While the stash of choice Halloween candy is already a distant memory (RIP peanut butter cups) the third quarter is still top of mind as we try to anticipate what the remainder of this chaotic year might bring. Overall, job listings in the U.S. were down in the month of October, the only decline in job demand that we’ve seen this year, except for the small dip observed in June.
This slow down in job listings is being seen across a majority of states, industries, and occupations. And as the pace has been changing, the employment-population ratio has been slowly going up—landing at 58.8% in October.
Yet we’re nowhere near full employment. As it stands, the labor shortage experienced by employers for much of 2021 stubbornly plods on.
Currently 42 states have more jobs available than people looking to fill them. Speculation as to why continues, with possible reasons ranging from COVID concerns to raised expectations for starting pay. The ongoing trend is a troublesome signal of what could lie ahead for the economy. And experts agree there is little hope for a full, equitable recovery until women return to the labor force in equal rates to men.”
The industry view
Looking at jobs by industry, we continue to see changes as well. The only industry with recent job increases is the Retail Trade sector (+2%), while Health Care and Social Assistance job listings stayed even in October. The remaining 74% of industries reduced their job listings last month. Job listings in Accommodation and Food Services saw the largest drop (-6.0%).
The transportation industry, in particular, is in the midst of a major shakeup. While job listings were down last month, demand remains high as the industry struggles to bring in younger drivers and women to fill the void left by the recent wave of retirees.
For graphs of job openings by occupation, check out our recent post Q3 jobs update: Insights from a seeker’s market.
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