Job Market Report: Job Opening Growth Flat at -0.4 Percent, Pay Growth Stable at 1.4 Percent in April

Following a weak start to the year, job opening growth is flat compared to April 2018, while wage growth has stabilized. The softness in growth for both job openings and wages indicate a slowing labor market, following a strong 2018. While the slowdown is concerning, it doesn’t signal doom and gloom against the backdrop of a historically tight labor market.

This month, I’m excited to announce the inaugural edition of the Glassdoor Job Market Report, an expansion of Glassdoor’s Local Pay Reports that presents a more detailed and real-time view of job openings across the United States. Why report on job openings? Job openings are like a crystal ball into employer expectations of the U.S. economy. Employers can open or close job postings instantly in response to fast-changing economic trends or world events. However, it can take weeks or even months to hire or lay off workers in response to changes in the economy or other news.

Similar reports are often based on data from several months prior, which is too long given today’s fast-moving economy. With the Job Market Report, Glassdoor Economic Research leverages the power of big data to look ahead at the economy by offering the latest pulse on what’s happening in the job market right now. For more information, check out the Job Market Report Methodology and FAQ.

Job openings in the U.S. increased to nearly 5.6 million in April 2019, up 1.0 percent from March but still down 0.4 percent year-over-year. While job openings ticked up month-over-month, they remain below their October peak of 5.8 million job openings. It’s a stark contrast to previous years, which saw strong growth in job openings in the first quarter as companies returned from the holidays and ramped up hiring.

Median base pay for full-time workers in the U.S. increased to $52,807 per year in April 2019, up 1.4 percent from April 2018. Despite a dip in growth at the beginning of the year, wage growth has stabilized and, with qualified workers still scarce, we expect that wage growth will pick up in the coming months.

Let’s take a closer look at what happened in April in the job market on Glassdoor.

Local Metro Trends in Job Opening and Pay Growth

  • Atlanta hits an ideal sweet spot with the fastest job opening growth (up 7.9 percent) and solidly above average pay growth (up 2.2 percent). As the school year ends, Atlanta could be an ideal option for recent grads on the hunt for new job opportunities and good pay potential.
  • Tech hub San Francisco saw the fastest annual pay growth for the ninth month in a row, with median base pay rising 2.6 percent to $72,030 per year, higher than any other U.S. metro we track. However, job openings actually decreased by 2.9 percent. Notably, housing in San Francisco is notoriously expensive and limited in supply, which can drive low- and even middle-income workers out of the city.
  • The Houston metro area grew the slowest amongst U.S. metro areas with pay actually shrinking 0.6 percent and job openings decreasing 5.1 percent. Houston is dependent on the energy industry and falling oil prices at the end of 2018 may still be weighing on the local job market.

Below is a list of growth in job openings and median base pay for all 10 U.S. metros in our April 2019 Job Market Report:

Growth in Job Openings and Pay Across 10 Major U.S. Metros

Area Job Openings YoY % Median Base Pay YoY %
U.S. National 5,580,498 -0.4% $52,807 1.4%
Atlanta 120,531 7.9% $54,829 2.2%
Boston 142,341 4.2% $60,864 1.8%
Seattle 107,601 2.2% $62,850 1.9%
Philadelphia 105,523 1.4% $56,625 1.6%
Chicago 192,155 0.8% $57,035 1.6%
Los Angeles 202,389 -2.8% $61,648 1.9%
San Francisco 140,309 -2.9% $72,030 2.6%
New York City 290,792 -3.9% $63,507 1.9%
Washington, D.C. 171,252 -4.1% $60,758 1.5%
Houston 91,853 -5.1% $55,522 -0.6%

Trends in Job Opening Growth

  • Internet & tech, an industry that includes companies like Facebook and Google, saw a large decline in job openings in April (down 28.5 percent). The tech industry benefited from strong growth in early 2018, but job openings flattened in the second-half of 2018 to present. Large employers were particularly hesitant to ramp hiring, likely in part because a series of scandals and potential new regulations around technology and data privacy issues clouded expectations for the near future. This contrasts with other technology industries with rapid growth in open jobs like information technology, which includes companies from IBM to Dell EMC.
  • Job openings at supermarkets decreased 22.3 percent in April. E-commerce has continued to expand into new retail markets, and the rising investment in grocery delivery by Wal-Mart and Amazon increases competition for smaller supermarket stores and chains.
  • Small employers with less than 200 employees saw the fastest growth in job openings, whereas the largest employers with over 5,000 employees actually saw job openings decrease. Increasing confidence among small businesses is a good sign for the health of the economy and may signal that they’re largely inured to the effects of government stimulus wearing off and trade headwinds blowing.

Below are lists of the industries with the fastest and slowest growth in job openings in our April 2019 Job Market Report, and growth in job openings segmented by employer size:

Top 5 Industries with Fastest Growth in Job Openings

Industry Job Openings YoY %
Consumer Electronics 11,083 60.2%
Insurance 82,914 29.9%
Accounting & Legal 51,696 23.6%
Information Technology 169,143 22.9%
Facilities 44,712 17.4%

Top 5 Industries with Slowest Growth in Job Openings

Industry Job Openings YoY %
Internet & Tech 69,129 -28.5%
Telecommunications 34,278 -22.4%
Supermarkets 87,909 -22.3%
Restaurants & Bars 442,272 -16.9%
Travel & Tourism 93,452 -15.8%

Growth in Job Openings by Employer Size

Employer Size Job Openings YoY %
<51 533,151 14.5%
51-200 486,565 8.9%
201-500 445,838 1.4%
501-1000 337,410 -8.9%
1001-5000 971,870 7.7%
5000+ 2,382,728 -3.6%

You can view the full dataset of job openings growth by industry and employer size as of April 2019 here.

Trends in Pay Growth

  • Pay for web developers rose 3.5 percent in April—the only tech role to break into the top 10 jobs with the fastest pay growth. Web development is a more accessible technical skill that doesn’t necessarily require a higher degree, offering an upward path for workers. As the technology and skills behind web development continue to evolve, demand and pay for experienced workers should continue to rise.
  • Jobs in the manufacturing industry like machine operator saw solid wage growth in April. The manufacturing industry had a strong 2018, driving employers to hire more and raise wages to attract increasingly scarce workers. While trade headwinds are a concern for the industry in the future, pay growth today is healthy.
  • Low-wage jobs that pay under $40,000 a year, like bartenders,  cashiers and bank tellers, saw strong wage growth in April, continuing a trend from recent months. This is a positive sign that minimum wage increases and the continuing tightness of the labor market are reaching workers lower on the income spectrum.

Below are the jobs with the fastest and slowest year-over-year growth in median base pay for full-time U.S. workers in April:

Top 10 Job Titles with Fastest Pay Growth

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Bartender $35,309 9.6%
Pharmacy Technician $31,609 7.4%
Material Handler $37,350 4.9%
Truck Driver $55,741 4.6%
Cashier $27,821 4.6%
Bank Teller $31,915 4.6%
Office Manager $48,060 4.2%
Machine Operator $39,870 4.0%
Security Officer $35,646 3.6%
Web Developer $67,158 3.5%

Top 10 Job Titles with Slowest Pay Growth

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Financial Advisor $53,196 -3.0%
Attorney $97,316 -2.8%
Insurance Agent $42,585 -1.4%
Maintenance Worker $40,222 -1.3%
Program Manager $74,357 -1.3%
Business Development Manager $69,524 -0.5%
Pharmacist $126,688 -0.5%
Sales Manager $62,054 -0.3%
Human Resources Manager $69,159 -0.2%
Marketing Manager $67,228 -0.2%

You can view the full dataset of median base pay and pay growth by job title as of April 2019 here.

How Does it Work?

Note: Beginning in April 2019, the Glassdoor Job Market Report launched as an expansion of what was previously known as the Local Pay Reports. The new Job Market Report will publish monthly ahead of the BLS jobs report and now includes newly available data on job openings in addition to pay data previously reported in the Local Pay Reports.

The Glassdoor Job Market Report provides a real-time view of job and hiring trends and wage growth in the U.S., including several metro areas, based on millions of online jobs and salaries on Glassdoor. As one of the world’s largest job sites, Glassdoor collects millions of job postings from a wide variety of online sources each month. In addition, Glassdoor is a leading source for real-time salary information, based on millions of crowd-sourced salary reports submitted online, voluntarily and anonymously, by current and former employees.

Leveraging the same technology behind Glassdoor’s powerful job search and Know Your Worth products, the Job Market Report applies proprietary data science and machine learning algorithms to Glassdoor data to aggregate and analyze online job openings and estimate wage growth across the nation, including in several U.S. metro areas.

By publishing and comparing month-by-month job growth and pay growth across the U.S. by metro, industry and more, the Job Market Report offers a fresh, forward-looking and more detailed perspective into how the job market and economy are changing, in relative real-time.

Read more in our full methodology and FAQs.

Monthly Jobs Report Expectations

The latest jobs report from the federal government is due out on Friday. This month, we expect to see 121,000 new jobs added to payrolls and an unemployment rate steady at 3.8 percent in April. See our full analysis for more commentary and predictions here.

The Glassdoor Job Market Report can be found at: https://www.glassdoor.com/research/job-market-report/. To learn more or subscribe to receive email alerts about new research, visit: https://www.glassdoor.com/research/.

Press inquiries: To speak with the Glassdoor Economic Research team about this month’s report and for any questions regarding the newly launched Job Market Report, please email pr@glassdoor.com.