U.S. Job Openings -29% Since Early March As Weekly Decline Slows to 1%


May 20, 2020

Key Findings

  • U.S. job openings on Glassdoor declined 29% since the start of March. Job openings continue to fall weekly, but the rate of decline has dropped from -8% to -1%. While this isn’t good news outright, it is less grim and provides some cautious optimism that the labor market may begin to recover soon.
  • As businesses reopen, demand for workers is slowly returning for in-person service industries like retail and food services, which were among the most dramatically affected by the shutdowns. Job openings for in-person services grew 2% on May 11 from the week prior, the first week-over-week increase for these industries since the crisis began.
  • As states begin reopening businesses, there’s no obvious relationship between state restrictions and changes in job openings. States with less and more restrictive policies alike continue to see declines in job openings.
  • Near real-time job market insights are vital to understanding the market in a pandemic and can be a powerful supplement to government data. Data from Glassdoor’s Job Market Report and the BLS’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) March report show nearly identical trends: a 13% and 12% drop, respectively, in March job openings. 

As the U.S.  enters the third month of the COVID-19 crisis, the labor market continues to buckle under the virus’s prolonged impact. Glassdoor’s latest Job Market Report shows that as of May 11 job openings have dropped to 4.4 million—a 28.5 percent decline since the start of March.

Even though job openings continue to decline by about 50,000 openings on a weekly basis, the rate of decline nevertheless has slowed dramatically. The rate of decline has slowed from -7.8 percent on March 23 to -1.3 percent on May 11. The deceleration signals that the labor market is not yet over the hump, but may soon begin to rebound.  However, many industries are still seeing declining  job openings as they navigate the prolonged impacts of a slowed economy, with tech (-4.0 percent), manufacturing & production (-2.9 percent) and business services (-1.5 percent) driving last week’s declines. Meanwhile, 69 percent of employers had fewer job openings since early March 2020, while 14 percent of employers boosted hiring to accommodate swift shifts in demand.

In-Person Services See Slight Uptick

As states relax restrictions, businesses that rely on in-person interactions have begun to reopen. In-person services for consumers — like retail and food services — and for certain business services — like private security — have begun to reopen, increasing demand for workers. Job openings for in-person services increased 1.8% week-over-week for the first time since the coronavirus crisis began.

Although this demand is likely to grow as more businesses look to reopen, these industries are still climbing out of a deep hole, as they must reverse the current 28.7 percent shortfall in job openings since early March. In short, the economy still has a very long way to go before returning to pre-crisis levels.

  • Retail (+4.2 percent) and restaurants & bars (+0.2 percent) have both seen job openings increase week-over-week as states begin relaxing restrictions. While many businesses are still operating at reduced capacity or under altered conditions, the increase in hiring demand is a sign that businesses are looking to get back to work.
  • Business services that require in-person work, like private security (+1.5 percent) and facilities (+1.0 percent), have seen a modest increase in job openings as businesses begin to reopen their premises. 
  • Travel & tourism job openings increased 1.1 percent week-over-week. While job openings are increasing, travel & tourism is still the hardest hit industry overall, with 77.4 percent of job openings evaporating since the beginning of March.
  • One prominent exception is health care & hospitals (-2.6 percent) where job openings continue to fall. While hiring demand was slow to fall in the industry as it responded to the crisis, job openings have also been slow to recover, under-performing other industries.

Job Openings Continue to Decline Across Most States

As states begin to relax restrictions, the question is how quickly will economic activity resume. Glassdoor data shows no definitive relationship between local COVID-19 outbreaks, state restrictions and state-level job openings. Instead, economic impact appears more likely driven by uncertainty and weak consumer demand.

  • Both New Jersey and New York remain under stay-at-home orders, but New Jersey has actually seen job openings increase modestly month-over-month while New York has seen job openings decline 9.6 percent from the previous month, the ninth worst in the country.
  • Similarly, Wyoming (-24.1 percent) and Nebraska (-3.5 percent) never implemented statewide stay-at-home orders, but appear at opposite ends of the economic spectrum.
  • States that are heavily dependent on tourism and entertainment like Nevada (-9.9 percent) and Hawai’i (-9.9 percent) have been particularly hard-hit, signalling that the economic impact on states may be more due to cratering consumer demand rather than specific state policies.

States with Largest Change in Job Openings

Largest Decrease Largest Increase
State MoM % State MoM %
Wyoming -24.1% Massachusetts 8.3%
Vermont -10.6% New Hampshire 1.5%
California -10.1% New Jersey 1.1%
Illinois -10.1% Montana -2.6%
Nevada -9.9% Nebraska -3.5%
Hawai’i -9.9% Kansas -3.8%
South Dakota -9.6% Kentucky -3.8%
Florida -9.6% Indiana -3.8%
New York -9.6% Rhode Island -4.5%
Wisconsin -9.1% Oklahoma -4.7%

Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report

For more detailed data on job openings trends by state, see our appendix below.

Private Data Insights Supplementing Government Data

For years, Glassdoor’s Job Market Report and other insights have helped experts better understand the shifting labor market. These real-time insights have proved a powerful supplement to government data, especially in a time of crisis when timely data is of the utmost importance. In fact, last Friday’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) release from the BLS reported a 12 percent drop in March job openings compared to February; similarly, Glassdoor’s Job Market Report shows a nearly identical 13 percent drop in the comparable timeframe. Looking forward, while the April JOLTS report will be released on June 9, Glassdoor data already shows that job openings dropped another 15 percent in April.

Conclusion

As states and leaders explore what the new normal looks like while operating amid a pandemic, some are hoping for any glimpse of an economy and job market coming back to life. While some industries like retail and food services are beginning to show signs of improving conditions, Glassdoor data shows U.S. job openings overall continue to decline and have not bottomed out quite yet. Even as states begin relaxing restrictions, the sluggish labor market is an indication that the economy isn’t easily switched back on again and will take time to recover.

Methodology

The 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 is performed. Because no smoothing or averaging takes place, the data may not be directly comparable to Glassdoor’s monthly Job Market Report.

Appendix

Table A: Change in Job Openings by Industry

Job Openings Percent Change
May 11, 2020 May 4, 2020 Apr 13, 2020 May 13, 2019
Category Current Week Last Week Last Month Last Year Week-over-Week Month-over-Month Year-over-Year
Total 4,353,679 4,410,715 4,674,217 5,974,596 -1.3% -6.9% -27.1%
Accounting & Legal 32,063 33,630 36,435 36,006 -4.7% -12.0% -11.0%
Aerospace & Defense 64,146 68,399 69,573 89,145 -6.2% -7.8% -28.0%
Architecture & Civil Engineering 27,353 27,955 30,203 43,075 -2.2% -9.4% -36.5%
Arts & Entertainment 25,151 26,118 28,484 56,563 -3.7% -11.7% -55.5%
Automotive 61,489 60,221 70,099 96,074 2.1% -12.3% -36.0%
Banking & Financial Services 89,379 90,920 98,972 139,251 -1.7% -9.7% -35.8%
Beauty & Fitness 50,698 50,223 62,540 79,633 0.9% -18.9% -36.3%
Biotech & Pharmaceuticals 61,571 63,132 66,108 75,367 -2.5% -6.9% -18.3%
Business Services 7,285 7,036 7,291 13,107 3.5% -0.1% -44.4%
Computer Software & Hardware 103,885 107,687 121,486 156,716 -3.5% -14.5% -33.7%
Construction 52,401 52,292 52,309 75,168 0.2% 0.2% -30.3%
Consulting 54,974 57,095 60,721 76,244 -3.7% -9.5% -27.9%
Consumer Electronics 6,627 6,610 7,548 11,766 0.3% -12.2% -43.7%
Consumer Services 10,800 10,192 10,988 14,871 6.0% -1.7% -27.4%
Education & Schools 169,482 172,838 183,486 251,573 -1.9% -7.6% -32.6%
Energy & Utilities 29,148 28,869 31,836 53,433 1.0% -8.4% -45.4%
Facilities 35,549 35,193 36,164 49,598 1.0% -1.7% -28.3%
Government 113,177 114,643 123,748 134,656 -1.3% -8.5% -16.0%
Health Care & Hospitals 593,913 609,612 699,502 862,584 -2.6% -15.1% -31.1%
Information Technology 114,541 129,502 137,350 171,009 -11.6% -16.6% -33.0%
Insurance 54,158 55,011 61,234 85,138 -1.6% -11.6% -36.4%
Internet & Tech 140,621 136,886 81,860 68,647 2.7% 71.8% 104.8%
Manufacturing 145,589 148,822 164,336 235,558 -2.2% -11.4% -38.2%
Marketing & Advertising 44,706 43,869 46,160 63,174 1.9% -3.1% -29.2%
Media & Publishing 11,752 12,140 15,290 27,668 -3.2% -23.1% -57.5%
Nonprofit 54,459 57,150 59,380 73,891 -4.7% -8.3% -26.3%
Private Security 17,415 17,151 17,204 25,586 1.5% 1.2% -31.9%
Real Estate 39,051 41,390 41,361 49,658 -5.7% -5.6% -21.4%
Restaurants & Bars 439,419 434,705 438,328 520,340 1.1% 0.2% -15.6%
Retail 326,529 313,508 352,633 452,120 4.2% -7.4% -27.8%
Supermarkets 83,064 82,957 84,769 90,936 0.1% -2.0% -8.7%
Telecommunications 23,278 23,814 26,107 39,754 -2.3% -10.8% -41.4%
Transportation & Logistics 199,545 207,033 214,513 412,080 -3.6% -7.0% -51.6%
Travel & Tourism 19,528 19,313 20,852 103,577 1.1% -6.3% -81.1%
Wholesale 16,464 16,301 17,661 31,321 1.0% -6.8% -47.4%

Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report, May 20, 2020

Table B: Change in Job Openings by Industry Group

Job Openings Percent Change
May 11, 2020 May 4, 2020 Apr 13, 2020 May 13, 2019
Category Current Week Last Week Last Month Last Year Week-over-Week Month-over-Month Year-over-Year
Total 4,353,679 4,410,715 4,674,217 5,974,596 -1.3% -6.9% -27.1%
Business Services 156,443 158,781 167,811 214,117 -1.5% -6.8% -26.9%
Construction & Real Estate Services 154,354 156,830 160,037 217,499 -1.6% -3.6% -29.0%
Consumer Services 202,696 202,021 234,360 418,140 0.3% -13.5% -51.5%
Finance & Insurance 143,537 145,931 160,206 224,389 -1.6% -10.4% -36.0%
Food Services 439,419 434,705 438,328 520,340 1.1% 0.2% -15.6%
Health Care 655,484 672,744 765,610 937,951 -2.6% -14.4% -30.1%
Production 247,553 254,840 274,868 388,032 -2.9% -9.9% -36.2%
Public Services 337,118 344,631 366,614 460,120 -2.2% -8.0% -26.7%
Retail 416,220 403,075 444,950 554,822 3.3% -6.5% -25.0%
Tech 359,047 374,075 340,696 396,372 -4.0% 5.4% -9.4%
Trade & Transportation 216,009 223,334 232,174 443,401 -3.3% -7.0% -51.3%

Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report, May 20, 2020

Table C: Change in Job Openings by State

Job Openings Percent Change
May 11, 2020 May 4, 2020 Apr 13, 2020 May 13, 2019
Category Current Week Last Week Last Month Last Year Week-over-Week Month-over-Month Year-over-Year
Total 4,353,679 4,410,715 4,674,217 5,974,596 -1.3% -6.9% -27.1%
Remote 8,106 8,058 8,304 8,588 0.6% -2.4% -5.6%
AK 9,079 9,193 9,909 12,255 -1.2% -8.4% -25.9%
AL 58,811 59,124 62,311 81,106 -0.5% -5.6% -27.5%
AR 31,462 32,003 33,568 43,304 -1.7% -6.3% -27.3%
AZ 87,643 88,925 94,074 123,540 -1.4% -6.8% -29.1%
CA 465,474 472,328 517,906 655,899 -1.5% -10.1% -29.0%
CO 90,613 92,663 96,607 131,226 -2.2% -6.2% -30.9%
CT 50,944 52,073 55,398 66,367 -2.2% -8.0% -23.2%
DC 34,414 34,941 37,728 44,329 -1.5% -8.8% -22.4%
DE 15,918 16,074 16,811 19,113 -1.0% -5.3% -16.7%
FL 224,898 225,759 248,745 314,219 -0.4% -9.6% -28.4%
GA 137,548 141,046 149,410 203,665 -2.5% -7.9% -32.5%
HI 12,305 12,589 13,655 19,245 -2.3% -9.9% -36.1%
IA 44,326 44,290 46,940 64,257 0.1% -5.6% -31.0%
ID 17,275 17,026 18,238 22,574 1.5% -5.3% -23.5%
IL 176,343 181,223 196,078 260,870 -2.7% -10.1% -32.4%
IN 94,514 95,583 98,266 123,551 -1.1% -3.8% -23.5%
KS 40,553 40,356 42,141 53,757 0.5% -3.8% -24.6%
KY 58,074 58,531 60,357 73,111 -0.8% -3.8% -20.6%
LA 47,491 47,774 50,727 62,941 -0.6% -6.4% -24.5%
MA 160,443 168,021 148,131 191,880 -4.5% 8.3% -16.4%
MD 104,878 107,577 111,899 133,899 -2.5% -6.3% -21.7%
ME 21,367 21,070 22,572 26,787 1.4% -5.3% -20.2%
MI 116,469 115,962 124,111 151,825 0.4% -6.2% -23.3%
MN 77,989 79,979 83,850 114,523 -2.5% -7.0% -31.9%
MO 80,316 81,408 87,604 114,634 -1.3% -8.3% -29.9%
MS 29,879 30,589 32,161 38,399 -2.3% -7.1% -22.2%
MT 12,607 12,545 12,944 17,020 0.5% -2.6% -25.9%
NC 144,690 146,068 155,980 207,899 -0.9% -7.2% -30.4%
ND 11,676 11,846 12,726 16,336 -1.4% -8.3% -28.5%
NE 26,088 26,163 27,023 33,252 -0.3% -3.5% -21.5%
NH 26,207 24,491 25,813 32,602 7.0% 1.5% -19.6%
NJ 136,735 134,250 135,252 149,499 1.9% 1.1% -8.5%
NM 31,387 31,292 33,039 39,670 0.3% -5.0% -20.9%
NV 32,819 33,044 36,436 49,284 -0.7% -9.9% -33.4%
NY 217,853 221,705 240,870 304,976 -1.7% -9.6% -28.6%
OH 151,952 157,023 162,523 208,928 -3.2% -6.5% -27.3%
OK 43,001 43,289 45,130 58,888 -0.7% -4.7% -27.0%
OR 48,741 48,785 53,078 70,694 -0.1% -8.2% -31.1%
PA 200,243 201,430 210,555 236,332 -0.6% -4.9% -15.3%
RI 15,978 16,537 16,731 19,361 -3.4% -4.5% -17.5%
SC 68,130 68,091 72,499 91,177 0.1% -6.0% -25.3%
SD 12,917 12,993 14,287 16,651 -0.6% -9.6% -22.4%
TN 87,405 88,896 94,357 126,207 -1.7% -7.4% -30.7%
TX 319,636 323,971 349,286 466,422 -1.3% -8.5% -31.5%
UT 37,476 37,420 39,574 52,441 0.1% -5.3% -28.5%
VA 147,718 149,388 162,337 197,000 -1.1% -9.0% -25.0%
VT 10,045 10,214 11,230 13,193 -1.7% -10.6% -23.9%
WA 112,416 113,772 119,564 151,710 -1.2% -6.0% -25.9%
WI 80,027 82,212 88,007 113,298 -2.7% -9.1% -29.4%
WV 27,354 27,140 29,119 29,811 0.8% -6.1% -8.2%
WY 9,264 10,010 12,203 12,760 -7.5% -24.1% -27.4%

Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report, May 20, 2020

Table D: Change in Job Openings for Select Metropolitan Areas

Job Openings Percent Change
May 11, 2020 May 4, 2020 Apr 13, 2020 May 13, 2019
Category Current Week Last Week Last Month Last Year Week-over-Week Month-over-Month Year-over-Year
Total 4,353,679 4,410,715 4,674,217 5,974,596 -1.3% -6.9% -27.1%
Atlanta, GA 81,091 84,172 89,729 129,878 -3.7% -9.6% -37.6%
Boston, MA 128,569 134,703 116,888 156,525 -4.6% 10.0% -17.9%
Chicago, IL 138,319 142,557 153,112 201,892 -3.0% -9.7% -31.5%
Houston, TX 64,892 67,033 72,121 95,503 -3.2% -10.0% -32.1%
Los Angeles, CA 145,534 149,352 163,837 212,403 -2.6% -11.2% -31.5%
New York City, NY 244,114 244,234 254,606 306,862 0.0% -4.1% -20.4%
Philadelphia, PA 85,038 88,906 91,477 113,658 -4.4% -7.0% -25.2%
San Francisco, CA 102,588 102,919 114,351 147,131 -0.3% -10.3% -30.3%
Seattle, WA 82,165 83,254 87,007 113,869 -1.3% -5.6% -27.8%
Washington, DC 142,186 144,298 153,421 184,277 -1.5% -7.3% -22.8%

Source: Glassdoor Job Market Report, May 20, 2020