Weekly Hourly Hiring Report 1/26/22
Big picture, hourly jobs are up 162% over pre-pandemic norms of March 2020. Drilling down, hourly jobs are up 2% month-over-month, and up 157% from this time last year. Google searches for hourly jobs are down 21% year-over-year.
US businesses continue to feel the short-term impact of the Omicron variant this week, as new Covid-19 cases resulted in a growing number of workers calling in sick.
This contributed to a seasonally-adjusted 230,000 jobless claims last week, up 23,000 from the previous week – according to the US Employment and Testing Administration, St. Louis Fed.
While this shortage of labor is certainly leaving teams understaffed, an increasing number of employers are now taking a more holistic approach to hiring. Many businesses realize they can no longer be reactive to pandemic swings and are instead staffing up for optimal positioning, regardless of the labor market’s highs and lows.
“I’ve had to quit watching and thinking about it because it was giving me a lot of anxiety and I could never plan anything,” noted Tracy Wallace, owner of Peacock Wine Bar in Gilbert, Ariz. “I had to just keep moving forward because otherwise I’ll just be stuck and not move anywhere.”
The thinking is that with foresight, businesses can secure the needed team and have the flexibility to scale up and down as needed. Given the labor shortage, they can also offer benefits and flexibility that make them attractive to candidates today.
In related news:
4.5 million US workers resigned in November, the highest quit rate on record.
The US has 3.6 million fewer jobs this week than in February 2020, before the pandemic hit.
However, Texas, Arizona, Utah, and Idaho have recovered all the jobs lost during the pandemic – in part due to shifting demographics.
Hourly hiring increased most in the past month in the following job categories: Retail (+38%) and Warehouse and logistics (+26%).
In the past month, these job categories saw the sharpest decline in hourly hiring: On-demand (-28%) and Grocery (-10%).
Although troublesome for staffing, the impact of the Omicron variant isn’t completely negative. It has awoken businesses to the fact that it’s simply not productive to continue timing hiring to meet shifting pandemic-influenced demands. Teams are letting Covid-19 play out as it will, and instead focusing on taking the bull by the horns and staffing up now. They’re getting the right team in place today, so in the future, they’ll have the ideal crew and flexibility to staff up and down.
All industry data is from 3/2/20-1/25/22
Here are the latest job numbers by industry:
Quick service restaurant (QSR) jobs are down 35% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 7% month-over-month decline, and a 10% year-over-year decline.
Sit-down restaurant jobs are down 44% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 2% month-over-month decline, and a 6% year-over-year growth.
Warehouse and logistics jobs are up 159% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 26% month-over-month growth, and a 123% year-over-year growth.
Retail jobs are up 59% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 38% month-over-month growth, and a 148% year-over-year growth.
Grocery jobs are up 12% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 10% month-over-month decline, and a 23% year-over-year decline.
Hospitality jobs are up 308% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 2% month-over-month decline, and a 586% year-over-year growth.
On-demand jobs are down 14% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 28% month-over-month decline, and a 35% year-over-year decline.
Convenience store jobs are down 22% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 5% month-over-month decline, and a 6% year-over-year growth.
Healthcare jobs are up 72% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 5% month-over-month decline, and a 23% year-over-year growth.
Google searches for hourly jobs are down 21% year-over-year.
The bottom line
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