Coronavirus and US Job Postings: Data from Indeed.com
So far in 2020, the trend in job postings is 30.8% lower than in 2019.
We will be regularly updating this data as we track how coronavirus impacts the global labor market.
The global economy is under considerable strain from the coronavirus pandemic. The trend in job postings — a real-time measure of the labor market — is 30.8% lower than in 2019, as of April 10.
The trend in job postings was roughly in line with last year’s trend until the second week of March. Postings were growing 2.9% slower than the trend in 2019 on March 15. The slowdown accelerated in the second half of March, as the trend was down 7.1% as of March 21, 15.1% as of March 27 and 23.6% on April 3.
Trend in new job postings down compared to 2019
The slowdown in employer demand for workers becomes more apparent when we look at new postings that have been on Indeed for a week or less — rather than the overall level of postings as shown above. The trend in new postings is down 49.1% compared to 2019 as of April 10. The trend in new postings is more volatile than the overall level of postings, and could rise even as the overall level continues to fall.
Slowdown in job postings varies by occupation
The trend in US job postings has slowed more among occupations most directly affected by the coronavirus such as hospitality and tourism positions, where the trend in those postings is 62.9% lower than last year.
Companies such as Amazon may be announcing large hiring plans, but loading and stocking job postings are slowing. These postings are growing 34.9% slower than at the same point last year.
Postings are down even in sectors not directly impacted by the coronavirus and where many jobs likely could be done from home. Software development postings are growing 25.9% below last year’s trend while the trend in banking and finance postings is down 35.8% from 2019.
Strikingly, the trend for both nursing and pharmacy job postings are negative. Medical workers are on the front lines of the response to the coronavirus, but employers are slowing down planned hiring compared to last year. The trend in nursing postings is down 23.7% compared to last year while pharmacy postings are growing 15.3% slower.
Hit to the labor market seen across countries
The hit to the labor market from the coronavirus is evident across a range of countries with New Zealand seeing the most severe slowdown in postings trend (58.2%) as well as experiencing the largest slowdown in new postings trend (82.4%).
We’ll be regularly updating these data.
To measure the trends in job postings, we calculated the 7-day moving average of the number of US job postings on Indeed. We index each day’s 7-day moving average to the start of that year (Feb 1, 2020 = 100 for 2020 data, and so on), or another date if specified on the chart.
We report how the trend in job postings this year differs from last year, in order to focus on the recent changes in labor market conditions due to COVID-19. For example: if job postings for a country increased 30% from February 1, 2019, to April 10, 2019, but only 20% from February 1, 2020, to April 10, 2020, then the index would have risen from 100 to 130 in 2019 and 100 to 120 in 2020. The year-to-date trend in job postings would therefore be down 7.7% on April 10 (120 is 7.7% below 130) in 2020 relative to 2019.
For new postings, we calculate a similar metric but the underlying measure is the number of postings that have been on Indeed for seven days or less.
In the tables for this post, the caption “change in trend in postings” represents the percent change in job growth rate from February 1 compared to the same date the year prior.
Information based on publicly available information on the Indeed US website (and other countries named in the post), limited to the United States, is not a projection of future events, and includes both paid and unpaid job solicitations.
Jed Kolko is Chief Economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab. Previously he was Chief Economist and VP of Analytics at Trulia, the online real estate marketplace. He has also led research teams at the Public Policy Institute of California and at Forrester Research. Jed specializes in using large-scale proprietary and publicly available datasets to uncover insights about labor markets, the future of work, demographics, housing markets, and urban trends. He earned his B.A. in social studies and his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University.