Coronavirus

Coronavirus and US Job Postings Through April 24: Data from Indeed.com

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So far in 2020, the trend in job postings is 36.7% lower than in 2019.

We will be regularly updating this data as we track how coronavirus impacts the global labor market. 

The global economy has slowed dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic. The trend in job postings — a real-time measure of labor market activity — is 36.7% lower than in 2019, as of April 24.

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 and through April, as the trend was down 7.1% as of March 21, 15.1% as of March 27, 23.6% on April 3, 30.8% on April 10, and 34.1% on April 17.

New postings — those on Indeed for a week or less — were down 45.5% for the same time period. The trend in new postings is more volatile than that of all postings, and could rise even as the overall level continues to fall. 

Hospitality and tourism jobs have seen the biggest decline

Job postings have fallen more in occupations most directly affected by the coronavirus such as hospitality and tourism, where the trend in postings is 63.4% lower than last year.

Companies such as Amazon may have announced large hiring plans, but loading and stocking job postings are slowing. Although the sector is holding up better than the overall economy, these postings are growing 28.5% 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 28.0% below last year’s trend, but that is better than the overall labor market. Meanwhile the trend in banking and finance postings is down 40.8% from 2019 which is close to the economy-wide average

Strikingly, the trend for both nursing and pharmacy job postings is 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 24.7% compared to last year while pharmacy postings are down 19.6%.

Where job postings have declined most

Within the US, the trend in job postings is down most in metro Miami, Honolulu, and Sarasota, FL. Job postings have fallen more in travel and tourism destinations, large and small. Postings are also down more in the types of places — larger metros with colder weather and older and more diverse populations — at greater risk from the virus. But current virus hotspots like New York and New Orleans haven’t seen a steeper drop in postings than the national average.

Globally, New Zealand has seen the most severe slowdown in overall postings (67%) as well as experiencing the largest slowdown in new postings (79%), among countries we are tracking. Job postings have trended down more in countries where fewer jobs can potentially be done from home

We’ll be regularly updating this data.

Methodology

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 24, 2019, but only 20% from February 1, 2020, to April 24, 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 24 (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.

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