As the coronavirus outbreak escalates, so does its impact on the labor market. Glassdoor’s March Job Market Report reveals that the slowdown in job openings has grown in tandem with the scale of the current crisis.
Job openings on March 23 declined 8.8 percent week-over-week, swiftly returning to levels last seen in 2018. The decline of roughly half a million job openings is the worst one-week drop since 2016. This decline in job openings on Glassdoor occurred simultaneously with a record-breaking surge in unemployment insurance claims, signaling the tough situation now facing workers, squeezed on both sides by layoffs and declining hiring.
Despite last week’s precipitous drop, average monthly job openings are still up 2.4 percent compared to March 2019 and down only 0.4 percent month-over-month, highlighting the rapid evolution of the crisis. The positive year-over-year growth shows that while recent events are dragging the labor market down, there is an economic buffer built in after years of fast growth in job openings. However, we know that the economic impact of the outbreak is continuing to escalate, and the labor market may get worse before it gets better.
The decline in job openings is most prominent in consumer services like arts & entertainment and travel & tourism, where demand has dried up and businesses have shut down. However, the recent week-over-week decline in job openings is broad-based, affecting every major industry and signaling that the impact is spilling over to the entire economy.
Half of Employers Reducing Job Openings
While some reports show a surge in hiring for e-commerce and delivery companies, it’s not a large enough boost to offset the broad-based slowdown in demand for workers. Glassdoor data shows over half of employers have reduced their job openings since mid-February, with 1 in 5 pausing all openings as 25 percent maintain current hiring levels. Less than a quarter of employers have increased hiring since mid-February, whereas 37 percent of employers had increased hiring from mid-January to mid-February. This shows how quickly the economic landscape has shifted in the last month alone.
Industry Trends in Job Openings
- Consumer services (-6.0 percent month-over-month) and food services (-5.1 percent) are the industry groups hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. Within consumer services, travel & tourism (-22.5 percent) and arts & entertainment (-9.4 percent) are particularly affected. Local shelter-in-place orders and the collapse of consumer demand have forced many of these businesses to shut down and pull back on hiring plans.
- Job openings for health care and hospitals increased 1.0 percent month-over-month. While seemingly modest, this is an additional 8,000 openings on top of the over 800,000 openings the healthcare industry already had open in February, and highlights the labor shortage the healthcare industry had already been suffering from even before the coronavirus outbreak began.
- Job openings in the tech industry continue to grow, increasing +0.5 percent month-over-month. Several large tech companies like Amazon have announced plans to hire hundreds of thousands of additional workers. While the tech industry shows no signs of slowing yet, the industry is one to watch as it relies heavily on an ecosystem of startups that may not have the cash reserves to weather a sustained downturn.
Change in Job Openings by Industry Group
|Industry Group||Job Openings||WoW % Change*||MoM % Change**|
|Construction & Real Estate Services||217,614||-9.9%||-3.7%|
|Arts & Entertainment||51,108||-30.0%||-9.4%|
|Travel & Tourism||67,463||-44.6%||-22.5%|
|Finance & Insurance||214,267||-7.6%||0.4%|
|Health Care & Biotech||916,541||-3.9%||0.8%|
|Health Care & Hospitals||835,214||-4.0%||1.0%|
|Manufacturing & Production||367,591||-8.4%||-1.9%|
|Trade & Transportation||292,567||-20.0%||-3.8%|
**Monthly average for March compared to monthly average for February 2020*March 23 compared to March 16, 2020
Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report
You can view the full dataset of job openings growth by industry group, industry, employer size and metro as of March 2020 here. For job openings data by state, please refer to the appendix at the bottom of this post.
Pay Growth in March Remains Healthy
Median base pay continued to grow in March, rising 3.1 percent. The current acceleration in pay growth is magnified by weak pay growth this time in 2019. How pay growth will trend is a big question mark for this crisis. During normal economic slowdowns, employers rarely cut pay, but often cut hours or lay off workers. In fact, growth in average hourly earnings accelerated during the Great Recession. But the long recovery over the last decade was also marked by sluggish pay growth, raising concerns that pay growth could remain subdued even longer if this crisis is severe and long lasting.
Below are the jobs with the fastest and slowest year-over-year growth in median base pay for full-time U.S. workers in February:
Top 10 Job Titles with Fastest Pay Growth
|Job Title||Median Base Pay||YoY %|
|Emergency Medical Technician||$36,669||6.3%|
|Business Development Manager||$74,400||6.2%|
Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report
You can view the full dataset of median base pay and pay growth by job title as of March 2020 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 publishes monthly ahead of the BLS jobs report and now includes 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 major 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 close to real-time.
Read more in our full methodology and FAQs.
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, any questions regarding the Job Market Report or this Friday’s BLS jobs report, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appendix A: Job Openings by State
|State||Current Week||WoW % Change vs Mar 16, 2020||Current Month||MoM % Change vs Feb 2020||YoY % Change vs Mar 2019|
Week-over-week change is calculated relative to prior week. Month-over-month and year-over-year change are calculated using monthly averages.
Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report