gain, and an 8% year-over-year growth.

Warehouse & Production jobs are up 1228% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 7% month-over-month decline, and a 96% 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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