Labor Market Trends | June 2021

Real-time Indicators from the ZipRecruiter Jobs Marketplace

All information in this article was up to date when published on 7/1/2021. The job market in the United States and around the world is changing quickly. We will update these indicators on a monthly basis. 

Overall Job Postings

Job postings continued to surge in June, 2021. On any given day during the month, the number of active online job postings across the U.S. was 11.6% higher, on average, than during the prior month. There are now 52.6% more jobs posted online than there were in pre-Covid February 2020.*

The increase reflects strong employer demand for workers driven by rapid recent improvements in mobility and demand for services.   

Job Postings by State

Job postings rose in every state in June, with one-month growth ranging from around 1% in Massachusetts to around 20% in Alabama. June job posting levels exceeded pre-Covid levels in every state, with growth since the start of the pandemic ranging from around 20% in Maryland to around 130% in West Virginia.     

Top 5 States with the Largest Increases in Job Postings Since the Pandemic

  1. West Virginia (129.64%)
  2. District of Columbia (116.69%)
  3. Mississippi (116.08%)
  4. Alabama (115.43%)
  5. South Dakota (108.62%)

Bottom 5 States with the Smallest Percent Increases in Job Postings Since the Pandemic

  1. Massachusetts (1.27%)
  2. Missouri (10.03%)
  3. Oregon (10.59%)
  4. North Dakota (10.83%)
  5. Delaware (11.22%)

Job Postings by Industry

In the early months of the pandemic, job postings fell most steeply in travel, tourism, and arts and entertainment, with maximum declines exceeding 60%. Meanwhile, job postings in transportation and storage, retail, and agriculture were relatively modestly affected, declining between 10% and 30% initially. 

Job postings have since recovered and now exceed their pre-pandemic levels in all industries, although the timing and extent of the recoveries has varied. Job postings in transportation and storage received a boost from the pandemic-related shift to e-commerce and are now 232% above their pre-Covid levels. 

Job Seekers per Job Posting 

The recovery in job postings has so far outpaced the recovery in labor force participation. As a result, many employers are reporting staffing shortages and difficulty hiring. In the ZipRecruiter marketplace, there is substantial variation in the numbers of job seekers per job posting across industries and cities. 

The most severe labor shortages are being felt in healthcare fields, such as speech pathology and nursing, the technology sector, and the food industry. By contrast, the numbers of job seekers per posting are about 50% higher than average or more in industries with a large share of remote opportunities, such as customer service, media, and business services. There are also large numbers of job seekers per posting in industries that suffered large job losses early in the pandemic and still have high unemployment rates, such as energy, tourism, and travel.    

There is also substantial geographical variation in the number of job seekers per posting. In several cities in Alaska and Idaho, employers typically receive only one-tenth to one-fifth as many applications per vacancy as is typical nationwide. Meanwhile, employers based in multiple cities in New Jersey and California can often expect up to ten times as many applicants per job posting as is typical nationwide. 

By affecting industries and cities so differently, the pandemic has only exacerbated these labor market imbalances and widened the gaps in labor supply across industries and cities. That is creating upward pressure on wages and working hours, posing challenges for certain employers, but also creating opportunities for job seekers.   

 *ZipRecruiter, Inc. internal data, January 1, 2020–June 30, 2021. The count aggregates job listings from thousands of websites and is de-duplicated based on company name, job title, and location. Note that one job posting does not necessarily equal one position since a single posting may advertise multiple vacancies, and multiple postings in separate locations may advertise a single vacancy.

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At ZipRecruiter, our mission is to connect employers and job seekers with their next great opportunity. On the ZipRecruiter blog, we use insider experience and data derived from our AI-driven jobs marketplace to provide advice and insights on topics such as the job search process, interviewing, and labor market trends. Start your job search or post a job today and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

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