The US job market continues to chug along. In 2018, job growth picked up—despite it being almost a decade into the recovery—and wage growth began to accelerate. Yet there are still pockets of weakness. For instance, the share of workers in part-time jobs but wanting more hours remains elevated. Now, as the job market tightens, people are increasingly taking steps to get the jobs they want.
Indeed examined the fastest-growing job search terms and found that job seekers are increasingly looking for full-time work as well as positions for which they have no experience. And as Amazon made splashes in 2018— selecting new headquarters in New York and Northern Virginia and raising its minimum wage to $15—job seekers took notice. Searches for Amazon-related jobs soared.
Full time and no experience searches increasing
Job searches with the phrase “full time” have been rising over the past year. The share of all searches containing “full time” was up 56% in December 2018 compared with the share a year before. Specifically, the fastest-growing searches containing “full time” included “anything full time,” “dishwasher full time,” and “immediate hire full time.”
For years now, job seekers have been stepping up their use of the phrase “full time.” In contrast, searches using “part time” have risen far more slowly. Since December 2016, the share of job searches containing “full time” is up 188%, while “part time” has risen just 43%.
Some job seekers may already have part-time work, but are seeking a position with more hours. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies those working part-time who would rather have full-time jobs as people employed part-time for economic reasons. The number of such workers as a share of the labor force is 2.9%, which is still elevated from pre-recession lows but down 0.3 percentage points over the last year. The overall economy has strengthened to such a degree that individuals holding out for full-time work now see an opportunity and are jumping at the chance.
Some job seekers want more hours. Others are looking to get into new fields in which they have no experience. And some job seekers may fall into both groups. Among the fastest-growing searches in the past year are several containing the phrase “no experience,” such as “hiring immediately no experience.” Compared with December 2016, “no experience” searches as a share of all searches on Indeed have risen 89%. Common variations of these kinds of searches are tied to specific occupations, such as “bank teller no experience required” or “caregivers no experience required.”
What explains the jump in “no experience” searches? Perhaps, as the labor market flexes its muscle, more employers are venturing out into hiring less-experienced workers. Job seekers may be responding by looking more for positions they have no experience in.
Amazon searches spike on $15/hour minimum wage news
Amazon has grown explosively, seizing world leadership in ecommerce, cloud computing, and other industries. Job seekers have taken notice. In particular, there was a surge of interest following Amazon’s declaration on October 2 of a $15 per hour minimum wage. By October 8, Amazon-related searches peaked at about 7,200 per million total searches, more than double the level on October 1. After that point, the spike in interest began to attenuate, although there was another (much smaller) bump on November 13 following Amazon’s highly publicized disclosure of new headquarters offices.
Aside from the temporary spike tied to these announcements, there is strong underlying interest by job seekers: The share of searches containing the name “Amazon” increased 67% year-over-year in December 2018. “Amazon delivery,” “Amazon work from home,” and “Amazon warehouse associate” were among the 200 fastest-growing search queries in the three months through December 2018 compared with the year before. Job seekers increasingly want to work for the ecommerce giant.
While 2018 was a great year for the US job market, the fastest-growing job searches on Indeed show there is still some room for improvement. More workers are searching for full-time jobs and/or jobs for which they have no experience. And the growth of Amazon-related searches reflects job seeker interest in higher pay and the chance to get into ecommerce.
The period examined is from December 1, 2016 to December 31, 2018 . “Full time” and “part time” searches were calculated as a share of all searches per million and indexed to the monthly level of December 2016. Amazon-related searches include any query with the word “Amazon” in it; daily search shares (as a share of all searches) were calculated as a 7-day moving average.