Recovery Flattening in July as Protracted Recovery Looms


August 5, 2020

Key Findings

  • U.S. job openings fell to 4.8 million, 20 percent below pre-crisis levels. Job openings improved in fits and starts throughout July, resulting in no gains compared to late June. Such unsteady progress raises the prospect of an increasingly protracted recovery.
  • Job openings in tech (+16.5 percent month-over-month), health care (+11.9 percent) and consumer services (+9.8 percent) grew,  driving up demand for e-commerce  and health care as COVID-19 outbreaks escalated around the country.
  • Regional examples of virus-driven demand: In the hard-hit South, job openings in food services declined 3.7 percent month-over-month while health care job openings surged 18.7 percent, a sign that the pandemic is reversing economic gains in some industries while also driving demand for frontline responders.
  • What to expect in the July Jobs Report? This Friday’s report comes at a critical juncture for the American economy as Congressional negotiations over extending financial relief continue. Early evidence suggests the report will show a significant slowdown in the pace of recovery. It could, although unlikely, even show net payroll declines or a rise in unemployment. Even a slowdown would be a powerful reminder that the solid pace of recovery seen in May and June cannot be taken for granted.

The economic recovery is progressing in fits and starts as the country grapples with resurgent COVID-19 outbreaks. Glassdoor’s latest Job Market Report shows that, as of July 27, 4.8 million job openings are available, unchanged from the prior week and from the prior peak reached in late  June.

Job openings appeared to be on the path to recovery in early June, but resurgent outbreaks of COVID-19 in July tapped the brakes on the economy, halting the rapid pace of recovery and stalling economic gains. This sideways trajectory is especially concerning when job openings are still down 20 percent relative to pre-crisis levels, and an increasingly protracted recovery risks making the negative effects of the crisis longer-lasting.

Ultimately, the lesson over the last two months is that getting the public health crisis under control is key to economic normalcy.  While a solid pace of recovery is possible, the economy remains extremely fragile and any progress can be easily and quickly reversed.

Based on an analysis of employer job posting behavior on Glassdoor, 36 percent of employers have reduced job openings from June 22 to July 27. This is only slightly more than the share of employers increasing job openings (34 percent) but worse than the recovery period in early June. Conditions are still better than the first three months of the crisis, an indicator that the recovery is progressing but doing so cautiously.

Change in Job Openings by Industry

  • While job openings were essentially unchanged week-over-week (-0.2 percent), they did increase 4.5 percent month-over-month. This is partially due to the unsteady recovery over the last two months. Job openings in the same period last month were weak, causing month-over-month growth in the latest data to look unusually strong.
  • Tech job openings increased 16.5 percent month-over-month. Many big tech companies reported earnings well above expectations last week, a signal that even during the crisis, tech companies are expanding their businesses. And as localities reverse reopening, tech companies in e-commerce will need to hire to keep up with demand. Consumer services (+9.8 percent month-over-month), including many consumer delivery companies, also saw a similar bump in job openings
  • Health care job openings rose 11.9 percent month-over-month. At the beginning of the crisis, job openings for health care collapsed as the cancellation of elective procedures rippled through the industry. Now, health care providers are hiring again to respond to the recent outbreaks in COVID-19.

Change in Job Openings by Industry Group

Industry Group Week-over-Week Change Month-over-Month % Change
U.S. Total -0.2% 4.5%
Business Services -1.6% 1.6%
Construction & Real Estate Services 0.7% 2.9%
Consumer Services 1.8% 9.8%
Finance & Insurance -0.3% 3.9%
Food Services -0.6% -2.3%
Health Care 1.6% 11.9%
Manufacturing & Production 0.9% 4.0%
Public Services -0.4% -2.3%
Retail 1.7% 6.3%
Tech 0.6% 16.5%
Trade & Transportation 0.7% -0.3%

Note: Data as of July 27, 2020

Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report, July 2020

The chart below shows how some industries have trended over the course of the crisis. Note that office-based industries like business services, finance & insurance and tech continue to see low job growth. Despite rising in the last few weeks, they are still significantly depressed relative to other industries. By contrast, reopening initially boosted consumer services, food services and retail, but those gains have reversed since mid-June. Lastly, health care job openings have surged recently as the need for frontline workers to combat outbreaks continues to grow.

For more detailed data on job openings trends by industry and industry group, see our appendix below.

A Tale of Two Industries

The evolution of the public health crisis in recent weeks is most telling in how it has affected job openings in two industries: food services and health care. As states reopened, industries like food services were among the first to bounce back, but with resurgent outbreaks, many states have begun reimposing restrictions on non-essential business. Simultaneously, the increase in case counts has pushed health care providers to hire aggressively to combat the pandemic.

As case counts have escalated in recent weeks in the South, health care job openings have surged 18.7 percent month-over-month while food services job openings have dropped 3.7 percent, the largest swings of any Census region. Similar but more muted trends are occurring in the Midwest and West, which have also had outbreaks. In the Northeast, by contrast, job openings are more stable, growing mildly in both health care (+1.8 percent) and food services (+2.4 percent).

Food services and health care stand in contrast, two sides of the same coin, demonstrating that the pandemic is the dominating force controlling America’s economic trajectory.

Food Services & Health Care Job Openings Show Economic Impact of Second Wave

Month-over-Month % Change
Census Region Census Division Food Services Health Care
U.S. Total Total -2.3% 12.0%
Northeast New England 1.5% 5.6%
Middle Atlantic 2.8% -0.6%
Subtotal 2.4% 1.8%
Midwest East North Central -1.5% 6.9%
West North Central -1.9% 16.1%
Subtotal -1.6% 10.0%
South South Atlantic -2.8% 17.8%
East South Central -6.7% 18.3%
West South Central -3.5% 20.8%
Subtotal -3.7% 18.7%
West Mountain -5.4% 13.8%
Pacific -1.3% 14.2%
Subtotal -3.0% 12.0%

Note: Data as of July 27, 2020. Census regions and divisions as defined here.

Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report, July 2020

For more detailed data on job openings trends by state and for select metropolitan areas, see our appendix below.

What to Expect in the July Jobs Report

This Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release the July jobs report, the first jobs report to include the impact of the most recent coronavirus flare ups. While the May and June jobs reports showed a solid pace of recovery, many high frequency economic indicators have significantly slowed since late June in a sign that the recovery is stalling. While an outright negative report is less likely, it is alarmingly plausible.

The July jobs report comes at a time when Congress continues to negotiate over extending financial relief to tens of millions of Americans, including the now-expired supplementary unemployment benefits. This report will be closely watched by policymakers, and a significant slowdown in July would tamp down optimism about a V-shaped recovery and reinforce the fragility of the economy.

The last three months are a reminder that any economic recovery is dependent on getting the public health crisis under control. If reopening prematurely leads to growing outbreaks, economic gains will be fleeting at best, leaving the economy stuck in the doldrums. At worst, rising cases risk imperiling the already frail economy and sending us back into a double-dip recession.

Methodology

The job openings data for the selected dates is generated based on the methodology used in Glassdoor’s monthly Job Market Report, which provides a real-time view of hiring trends and wage growth across the U.S. based on millions of online jobs and salaries on Glassdoor. The data represents a snapshot of the number of job openings available on Glassdoor on the highlighted dates.

Week-over-week, month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons are based on the Mondays from the comparable period. Except where otherwise noted, no additional smoothing, averaging or seasonal adjustment for job openings data is performed. Because no smoothing or averaging takes place, the data may not be directly comparable to Glassdoor’s monthly Job Market Report.

Appendix

Each table may not sum up to total. For example, industry data may be missing for some employers.

Table A: Change in Job Openings by Industry

Job Openings Percent Change
Jul 27, 2020 Jul 20, 2020 Jun 29, 2020 Jul 29, 2019
Category Current Week Last Week Last Month Last Year Week-over-Week Month-over-Month Year-over-Year
Total 4,834,910 4,845,179 4,626,290 6,107,089 -0.2% 4.5% -20.8%
Accounting & Legal 31,467 31,193 30,562 49,898 0.9% 3.0% -36.9%
Aerospace & Defense 55,197 55,517 57,663 91,725 -0.6% -4.3% -39.8%
Architecture & Civil Engineering 25,849 26,016 26,420 44,883 -0.6% -2.2% -42.4%
Arts & Entertainment 25,969 25,656 25,890 53,657 1.2% 0.3% -51.6%
Automotive 82,685 81,014 76,107 107,751 2.1% 8.6% -23.3%
Banking & Financial Services 92,010 91,268 87,395 137,874 0.8% 5.3% -33.3%
Beauty & Fitness 59,162 59,664 60,498 83,030 -0.8% -2.2% -28.7%
Biotech & Pharmaceuticals 63,638 63,398 60,932 74,271 0.4% 4.4% -14.3%
Business Services 7,645 7,602 7,469 12,881 0.6% 2.4% -40.6%
Computer Software & Hardware 101,121 101,410 99,641 156,782 -0.3% 1.5% -35.5%
Construction 55,961 55,770 56,647 72,372 0.3% -1.2% -22.7%
Consulting 55,087 56,642 56,747 78,884 -2.7% -2.9% -30.2%
Consumer Electronics 8,095 7,972 7,447 13,951 1.5% 8.7% -42.0%
Consumer Services 24,412 22,563 14,067 15,158 8.2% 73.5% 61.1%
Education & Schools 163,095 161,999 161,295 259,384 0.7% 1.1% -37.1%
Energy & Utilities 33,255 32,677 31,887 53,411 1.8% 4.3% -37.7%
Facilities 44,995 43,938 39,992 51,458 2.4% 12.5% -12.6%
Farming & Agriculture 8,477 8,351 8,264 9,996 1.5% 2.6% -15.2%
Government 118,557 117,712 126,740 130,189 0.7% -6.5% -8.9%
Health Care & Hospitals 745,174 732,956 661,641 876,084 1.7% 12.6% -14.9%
Information Technology 104,701 111,066 104,675 184,486 -5.7% 0.0% -43.2%
Insurance 60,631 61,826 59,574 84,297 -1.9% 1.8% -28.1%
Internet & Tech 124,200 115,479 79,067 61,527 7.6% 57.1% 101.9%
Manufacturing 167,365 165,359 156,315 231,819 1.2% 7.1% -27.8%
Marketing & Advertising 56,289 57,642 48,431 65,012 -2.3% 16.2% -13.4%
Media & Publishing 12,417 12,015 11,345 27,602 3.3% 9.4% -55.0%
Nonprofit 56,654 59,832 58,388 73,760 -5.3% -3.0% -23.2%
Private Security 22,432 22,580 27,023 26,733 -0.7% -17.0% -16.1%
Real Estate 47,442 47,228 46,256 51,450 0.5% 2.6% -7.8%
Restaurants & Bars 457,102 459,962 467,845 639,248 -0.6% -2.3% -28.5%
Retail 385,963 379,427 361,728 508,622 1.7% 6.7% -24.1%
Supermarkets 92,781 91,424 88,832 97,272 1.5% 4.4% -4.6%
Telecommunications 24,564 24,226 23,205 40,177 1.4% 5.9% -38.9%
Transportation & Logistics 220,388 219,002 223,259 298,808 0.6% -1.3% -26.2%
Travel & Tourism 36,105 35,466 30,551 91,750 1.8% 18.2% -60.6%

Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report, July 2020

Table B: Change in Job Openings by Industry Group

Job Openings Percent Change
Jul 27, 2020 Jul 20, 2020 Jun 29, 2020 Jul 29, 2019
Category Current Week Last Week Last Month Last Year Week-over-Week Month-over-Month Year-over-Year
Total 4,834,910 4,845,179 4,626,290 6,107,089 -0.2% 4.5% -20.8%
Business Services 172,920 175,659 170,232 233,408 -1.6% 1.6% -25.9%
Construction & Real Estate Services 174,247 172,952 169,315 220,163 0.7% 2.9% -20.9%
Consumer Services 265,314 260,604 241,663 419,125 1.8% 9.8% -36.7%
Finance & Insurance 152,641 153,094 146,969 222,171 -0.3% 3.9% -31.3%
Food Services 457,102 459,962 467,845 639,248 -0.6% -2.3% -28.5%
Health Care 808,812 796,354 722,573 950,355 1.6% 11.9% -14.9%
Production 264,294 261,904 254,129 386,951 0.9% 4.0% -31.7%
Public Services 338,306 339,543 346,423 463,333 -0.4% -2.3% -27.0%
Retail 486,839 478,823 458,007 619,845 1.7% 6.3% -21.5%
Tech 330,022 327,955 283,383 402,795 0.6% 16.5% -18.1%
Trade & Transportation 242,601 240,886 243,381 331,628 0.7% -0.3% -26.8%

Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report, July 2020

Table C: Change in Job Openings by State

Job Openings Percent Change
Jul 27, 2020 Jul 20, 2020 Jun 29, 2020 Jul 29, 2019
Category Current Week Last Week Last Month Last Year Week-over-Week Month-over-Month Year-over-Year
Total 4,834,910 4,845,179 4,626,290 6,107,089 -0.2% 4.5% -20.8%
Remote 13,627 13,076 11,565 10,005 4.2% 17.8% 36.2%
AK 10,851 10,621 10,309 12,435 2.2% 5.3% -12.7%
AL 67,862 67,161 65,311 78,267 1.0% 3.9% -13.3%
AR 38,872 38,886 35,681 42,549 0.0% 8.9% -8.6%
AZ 107,534 108,416 101,423 124,748 -0.8% 6.0% -13.8%
CA 504,825 507,711 475,662 696,319 -0.6% 6.1% -27.5%
CO 95,502 95,316 93,439 135,418 0.2% 2.2% -29.5%
CT 51,942 51,968 51,274 71,373 -0.1% 1.3% -27.2%
DC 32,801 33,025 33,576 46,463 -0.7% -2.3% -29.4%
DE 17,828 17,814 17,139 20,218 0.1% 4.0% -11.8%
FL 263,543 263,092 248,274 328,670 0.2% 6.2% -19.8%
GA 157,986 156,875 148,086 200,701 0.7% 6.7% -21.3%
HI 12,782 12,663 12,939 19,925 0.9% -1.2% -35.8%
IA 51,419 50,875 47,820 58,878 1.1% 7.5% -12.7%
ID 20,418 19,928 19,233 22,693 2.5% 6.2% -10.0%
IL 195,291 192,338 185,544 259,268 1.5% 5.3% -24.7%
IN 106,466 104,866 104,243 120,284 1.5% 2.1% -11.5%
KS 45,605 45,975 43,999 54,191 -0.8% 3.7% -15.8%
KY 68,234 68,209 65,268 73,848 0.0% 4.5% -7.6%
LA 55,495 55,796 52,857 64,894 -0.5% 5.0% -14.5%
MA 139,542 143,332 139,775 192,314 -2.6% -0.2% -27.4%
MD 117,265 117,633 112,243 133,797 -0.3% 4.5% -12.4%
ME 23,787 23,777 22,470 27,329 0.0% 5.9% -13.0%
MI 142,327 144,261 129,285 160,416 -1.3% 10.1% -11.3%
MN 85,990 87,755 86,089 111,895 -2.0% -0.1% -23.2%
MO 92,005 94,040 88,766 113,637 -2.2% 3.6% -19.0%
MS 34,823 34,204 33,821 37,824 1.8% 3.0% -7.9%
MT 14,129 14,054 14,512 16,054 0.5% -2.6% -12.0%
NC 161,503 161,281 154,402 209,450 0.1% 4.6% -22.9%
ND 13,793 13,877 13,382 16,389 -0.6% 3.1% -15.8%
NE 32,622 33,479 30,367 35,380 -2.6% 7.4% -7.8%
NH 27,110 31,763 25,858 32,235 -14.6% 4.8% -15.9%
NJ 140,287 135,434 129,329 150,037 3.6% 8.5% -6.5%
NM 34,957 34,962 34,131 41,282 0.0% 2.4% -15.3%
NV 38,639 38,041 36,012 51,006 1.6% 7.3% -24.2%
NY 220,783 224,525 220,940 308,648 -1.7% -0.1% -28.5%
OH 175,056 176,203 169,242 219,917 -0.7% 3.4% -20.4%
OK 49,228 48,281 47,091 60,250 2.0% 4.5% -18.3%
OR 55,770 55,215 53,025 73,820 1.0% 5.2% -24.5%
PA 210,710 212,353 202,391 241,957 -0.8% 4.1% -12.9%
RI 15,416 15,510 15,108 20,354 -0.6% 2.0% -24.3%
SC 80,244 79,590 75,901 94,647 0.8% 5.7% -15.2%
SD 15,278 15,064 14,824 16,762 1.4% 3.1% -8.9%
TN 105,645 104,388 98,915 128,971 1.2% 6.8% -18.1%
TX 369,105 371,292 357,716 483,435 -0.6% 3.2% -23.6%
UT 43,270 43,212 42,139 55,532 0.1% 2.7% -22.1%
VA 165,309 165,398 159,019 204,573 -0.1% 4.0% -19.2%
VT 11,538 11,315 10,418 13,780 2.0% 10.8% -16.3%
WA 128,163 129,965 116,435 157,734 -1.4% 10.1% -18.7%
WI 87,638 86,165 84,733 109,401 1.7% 3.4% -19.9%
WV 29,958 30,163 29,012 31,994 -0.7% 3.3% -6.4%
WY 9,672 9,623 10,591 12,417 0.5% -8.7% -22.1%

Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report, July 2020

Table D: Change in Job Openings for Select Metropolitan Areas

Job Openings Percent Change
Jul 27, 2020 Jul 20, 2020 Jun 29, 2020 Jul 29, 2019
Category Current Week Last Week Last Month Last Year Week-over-Week Month-over-Month Year-over-Year
Total 4,834,910 4,845,179 4,626,290 6,107,089 -0.2% 4.5% -20.8%
Atlanta, GA 93,401 93,114 88,549 125,884 0.3% 5.5% -25.8%
Boston, MA 109,993 115,311 110,164 156,867 -4.6% -0.2% -29.9%
Chicago, IL 152,206 149,323 144,631 205,451 1.9% 5.2% -25.9%
Houston, TX 74,269 75,180 71,647 101,086 -1.2% 3.7% -26.5%
Los Angeles, CA 159,071 159,191 153,254 226,241 -0.1% 3.8% -29.7%
New York City, NY 239,479 236,529 233,164 311,221 1.2% 2.7% -23.1%
Philadelphia, PA 96,030 99,095 93,392 113,651 -3.1% 2.8% -15.5%
San Francisco, CA 105,188 106,556 96,124 152,383 -1.3% 9.4% -31.0%
Seattle, WA 92,817 95,261 83,562 117,427 -2.6% 11.1% -21.0%
Washington, DC 145,683 146,849 144,121 191,471 -0.8% 1.1% -23.9%

Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report, July 2020