12/16/2021 Jeni Kramer

Job Market Insights: December 2021

November Job Market Trends

Someone grab a sled, it looks like we might just be on a seasonal slide! After almost a year and a half of the steady job listing growth that followed early 2020’s COVID cliff, we are finally showing signs of typical seasonality with an expected end-of-year dip in active job listings.

Job listing decline was widespread for the month of November, across 98% of states to be precise. Only Hawaii saw an increase in active listings, and only a moderate one at +1.9%. 

The average movement for states for the month was -5.9%. The Midwest was hit hard in November, with the highest decline occurring in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota–all experienced a drop in active listings around 8%.

November also brought declines in jobs for 100% of industries. Sectors with the most significant  drop for the month were Utilities, down 9.7%; Transportation and Warehousing down 9.6%; and Retail Trade down 9.1%. The sector with the least decline in active job listings was Accommodation and Food Services, a clear nod to the industry’s ongoing struggle to attract workers to open jobs. 

Waiting for the boom

Looking at typical job search patterns for this time of year, we expect to see additional decline until about a week into January. Seasonal tradition dictates lower job seeker activity before the holidays. A testament to just how few interview-ready ugly holiday sweaters are readily available, perhaps? (Maybe not.)

However, the difference we see this year is that the holiday traffic dip is starting much lower than it did last year. Typically, within a week into the new year job searches tend to spike again–given the lower than normal starting point, 2022 has the potential for a massive spike. 

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