Job Market Report: U.S. Job Openings Rise 1.2 Percent in May, Pay Up 2.0 Percent


June 4, 2019

After a slow start this year, hiring on Glassdoor rebounded sharply in May. The number of unique U.S. job postings rose by 1.2 percent from the same time a year ago last month, with hiring up most sharply in several of the nation’s mid-sized cities including Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Philadelphia.

That’s the latest finding from Glassdoor’s Job Market Report, a monthly analysis of real-time trends in hiring and pay based on millions of online job postings and salaries from Glassdoor.

Although job openings grew more slowly than usual during the first three months of 2019, hiring picked up in April and May. As of May 22, there were 5,762,175 unique U.S. job postings on Glassdoor, up from 5.69 million during the same period one year ago. The figure below shows the trend in unique jobs open on Glassdoor since January 2017 (blue line), as well as the year-over-year growth rate in job postings (green line).

In terms of salaries, wage growth on Glassdoor also rebounded in May, with median base pay rising by 2.0 percent from a year ago to $53,273 per year. That’s up from the revised 1.5 percent pace of pay growth last month, and is the third consecutive month we’ve recorded escalating pay growth.

With the nation’s unemployment rate at a 50-year low, pay is on the rise as a growing number of employers are facing labor shortages in tech, e-commerce, healthcare, and many lower-skilled roles. 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 (blue line).

The month’s Job Market Report offers positive news about the U.S. job market in May. Despite a slowing housing market, lingering fears of a trade war with China, and waning consumer confidence, the economy’s fundamentals remain strong as we head into the summer months.

Let’s have a closer look at job growth and pay on Glassdoor in May 2019.

Local Metro Trends in Job Opening and Pay Growth

  • Atlanta topped the list for metro with the fastest growth in open jobs on Glassdoor for the second month in a row in May. Hiring growth in Atlanta last month was led by rising job postings in healthcare, education and schools, retail, and computer software and hardware sectors.
  • The fast-growing Pacific Northwest city of Seattle was at the “sweet spot” among metros in May, with both open jobs and median base pay growing at well above the national average. Job postings in Seattle were up 3.4 percent from a year ago to 111,591, while median pay in Seattle rose at a healthy pace of 2.4 percent to $63,247 per year.
  • Pay growth is rising fastest in the nation’s largest tech hubs of San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. However, job postings in all three metros are falling. While median pay rose by between 1.8 and 2.8 percent in these three metros, open jobs on Glassdoor actually fell between -2.3 and -2.8 percent in May for these cities. This slowdown in open jobs may be an early sign of employers beginning to dial back hires in these high-cost-of-living metros.
  • The Houston metro area again grew the slowest amongst U.S. metro areas in May with job openings decreasing 2.9 percent and pay up just 0.4 percent from a year ago. 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 job openings and median base pay growth for all 10 U.S. metros in our May 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 5,762,175 1.2% $53,273 2.0%
Atlanta 123,708 7.3% $55,052 2.0%
Boston 146,795 4.2% $61,356 1.9%
Seattle 111,591 3.4% $63,247 2.4%
Philadelphia 108,902 3.4% $56,764 1.7%
Chicago 196,656 1.0% $57,417 1.6%
Washington DC 176,988 -1.9% $61,087 1.9%
San Francisco 143,394 -2.3% $72,465 2.8%
New York City 296,536 -2.8% $63,792 1.8%
Los Angeles 207,607 -2.8% $62,173 2.0%
Houston 94,074 -2.9% $56,045 0.4%

Trends in Job Opening Growth

  • Job postings in the insurance sector grew at the fastest pace in May, up 56.7 percent from a year ago to 106,865 open jobs nationally. Rapid growth in healthcare jobs has impacted the insurance industry as well, with strong hiring at companies like Aetna, Humana, and State Farm. Many of these roles are sales- and tech-related, reflecting a changing mix of hiring in the insurance sector.
  • Hiring was up strongly in the information technology sector, which includes many employers who provide foundational IT infrastructure, networking and support services including IBM, General Dynamics IT, and Infosys. All industries today are facing growing data and networking challenges, leading to growing job opportunities in this sector in May. This contrasts sharply with the two other “tech”-related industries we track — computer software and hardware, and internet & tech — which both saw job postings decline from a year ago on Glassdoor.
  • Government hiring was up strongly in May, with job postings up 15.4 percent from a year ago to 121,758 open jobs. Federal hiring for the 2020 Census is ramping up today, and we’re seeing growing job openings across a large number of state and federal agencies in 2019.

Below are lists of the industries with the fastest and slowest growth in job openings in our May 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 %
Insurance 106,865 56.7%
Information Technology 183,526 35.8%
Media & Publishing 29,261 20.5%
Government 121,758 15.4%
Facilities 44,347 14.1%

Top 5 Industries with Slowest Growth in Job Openings

Industry Job Openings YoY %
Internet & Tech 65,981 -32.4%
Consumer Electronics 10,226 -28.3%
Supermarkets 90,236 -23.0%
Telecommunications 35,034 -21.4%
Restaurants & Bars 449,506 -16.6%

Growth in Job Openings by Employer Size

Employer Size Job Openings YoY %
<51 568,238 21.6%
51-200 496,886 11.1%
201-500 464,052 3.8%
501-1000 354,601 -4.3%
1001-5000 991,105 5.3%
5000+ 2,445,814 -2.9%

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

Trends in Pay Growth

Although overall U.S. median pay rose at a 2.0 percent annual pace on Glassdoor in May, there are some occupations with much faster – and much slower – wage gains today.

  • The job title with the fastest pace of pay growth in May was pharmacy technician, with median pay rising 7.8 percent to $31,772 per year. This role has seen strong pay gains throughout the past year, riding the wave of a growing healthcare industry throughout the U.S. By contrast, wage gains for the related but higher-paying role of pharmacist have slowed this year, with median pay down -0.2 percent in May to $127,267 per year.
  • Several jobs related to the fast-growing e-commerce sector posted strong pay gains in May, including delivery driver (up 3.7 percent to $41,049 per year), truck driver (up 5.2 percent to $55,694 per year), and warehouse associate (up 1.9 percent to $42,242 per year).

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

Top 10 Job Titles with Fastest Pay Growth

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Pharmacy Technician $31,772 7.8%
Machine Operator $40,212 5.3%
Truck Driver $55,694 5.2%
Cashier $28,311 4.5%
Bank Teller $32,157 4.2%
Office Manager $48,109 4.1%
Restaurant Manager $51,166 4.0%
Delivery Driver $41,049 3.7%
Emergency Medical Technician $35,276 3.6%
Security Officer $35,799 3.5%

Top 10 Job Titles with Slowest Pay Growth

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Business Development Manager $68,801 -2.0%
Financial Advisor $53,118 -2.0%
Maintenance Worker $40,957 -1.8%
Attorney $97,925 -1.7%
Program Manager $74,666 -1.0%
Server $33,369 -0.4%
Human Resources Manager $69,245 -0.2%
Pharmacist $127,267 -0.2%
Programmer Analyst $69,214 -0.2%
Professor $86,819 0.3%

You can view the full dataset of median base pay and pay growth by job title as of May 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 149,000 new jobs added to payrolls  and an unemployment rate steady at 3.6 percent in May.

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.