Monthly Jobs Report: Monster’s Hiring Snapshot
September proved to be a chilly month for employers and recruiters, despite federal unemployment benefits ending. While many thought that an end to the extra $300 a week in benefits might lead to more people looking for work, the Delta variant of COVID-19 had other ideas for the economy.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor market expanded by a mere 194,000 jobs last month, falling short of the half a million that economists were expecting. Since then, however, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have fortunately declined in much of the country. So while these not-so-great job numbers may have marked the lowest monthly gains this year, Monster data indicates that things might be looking up heading into October.
Over the past month, both the number of employers hiring and candidates searching for jobs have trended upward with gains seen in leisure and hospitality, retail, transportation and warehousing, and more. Here are the industries seeing the biggest impacts right now.
Hiring Kicks Off in Leisure and Hospitality
Stages, stadiums, galleries, and arenas are ready to welcome audiences and fans back—just in time for football season, too. While the National Football League kicked off a new season in September, the sports, arts, and entertainment industries made a grand re-entrance in the labor market.
Leading the way in hiring last month, the BLS monthly jobs report showed gains of 74,000 in leisure and hospitality with growth primarily concentrated in those three job categories. Likewise, on Monster, the number of active job postings in arts, entertainment, and recreation increased by 14% over the past month.
Heading into October, some of the top active jobs in those industries right now include those for designers, coaches and scouts. For those hiring in this industry, Monster outlined recruiting strategies for attracting talent in leisure and hospitality and keeping your pipeline full of viable candidates throughout the year.
‘Tis the Season for Finding a Holiday Job
We’re not even past Halloween, but it’s already beginning to look a lot like Christmas on the jobs front. Over the past month, retailers and transportation companies—including Target, Kohls, Macys, UPS, and FedEx—have announced big holiday hiring plans, and Monster has taken notice. Active job postings for retail salespersons are up 32% on Monster, while listings for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers are up 14% over the past month. In addition to those job postings, other active jobs hiring on Monster include:
- Light truck or delivery services drivers
- Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand
- Stock clerks – stockroom, warehouse or storage yard
- Retail supervisors
We’re seeing increasing interest from candidates looking for seasonal work as well, despite the ongoing pandemic. In fact, a recent Monster poll found that 78% of respondents are planning to look for a seasonal job this year. Our poll data indicates that they will be focusing their job searches in:
- Customer service (43%)
- Logistics (28%)
- Retail (12%)
Seasonal workers aren’t wasting time finding jobs, either. Already, we’re seeing plans turn into action on Monster. Over the past month, candidate searches for “temp” and “gig” jobs have nearly doubled. Narrowing in on the retail and transportation and warehousing industries, some of the top keywords fueling candidate searches this month include:
- Customer service
- Warehouse worker
- Delivery driver
- Forklift operator
- Truck driver
The seasonal hiring activity we’re seeing on Monster can likely be attributed to some of the job numbers seen in the BLS monthly jobs report. According to the BLS, employment in retail rose by 56,000, following two months of little hiring activity. Meanwhile, jobs in transportation and warehousing increased by 47,000, putting the sector 72,000 above its pre-pandemic level.
Education Flunked This Month’s Jobs Report
Back-to-school hiring ordinarily happens in September, but if we’ve learned anything from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that nothing is ordinary. With the Delta variant delaying a return to in-person learning, the Labor Department said that last-minute switches to remote and hybrid learning may have thrown off the government’s data, making it “challenging to interpret.” Nevertheless, the BLS monthly jobs report revealed steep losses of 180,000 jobs in local and state government education and in private education.
Although education may have flunked this month’s jobs report, there might be a chance for the sector to earn top marks here in October. While the number of active education job postings on Monster aren’t as strong as they were over the summer, we are still seeing some employers hiring for teachers and instructors this month.
Nursing Shortage Persists Amid Delta Wave
Hospitals were filled with COVID-19 patients last month as the Delta wave neared its peak. Yet, many health care providers continue to face severe nursing shortages a year and a half into the pandemic. A recent survey found that nearly one in five health care workers have quit their jobs during the pandemic, while another 12% have been laid off.
The BLS monthly jobs report is another example of these industry losses. In September, the job numbers report showed that health care employment declined by 18,000, primarily in nursing and residential care facilities and hospitals. Furthermore, Monster data draws attention to the strong demand for nurses as we head into cold and flu season amid the ongoing pandemic. Some of the top active job postings in health care right now include:
- Registered nurses
- Nursing assistants
- Personal care aides
- Licensed practical nurses
- Medical assistants
- Clinical care nurses
- Acute care nurses
Fortunately, relief may soon be coming with candidates searching for many of the same jobs listed above on Monster. Some of the top positions being searched by candidates include jobs for:
- Registered nurses
- Medical assistants
- Licensed practical nurses
- Nurse practitioners
- Certified nursing assistants
She Says “I Quit!”
While last month’s depressing job numbers were a strong point in the BLS monthly jobs report, an even larger figure is posing an even larger threat to the return to work. Last month, more women left the workforce than the economy added jobs. According to the BLS, 309,000 women ages 20 and over left the labor force, which experts are attributing to a lack of accessible childcare as remote work persists.
While it has undoubtedly been challenging for employers to effectively manage employees working from home with kids, it’s important to find a way to balance HR policies aimed at supporting parents while providing clear expectations and direction. To better support working parents and retain more female employees, Monster shared some tips on how to create a more inclusive and family-friendly workplace.
Money Wars: Wages Continue to Increase Amid Labor Shortage
Despite fewer payrolls added last month, wage gains remain strong heading into fall as the competition for talent thickens. According to the BLS monthly jobs report, average hourly earnings increased by 0.6%, or 19 cents in September for a total of $30.85. Over the past year, wages have increased by 4.6%, exceeding the expected 3.9%. The Labor Department suggests that “the rising demand for labor associated with the recovery from the pandemic may have put upward pressure on wages.”
Monster data seemingly backs this belief. As wages have continued to rise, we’ve seen increasing interest from candidates searching for jobs on Monster over the past several months. It will be interesting to see how these wage gains may lead to more gainful employment in the months ahead.
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’s Fall Hiring Report for a deeper dive into the data and what it will mean for your business.
We’ll see you again in November when we’ll release our next take on the monthly jobs report.