We regularly update this report to track the pandemic’s effects on the labor market.
Job postings on Indeed are a real-time measure of labor market activity. On August 13, 2021, they were 36.6% above February 1, 2020, the pre-pandemic baseline, after adjusting for seasonal variation. Postings were up 0.7 percentage points in the past week and essentially unchanged from four weeks ago.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 10.1 million job openings at the end of June in its latest JOLTS report. Job postings on Indeed increased 2.1% between June 30 and August 13. If JOLTS openings have grown since June 30 at the same rate as Indeed job postings, that implies 10.3 million job openings as of August 13.
Job postings declining from high levels in goods sectors
Job postings in nearly all sectors are above the pre-pandemic baseline, led by manufacturing and loading & stocking. However, in the past four weeks job postings fell in those two sectors as well as in other goods-related sectors like construction and driving. These sectors have faced supply constraints in materials like lumber and semiconductors, which might be holding back hiring.
Human resources jobs are also far above baseline, as employers are eager to hire the people who will help them hire others. HR job postings are 71% above baseline and — unlike the goods-related sectors — several points higher than four weeks ago.
Postings for work that can’t be done from home recovered first and strongest. The shift to remote work in the pandemic created jobs in sectors that supported the stay-at-home economy, like driving and warehouse jobs, that aren’t themselves work-from-home jobs. But job postings in high-remote sectors have recovered, too. Tech, finance, engineering, and research job postings have increased in the past four weeks.
Job postings show employers are eager to hire
Employers are eager to hire — and that shows up not just in the number of job postings, but also in what those job postings say. Mentions of both urgent hiring and hiring incentives, such as signing bonuses, eased down a bit at the end of July but stabilized in the first half of August.
The share of job postings that use words like “hiring urgently” has jumped more than 50% since the start of the year. While job postings have been rebounding steadily since last summer, in recent months job postings have increasingly mentioned urgent hiring.
Furthermore, employers are offering bonuses and other hiring incentives. The share of job postings that mention hiring incentives was 4.4% on August 13, more than twice as high as a year ago. Much of the increase in incentives has come just in the last several months.
Metros where job postings have recovered more slowly
Within the US, job postings are solidly back up above the pre-pandemic baseline in all large metros. Job postings have recovered least in Honolulu and Washington DC.
Postings are furthest above the pre-pandemic baseline in large and mid-size metros in the South and West, though not along the expensive west coast. Several of these metros have high employment in construction, warehousing, and other goods-related sectors.
Job postings fell more initially in travel and tourism destinations. But job postings have rebounded more slowly in metros where a higher share of jobs can be done from home. In high work-from-home metros, postings in retail, restaurant, and personal-services jobs suffered. Postings in these metros finally rose above the pre-pandemic baseline at the end of March.
We host the underlying job-postings chart data on Github as downloadable CSV files. Typically, it will be updated with the latest data one day after this blog post was published.
All figures in this blog post are the percentage change in seasonally-adjusted job postings since February 1, 2020, using a seven-day trailing average. February 1, 2020, is our pre-pandemic baseline. We seasonally adjust each series based on historical patterns in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Each series, including the national trend, occupational sectors, and sub-national geographies, is seasonally adjusted separately. We adopted this new methodology in January 2021. Data for June 24-30, 2021, are missing and were interpolated.
Indeed no longer allows Colorado jobs that ask the candidate to disclose their previous salaries. This has a meaningful effect on our postings in the state of Colorado and its metros, though not on our national totals.
The number of job postings on Indeed.com, whether related to paid or unpaid job solicitations, is not indicative of potential revenue or earnings of Indeed, which comprises a significant percentage of the HR Technology segment of its parent company, Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. Job posting numbers are provided for information purposes only and should not be viewed as an indicator of performance of Indeed or Recruit. Please refer to the Recruit Holdings investor relations website and regulatory filings in Japan for more detailed information on revenue generation by Recruit’s HR Technology segment.