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Job postings in most sectors above pre-pandemic baseline: Indeed

According to data released by the Indeed Hiring Lab, Indeed job postings on Friday, Aug. 13, were up 36.6% from the pre-pandemic baseline of Feb. 1, 2020, after adjusting for seasonal variation. The number of postings, which Indeed cites as a “real-time measure of labor market activity,” increased 0.7% in the week ended Aug. 13 and stands at a level nearly unchanged from four weeks prior.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 10.1 million job openings at the end of June in its latest JOLTS report,” a report by Indeed Hiring Lab Chief Economist Jed Kolko reads. “Job postings on Indeed increased 2.1% between June 30 and August 13. If JOLTS openings have grown since June 30 at the same rate as Indeed job postings, that implies 10.3 million job openings as of August 13.”

Initial unemployment claims fell further last week for a fourth straight weekly decline to reach a new pandemic-era low of 348,000, the lowest level since March 2020. This healthily beat out a Bloomberg consensus estimate of 364,000 expected and a revised 377,000 during the prior week. Continuing claims for the week ended Aug. 7 also bested expectations, coming in at 2.82 million against 2.8 million expected and a revised 2.899 million during the prior week.

Job search momentum also appears to be picking up, with Indeed Hiring Lab reporting survey results demonstrating a 3.5% increase in active job seekers from June to July. The “urgency mismatch” between employers and job seekers was also quelled last month, as a greater percentage of the aforementioned active job seekers expressed a willingness to begin working promptly amid hot labor demand in the jobs market.

“Furthermore, employers are offering bonuses and other hiring incentives,” the report reads. “The share of job postings that mention hiring incentives was 4.4% on August 13, more than twice as high as a year ago. Much of the increase in incentives has come just in the last several months.”

Some sectors boom, others slide in pandemic recovery

And although the manufacturing and loading & stocking sectors have led the charge in new job postings on Indeed, postings for these sectors along with other goods-related industries such as construction and driving have fallen in the four weeks prior to Aug. 13. Job postings in production & manufacturing and loading & stocking fell by 6.7% and 17.6%, respectively, in the previous four weeks. However, the numbers are up 77.2% and 71.7%, respectively, from their Feb. 2020 benchmarks.

“These sectors have faced supply constraints in materials like lumber and semiconductors, which might be holding back hiring,” the report reads.

Job postings in human resources have also experienced significant gains from the pre-pandemic baseline, up 71.2%. The number of postings in HR climbed 6% in the four weeks prior to last Friday, as employers “are eager to hire the people who will help them hire others,” the Indeed Hiring Lab said.

Job postings in education & instruction, sales, and hospitality and tourism have experienced some of the weakest gains from their pre-pandemic baselines at 20.2%, 18.5%, and 13.5%, respectively. In addition, beauty and wellness job posting numbers have actually decreased 6.5% since Feb. 2020 as the delta variant of COVID-19 poses an ever-growing health concern.

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