According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released March 9th, 2022), the number of available job openings increased to 11.3 million. On the other side, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 3.8 percent in February, bringing the number of unemployed persons to 6.3 million.
Nothing seems to have changed for employers as they continue to struggle in finding quality employees in this highly competitive job market. Many have turned to alternative methods of recruiting such as talent sourcing and creative marketing to reach more people or potential employees.
As companies struggle to fill positions with quality candidates, their current employees are starting to see an increase in the necessity for overtime. Industries such as manufacturing are seeing an average workweek for all employees at 40.7 hours with overtime increasing by 0.2 hours to 3.6 hours on average. Other industries seeing an average workweek over 40+ hours include: Mining & Logging and Utilities.
Across all industries, we continue to see the average workweek increase. In February, the average workweek had increased to 34.7 hours for all employees.
Employers are quickly beginning to see the increasing difficulty in hiring candidates and are pulling out all the stops. “More companies are revealing salaries, benefits, and other perks than ever before. In fact, three times more job postings now advertise signing bonuses compared to 2016” (The Demographic Drought). However, even these previous “last-resorts” are no longer enough to find quality hires.
As companies struggle to hire from the increasingly-limited talent pool, many are turning to employment services. Jobs added in employment services increased by 44,100 in February of 2022 with 36,000 of those jobs in Temporary Help Services alone. These kinds of services are quickly becoming a lifeline for employers as they navigate the competitive job market.
Economic success and labor necessity has led many industries to add more jobs over the last two years since the pandemic. Industries such as construction are seeing large increases with 60,000 jobs added in February and are starting to inch toward their pre-pandemic levels.
Other notable changes occurred in some industries as follows:
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Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022a, March). JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – JANUARY 2022. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/jolts.pdf
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022b, March). THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — FEBRUARY 2022. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf