Job Market Report: Labor Market Heats Up In July, Job Openings Up 4.6 Percent, Pay Up 1.9 Percent

July marks the longest economic expansion on record for the U.S., and Glassdoor’s data suggest that the good times are not over yet. The U.S. labor market grew steadily in July, extending a trend of stable, slower growth in 2019. Glassdoor’s latest Job Market Report shows that, in July, job openings rose a healthy 4.6 percent and median base pay rose 1.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

Growth in job openings in July rebounded robustly from dramatic deceleration earlier in the year. In March 2019, annual growth in job openings had stagnated to just 0.1 percent. While July’s 4.6 percent growth in job openings is still half the average annual growth rate of 9.9 percent in 2018, the level of job postings on Glassdoor is near historic highs at 5.85 million, indicating a healthy labor market with no shortage of demand for workers.

The figure below shows the trend in job openings on Glassdoor since January 2017 (blue line), as well as the year-over-year growth rate in job openings (green line).

Pay growth on Glassdoor ticked up to 1.9 percent, with median base pay rising to $53,602 per year from a year ago. That’s roughly in line with the trend from the last 3 months and still below the 2.6 percent average pay growth we saw in the second half of 2018. Stubbornly low pay growth gives breathing room for the Federal Reserve to cut rates without worrying about inflation. But it is concerning that the tight labor market and high demand for talent are still not translating into faster pay growth for American workers. 

The figure below shows the trend in U.S. median base pay on Glassdoor since January 2017 (blue line), as well as the year-over-year growth rate in pay (green line).

After a disappointing jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May followed by an encouraging report in June, Friday’s jobs report will be watched closely for clarity into which way the labor market is headed. Glassdoor’s July Job Market Report suggests that while growth is slowing in 2019, the labor market remains healthy.

Let’s take a closer look at growth in job openings and pay on Glassdoor in July 2019. 

Local Metro Trends in Job Opening and Pay Growth

  • Boston topped the list of metros with the fastest growth in job openings on Glassdoor, the only metro with double digit growth at 10.6 percent. The growth was driven primarily by an increase in job openings in healthcare & hospitals (+13.2 percent) and restaurants & bars (+11.8 percent).
  • In addition to Boston, other major metro areas like Philadelphia (+8.3 percent), Atlanta (+7.3 percent) and Seattle (+7.1 percent) also experienced healthy growth in job openings faster than their larger counterparts like New York City (+2.9 percent) and Los Angeles (+1.0 percent). Boston was also tied for the second-fastest pay growth in July at 2.6 percent, well above the national average.
  • July marks the 12th consecutive month that San Francisco has topped the list of metros with the fastest pay growth. In July, median base pay in San Francisco rose by 3.6 percent, almost double the national average, to $72,878. However, job openings in San Francisco grew only 1.1 percent, suggesting that the increasing cost of hiring may be pushing employers to consider looking for talent elsewhere across the country.

Below is a list of job openings and median base pay growth for all 10 U.S. metros in our July 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 5,846,584 4.6% $53,602 1.9%
Boston 152,376 10.6% $61,767 2.6%
Philadelphia 111,072 8.3% $56,737 1.0%
Atlanta 122,589 7.3% $55,124 2.1%
Seattle 112,827 7.1% $63,034 2.2%
Washington DC 181,794 3.9% $61,526 2.6%
New York City 300,988 2.9% $63,991 2.2%
Chicago 192,842 2.4% $58,009 1.6%
San Francisco 143,756 1.1% $72,878 3.6%
Los Angeles 212,767 1.0% $62,694 2.6%
Houston 96,830 -2.5% $56,916 2.2%

Trends in Job Opening Growth

  • Transportation & logistics job openings shot up 40.2 percent in July, faster than any other industry we track. July saw Amazon’s Prime Day sales surpass its Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined, indicative of the increasing power and growth of the e-commerce industry. As consumer spending shifts online, the demand for workers in transportation & logistics—like truck drivers, operations managers and logistics specialists—increases. This is translating into pay raises for the workers  who form the backbone of the industry, like warehouse associates (+4.4 percent pay growth) and truck drivers (+3.6 percent).
  • Job openings in information technology (+13.8 percent) and internet & tech (-21.4 percent) have diverged. It’s important to remember, however, that despite the focus on the Googles and Amazons of the world, hiring in these sectors is much more diverse. Many small-to-medium employers rely on third-party software or contractors to support their IT needs, and as technology adoption increases, demand for these workers will continue to increase.
  • Restaurants & bars added 56,805 job openings in July (compared to June) as summer hiring hits its peak. The decrease in teen summer employment post-recession and the ever-tightening labor market are making it harder for the food services industry to fill open roles.
  • Job openings at the largest employers rebounded in July, stemming several months of declining job openings. Although the growth rate for large employers is small, they still have an outsize impact on the labor market—employers with over 5,000 employees represent almost half of job openings in the U.S.
  • On the other hand, July marks the 24th straight month of double-digit growth in job openings for small businesses. This consistent growth reflects both the length of the economic expansion putting money in the coffers of small businesses as well as the difficulty they face when competing against large employers in a historically tight labor market.

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

Top 5 Industries with Fastest Growth in Job Openings

Industry Job Openings YoY %
Transportation & Logistics 287,100 40.2%
Accounting & Legal 49,133 33.9%
Media & Publishing 29,816 23.5%
Government 127,285 22.2%
Information Technology 145,642 13.8%

Top 5 Industries with Slowest Growth in Job Openings

Industry Job Openings YoY %
Consumer Electronics 8,937 -38.2%
Telecommunications 34,312 -24.1%
Travel & Tourism 83,793 -22.0%
Internet & Tech 52,887 -21.4%
Supermarkets 93,550 -15.8%

Growth in Job Openings by Employer Size

Employer Size Job Openings YoY %
<51 543,984 23.8%
51-200 471,206 9.3%
201-500 460,483 5.5%
501-1000 335,184 -1.7%
1001-5000 974,662 2.4%
5000+ 2,586,337 1.0%

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

Trends in Pay Growth

  • Wages in manufacturing picked up in July, with machine operators (+5.4 percent) and production managers (+3.5 percent) seeing the highest pay growth in the sector. Other manufacturing jobs like material handlers (+2.5 percent), manufacturing engineers (+2.4 percent) and process engineers (+2.0 percent) saw pay growth above the national average. Despite ongoing concerns about trade tensions and a slowdown in manufacturing, a shortage of skilled workers is still driving wages up. And while job openings in manufacturing are still down 8.2 percent compared to the same period last year, July does break an 8-month streak of falling job openings with a 3.4 percent month-over-month increase.
  • Many low-wage jobs like pharmacy technicians (+6.4 percent) and security officers (+4.1 percent) are continuing to see the fastest pay growth in this expansion. Fierce competition for workers and trickle-up effects from minimum wage increases are driving wages higher. Public pressure has convinced 21 states and D.C. to raise minimum wages in the last year and, earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill raising the minimum wage to $15. While federal action is no guarantee, the 2020 election is likely to increase attention on policies to support low-wage workers. 
  • Jobs in the healthcare industry like pharmacy technician (+6.4 percent) and physical therapist (+3.5 percent) saw strong pay gains in July. As the American population ages, the need for healthcare workers will only increase. And while wages for physicians may be higher than for other healthcare workers, these jobs are more accessible to Americans looking to enter the healthcare industry.

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

Top 10 Job Titles with Fastest Pay Growth

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Pharmacy Technician $31,724 6.4%
Machine Operator $40,704 5.4%
Warehouse Associate $44,112 4.4%
Security Officer $36,124 4.1%
Field Engineer $72,974 4.1%
Sales Representative $49,524 3.7%
Customer Service Representative $38,243 3.7%
Truck Driver $55,195 3.6%
Production Manager $69,578 3.5%
Physical Therapist $76,375 3.5%

Top 10 Job Titles with Slowest Pay Growth

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Business Development Manager $68,987 -3.3%
Maintenance Worker $41,228 -3.1%
Attorney $97,422 -1.7%
Human Resources Manager $69,636 -1.0%
Pharmacist $126,442 -0.7%
Financial Advisor $54,517 0.0%
Solutions Architect $106,913 0.2%
Customer Service Manager $54,678 0.3%
Professor $87,341 0.3%
Programmer Analyst $70,211 0.5%

You can view the full dataset of median base pay and pay growth by job title as of July 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 172,000 new jobs added to payrolls and an unemployment rate steady at 3.6 percent in July.

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.