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 October 8, 2021, they were 46.1% above February 1, 2020, the pre-pandemic baseline, after adjusting for seasonal variation. Postings were up 1.1 percentage points in the past week.

Line graph titled “Job postings on Indeed, United States.” With a vertical axis ranging from -50% to 50%, Indeed tracked the percent change in job postings between February 1, 2020 and October 8, 2021. On October 8, 2021, job postings were 46.1% above February 1, 2020, the pre-pandemic baseline. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 10.4 million job openings at the end of August in its latest JOLTS report. Job postings on Indeed increased 4.2% between August 31 and October 8. If JOLTS openings have grown since August 31 at the same rate as Indeed job postings, that implies 10.8 million job openings as of October 8.

Lots of postings for HR and manufacturing jobs

Job postings in nearly all sectors are above the pre-pandemic baseline, led by human resources and production & manufacturing. Pharmacy jobs have also risen as vaccination rates rise and flu season approaches. Despite being on the other side of the delta surge, job postings flattened in some in-person sectors like food prep, and dipped in beauty & wellness as COVID-19 cases remain high.

Table titled “Some sectors have been hit harder than others.” Indeed compared the percent change in US job postings, between February 1, 2020, and October 8, 2021 across various sectors divided into sections “Better than economy average,” “Similar to economy average,” and “Worse than economy average.” Human resources and production & manufacturing jobs are highest relative to baseline.

Human resources jobs are far above baseline, as employers are eager to hire the people who will help them hire others. HR job postings are 92.9% above baseline and have climbed 9 points higher than four weeks ago.

Line graph titled “HR job postings up sharply.” With a vertical axis ranging from -80% to 120%, Indeed tracked the percent change in job postings between February 1, 2020 and October 8, 2021 with lines representing “overall” and “HR.” HR jobs are ahead of the overall trend.

Employers are also sweetening job offers to try to attract workers. Nearly 5% of job postings on Indeed are advertising hiring incentives, like cash or signing bonuses. That’s a substantial increase from a year ago when only 2.3% of job postings advertised incentives. 

Line graph titled “Postings advertising hiring incentives rise.” With a vertical axis ranging from 0% to 5%, Indeed tracked the share of job postings between July 1, 2020 and October 8, 2021 that advertise hiring incentives like signing bonuses or cash.

Metros where job postings have recovered more slowly

Within the US, job postings are up essentially everywhere. Except for Honolulu, postings are at least 20% above the pre-pandemic baseline in all large metros.

Table titled “Metros with slowest growth in job postings.” Indeed listed the US metros with the largest declines in job postings between February 1, 2020 and October 8, 2021. Job postings are back above baseline in all large metros. 

Job postings are now up almost as much in large metros as in smaller metros. The gap between job postings growth in the largest and smallest metros is now only 4 percentage points, a far cry from the 15 point gap a year ago. 

Line graph titled “Job postings up in places large and small.” With a vertical axis ranging from -50% to 60%, Indeed tracked the percent change in job postings between February 1, 2020 and October 8, 2021 with lines representing small, medium, larger, and largest metros. Job postings increased first in the smallest metros, but more recently the gap between small and large metros has narrowed. 

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 blogpost 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.