Coronavirus and US Job Postings Through May 1: Data from Indeed.com
So far in 2020, the trend in job postings is 39.3% 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 39.3% lower than in 2019, as of May 1.
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, 34.1% on April 17, and 36.7% on April 24.
New postings — those on Indeed for a week or less — were down 45.3% 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 67% 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 31.4% 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 32.8% below last year’s trend, but that is better than the overall labor market. Meanwhile the trend in banking and finance postings is down 48.7% from 2019 which is closer to the economy-wide average, but on the slower side.
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 29.9% compared to last year while pharmacy postings are down 26%.
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 much steeper drop in postings than the national average.
Globally, New Zealand has seen the most severe slowdown in overall postings (64%) while the United Kingdom is experiencing the largest slowdown in new postings (66%), 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.
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 May 1, 2019, but only 20% from February 1, 2020, to May 1, 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 May 1 (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.