We regularly update this report to track the pandemic’s effects on the labour market. Our methodology changed at the start of 2021 — see note at end of post.
Job postings — a real-time measure of labour market activity — were 16.2% below the February 1, 2020, pre-pandemic baseline, seasonally adjusted, as of March 26, 2021. That was unchanged from a week earlier.
As we near the end of the first quarter, there has been improvement since the start of the year, when the gap was -27.2%. The Irish government has announced some modest easing of lockdown rules from mid-April, but hardest-hit sectors like personal services, hospitality and sports will have to wait a while longer.
Wide variation in sectoral performance
While job postings in those sectors that rely on face-to-face contact remain depressed, other categories are running well above pre-pandemic levels, notably certain healthcare and social care occupations.
We will continue to provide regular updates on these trends as the situation evolves. We also host the data behind the postings trends plots on Github as downloadable CSV files. Typically, the site will be updated with the latest data one day after the respective Hiring Lab tracker is published.
All figures in this blogpost are the percentage change in seasonally-adjusted job postings since February 1, 2020, using a 7-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 switched to this new methodology in January 2021 and now report all historical data using this new methodology. Historical numbers have been revised and may differ significantly from originally reported values. The new methodology applies a detrended seasonal adjustment factor to the percentage change in job postings. In contrast, our previous methodology used the 2019 change between February 1 and the reported date as the adjustment factor, which implicitly included both a seasonality component and the underlying trend.
For nearly all series, job postings trended upward in 2019. The new methodology no longer subtracts out the underlying 2019 trend, so most historical figures are higher (i.e. less negative relative to the February 1, 2020 baseline) with the new methodology than originally reported.
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.