02/09/2022 Jeni Kramer

Q4 jobs update: Remember normal?!?

Well, we’re officially more than a month into 2022. You know what they say, time flies when you’re on the third calendar year of a global pandemic. (They say that, right?) As we all continue to find our way forward, we’re taking a look back to see what we can learn from where we’ve already been. In this case, we’re digging into Q4 of 2021 for a read on end of the year job market trends in yet another truly crazy year. 

To begin, the fourth quarter saw active jobs down 5.45% overall. This decline is the first after four consecutive quarters of job listing growth. Typically such a downturn might be cause for alarm, but with the last two years thrown into the chaos of the pandemic, this slowdown could simply signal a shift back to normal, predictable seasonal patterns. Ahhhh. Normal…predictable…just hearing those words is like music to your ears, isn’t it? 

In the fourth quarter we also saw a large increase in the number of days an average job listing stays posted, up almost 20% in Q4 from 53 days to 63 days on average. 

Looking at how different occupations fared in the fourth quarter, we saw only four with an increase in listings. Computer and Mathematical Occupations had the sharpest increase, with 8.25% growth in Q4. That was followed by Architecture and Engineering, up 3.90%; Business and Financial Operations, up 3.25%; and finally Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations, up only 2.44% for the quarter.  

Far more occupations experienced a decline in job listings in Q4, with two occupations nearly tied for the bottom spot: Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations were down 14.70% and, surprisingly, Educational Instruction and Library Occupations were down 14.61%. Other occupations showing large declines in job growth in Q4, such as (Sales, Food Service and Transportation) have been some of the most frequently discussed as we move through the pandemic recovery.

Speaking of recovery, as we move through 2022 many are still trying to predict just what the rest of this year might have in store. Surprisingly, it seems that despite the events of the last two years, our collective optimism has remained intact. A recent poll by French market research firm Ipsos asked more than 22,000 people across 33 markets around the world to share what they thought the next twelve months would bring with regard to the pandemic, the environment, the economy, society, technology and life in general. Results of this poll were refreshingly positive, with more than three-quarters of respondents optimistic that this year will be better than the last. We’ll be retiring the Magic-8 ball now, THIS is the prediction we’d like to run with!

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