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Monthly Jobs Report: Monster’s Hiring Snapshot

Monthly Jobs Report: Monster’s Hiring Snapshot

Just in time for the holidays, the labor market got a much-needed jolt after two months of sluggish growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly jobs report, October saw solid gains of 531,000, as hiring picked up in leisure and hospitality, transportation and warehousing, retail, and more.

Meanwhile, Monster data shows an increase in the number of active job postings and even stronger improvement in the number of candidates looking for work this month—a positive sign, given the lingering labor shortage. The question is, will this hiring momentum carry us through the end of the year?

We consulted Giacomo Santangelo, Senior Lecturer in Economics and Director of the International Political Economy Program at Fordham University, to weigh in on the latest jobs numbers for this report. “Bearing in mind that the holidays are upon us—a time when we traditionally see gains in labor—we must remember that COVID is still here, and government decisions can quickly undermine any market,” Santangelo says.

As we evaluate this month’s job numbers, it’s important to note that we have yet to see how workers and the unemployed will respond to the President Biden’s employer vaccine mandate, which goes into effect January 4, 2022. Here’s what employers should consider in the months ahead.

Leisure and Hospitality Jobs Catering to Holiday Rush

The holidays are typically a busy time for restaurants and hotels—people travel to visit family and friends, frequent restaurants and bars, and occasionally stop for a quick bite while out Christmas shopping. Santangelo says this year should be no different, even amid the ongoing pandemic. “Going into this holiday season, people are expecting to reclaim their pre-pandemic behaviors—shopping, dining out, travel, etc.—which will require more workers to accommodate them,” he says.

In October, we already started to see hiring pick up in leisure and hospitality with BLS job numbers reflecting gains of 164,000. Heading into November, some of the top active job postings on Monster right now include:

  • Waiters and waitresses
  • Hosts and hostesses
  • Dishwashers
  • Cooks
  • Bartenders

Keep in mind that it hasn’t necessarily been a lack of demand for labor, but a shortage of workers that has been hampering hiring in leisure and hospitality. Fortunately, Monster data suggests that hiring managers may be gifted with more job applicants as we approach the holiday season. Some of the top positions being searched by candidates on Monster right now include:

  • Valet
  • Cook
  • Server
  • Housekeeper

Blue Collar Boom: Hiring Ramps up in Manufacturing

Job creation is roaring back within manufacturing. On Monster, manufacturing jobs increased by 6% over the past month, while the BLS monthly jobs report reflected gains of 60,000 in October—the most since June of last year. Looking ahead, Monster data shows active job postings for a range of positions on the factory floor. These job listings include:

  • Supervisors of production and operating workers
  • Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers
  • Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders
  • Welders, cutters, and welder fitters

Hopefully, the time to hire won’t be too long, either. From the candidate side, some of the top keywords being searched on Monster right now include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Operations manager
  • Welder

Ho, Ho, Ho-Liday Hiring Continues in Retail, Transportation and Warehousing

Black Friday can’t come soon enough. Given supply chain shortages, experts are saying it’s not too early to start holiday shopping this year. (Go ahead, put your tree up!) As we head into November, employers in transportation, warehousing, and retail are quickly responding. Last month, the BLS monthly jobs report showed solid gains of 54,000 in transportation and warehousing and an increase of 35,000 jobs in retail—and that’s just the beginning. Monster data indicates that the holiday hiring rush isn’t quite over yet. Some of our top active job postings right now include:

  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
  • Light truck or delivery service drivers
  • Laborers, and freight, stock, and material movers, hand
  • Retail salespersons
  • Cashiers
  • Supervisors of retail sales workers

Candidates, too, are answering the call for more holiday workers, despite the ongoing pandemic. A recent Monster poll found that 78% of respondents are planning to look for a seasonal job this year. In fact, some of the top keywords driving candidate searches this month include:

  • Truck driver
  • Delivery driver
  • Forklift operator
  • Warehouse worker
  • Sales
  • Retail
  • Cashier

Hiring Builds in Construction Despite Rising Lumber Prices

Lumber prices may have shot up last month, but that’s not stopping construction companies from continuing to build their workforce. Following a 30,000 increase in September, construction employment rose by another 44,000 in October, per the BLS monthly jobs report.

As the year draws to a close, Monster data shows continued hiring within the construction industry. Some of the top active job postings right now include:

  • Construction laborers
  • Construction and building inspectors
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Carpenters
  • Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators
  • Supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
  • Pipefitters and steamfitters
  • Painters, construction and maintenance
  • Cement masons and concrete finishers

Raising Minimum Wage and Average Hourly Earnings

Amid the ongoing labor shortages and the “Great Resignation,” unemployed workers and job hoppers alike have called for companies to pay employees better wages. As a result, we’ve seen average hourly earnings move up, up, up in the BLS monthly jobs reports along with increasing interest from candidates searching for jobs on Monster. Thanks to an 11-cent pay bump last month, the BLS says average hourly wages have increased by a total of $1 since April 2021.

With Bank of America, Costco, Amazon, Starbucks, and more raising their minimum wages, employers large and small may be reevaluating pay within their own companies. Santangelo says there are a few considerations employers should keep in mind. For instance, raising minimum wages may mean hiring fewer workers or increasing prices to offset the increase in costs. On the other hand, Santangelo says there’s also the “efficiency wage” argument to consider, which states that raising wages can attract higher quality workers, reduce shirking, and decrease turnover.

The best course of action? It’s not one-size-fits-all. “Employers have to make the decision based on what they feel they can afford,” Santangelo says. “What may work for Walmart is not going to work for Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.”

Déjà VU: Workers Are Heading Back to the Office Again

So long, home office! Hello, headquarters! Sound familiar? That’s probably because you’ve heard this one, two, or maybe 10 times before. The latest instance being only a few short months ago when the rise of the Delta variant of COVID-19 abruptly halted plans for employers across the country to return to the office. As we head into November, it appears that employers are (once more) regaining the confidence needed to put those return-to-office plans back in action—possibly, for the last time.

Walmart, for example, recently announced a November return to office for its corporate staff, while other companies are already back on site. According to the BLS monthly jobs report, the number of people working remotely due to the pandemic declined from 13.2% to 11.6% last month.

Santangelo believes that percentage will continue to shrink in the upcoming months. “No one wants to go back to the way it was in April 2020,” he says. “Regardless of what happens with COVID variants, given vaccinations, masks, social distancing, and the vaccine mandate, I feel we will see more returns, not less.”

Stay Tuned for the Next Monthly Jobs Report

Monster aims to provide employers with the insight needed to move forward. As you plan your hiring strategy this fall, check out Monster Intelligence, our go-to site for the latest poll results, Monster candidate data and other hiring insights.

We’ll see you again in December when we’ll release our next take on the monthly jobs report.