Job Market Report: Job Openings Up 5.1 Percent in October, Pay Up 2.1 Percent

The labor market is showing no signs of stopping in October. Glassdoor’s latest Job Market Report shows job openings grew 5.1 percent year-over-year to 6.08 million, maintaining a four-month streak of over six million job openings online on Glassdoor. Annual wage growth stayed at 2.1 percent, continuing a slow but upward trend in wage growth. All-in-all, Glassdoor data from October continues to show a tight labor market where workers are highly sought after.

As shown in the figure below, annual growth in job openings has averaged 5 percent in 2019 up to October. This month’s 5.1 percent increase is right in line with that trend.

 

Annual pay growth on Glassdoor stayed at 2.1 percent in October from the same value in September, with median base pay rising to $54,327 a year. In the last six months, pay growth has averaged 1.9 percent. The slow but upward trend seen in September and October is a welcome sign for workers who have experienced slow pay growth during the economic recovery.

September’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed conflicting signals with the unemployment rate dropping to a 50-year low but also a sudden deceleration in wage growth. Our data suggests that the sudden drop in wage growth in BLS data is the outlier and we should expect a return to trend in the coming months. Overall, Glassdoor data is consistent with the broader view that the labor market remains a strong point in a slowing economy. 

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

Local Metro Trends in Job Opening and Pay Growth

  • Seattle experienced the fastest growth in job openings on Glassdoor in October, up 15.5 percent annually. In Seattle, the growth in job openings is dominated by new openings in the internet & tech industry. Seattle-based tech giant Amazon recently announced plans to hire tens of thousands of permanent and temporary holiday workers in the coming months. As one of the largest employers in the Seattle metro area, changes in Amazon’s hiring plans are large enough to affect local labor market trends.
  • Boston job openings also grew at a double-digit rate (12.2 percent) in October. Boston’s jobs growth is more diverse, reflecting open roles in high-tech industries like internet & tech, public services sectors like health care & hospitals and government, and consumer service sectors like restaurants & bars.
  • Labor demand for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees hit a high water mark in October, growing at a blistering 40.4 percent year-over-year. October marks the 28th straight month of double-digit growth in job openings for these small businesses. By comparison, job openings actually shrank for businesses with more than 500 employees over the last year.

Below is a list of job openings and median base pay growth for all 10 U.S. metros in our October 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 6,080,862 5.1% $54,327 2.1%
Seattle 122,950 15.5% $64,639 2.4%
Boston 157,666 12.2% $62,486 2.7%
Philadelphia 113,646 8.4% $57,900 2.8%
Washington DC 190,466 6.5% $62,379 2.0%
Atlanta 123,662 5.1% $56,066 2.2%
New York City 314,123 3.6% $65,335 2.3%
Chicago 202,630 3.2% $58,858 2.5%
Los Angeles 220,789 2.7% $63,551 2.6%
San Francisco 150,348 2.1% $74,272 3.0%
Houston 97,175 -2.9% $56,933 1.2%

Trends in Job Opening Growth

  • Internet & tech was amongst the fastest growing industries in October (+26.3 percent). Companies like Amazon are hiring tens of thousands of workers to support their operations. While workers like warehouse associates, drivers and content moderators, are not the face of the tech industry, demand for them has outstripped their software engineer or product manager counterparts as tech platforms scale their businesses.
  • Job openings in banking & financial services declined by 14.8 percent year-over-year in October. The drop in job openings isn’t just concentrated in financial hubs like New York City, but is instead distributed across the country. As financial services increasingly move online, banks have had to change strategy around physical branch locations. US Bank, for example, announced layoffs this month and plans to close 10-15 percent of its local branches by the end of 2021.
  • Manufacturing continues to shed job openings, shrinking by 14.5 percent in October in the face of ongoing trade tensions. The announcement of a partial deal between the U.S. and China in October, however, does raise hopes that trade tensions could ease in the coming months as both countries back down to avoid exacerbating economic headwinds, especially as the U.S. enters an election year.

Below are lists of the industries with the fastest and slowest growth in job openings in our October 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 %
Insurance 98,907 30.5%
Internet & Tech 84,250 26.3%
Government 131,124 23.1%
Consumer Electronics 11,634 20.5%
Accounting & Legal 48,148 16.4%

Top 5 Industries with Slowest Growth in Job Openings

Industry Job Openings YoY %
Travel & Tourism 86,739 -19.6%
Supermarkets 95,435 -15.8%
Banking & Financial Services 130,504 -14.8%
Manufacturing 230,368 -14.5%
Energy & Utilities 51,374 -13.7%

Growth in Job Openings by Employer Size

Employer Size Job Openings YoY %
<51 673,023 40.4%
51-200 526,056 18.1%
201-500 495,766 12.7%
501-1000 332,159 -1.9%
1001-5000 951,720 -0.5%
5000+ 2,627,330 -2.0%

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

Trends in Pay Growth

  • Annual pay for construction laborers grew 6.1 percent year-over-year in October, the fastest of all the jobs we track in our Job Market Report. Construction job openings also increased 14.8 percent as the construction industry continues to grapple with a shortage of qualified and experienced workers. Despite monthly swings in housing starts and permits data, Glassdoor data has consistently shown a tight labor market for the construction industry buoyed by lower interest rates.
  • Pay growth in October was strong for healthcare jobs like pharmacy technicians (+4.5 percent) and certified nursing assistants (+3.4 percent). The health care & hospitals industry also added 5.2 percent job openings year-over-year, an additional 45,000 job openings. As the American population ages, the demand for health care workers continues to grow. Accessible entry points into the healthcare industry include jobs like pharmacy technicians and certified nursing assistants. These roles require less certification and training than a pharmacist or physician job.

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

Top 10 Job Titles with Fastest Pay Growth

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Construction Laborer $42,942 6.1%
Warehouse Associate $43,222 5.4%
Security Officer $36,717 4.9%
Maintenance Technician $46,506 4.8%
Retail Key Holder $31,113 4.6%
Pharmacy Technician $32,485 4.5%
Machine Operator $41,045 4.3%
Customer Service Representative $38,578 3.7%
Web Developer $68,307 3.6%
Certified Nursing Assistant $29,166 3.4%

Top 10 Job Titles with Slowest Pay Growth

Job Title Median Base Pay YoY %
Business Development Manager $69,905 -2.0%
Pharmacist $125,508 -1.1%
Human Resources Manager $71,136 -0.9%
Maintenance Worker $40,747 -0.2%
Operations Analyst $56,585 -0.2%
Communications Manager $69,709 0.0%
Data Scientist $98,153 0.3%
Customer Service Manager $54,892 0.6%
Loan Officer $47,850 0.6%
Program Manager $75,811 0.6%

You can view the full dataset of median base pay and pay growth by job title as of October 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. Here’s what we’re expecting in the October jobs report:

  • 130,000 new jobs added to payrolls;
  • Unemployment rate steady at 3.5 percent;
  • Average hourly wages up to 3.1 percent; and
  • Labor force participation steady at 63.2 percent.

We expect an average report in October, reflecting robust labor demand despite a slowing labor market. The GM-UAW strike may temporarily depress payrolls in October, but should not otherwise affect labor market fundamentals. Wage growth also missed expectations in September, dropping to 2.9 percent from 3.2 percent in August. We expect that drop to be short-lived and wage growth to revert to the mean in October data. The September report surprised in both directions with a decades-low unemployment rate but below-trend wage growth—we’ll be watching closely to see whether and which of those moves will stick.

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 newly launched Job Market Report or this Friday’s BLS jobs report, please email pr@glassdoor.com.