Monster jobs report: February 2021 snapshot
Hiring is off to a slow start this year as employers look to build—or rebuild—their teams. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, only a mere 49,000 jobs were added to the labor market last month, as employers seek to finalize budgets and determine how many more workers they can bring on this year.
Nevertheless, the majority (82%) of employers are planning to hire in 2021, per Monster’s Future of Work report, and our data indicates that February may just be the month to start. Month over month, the number of candidates searching for work on Monster has increased by 13%, with many looking for plum jobs in finance, education, tech, and more. Below, we provided some further insight into the places where candidates are focusing their searches right now.
Jobs are adding up in accounting
Tax season means hiring season, at least for accountants and others in the financial services industry. On Monster, new job listings for loan officers, financial managers, accountants, and insurance underwriters are currently on an upward trajectory. Meanwhile, on the candidate side, the number of job searches for accounting positions have increased significantly compared to previous months.
You can check our math, but our data aligns well with the job numbers reported by the BLS in January. Last month, employment in professional and business services led the way in terms of job growth, with the bulk of jobs (81,000) in temporary help services accounting.
The labor market gets an A+ for education
It’s no secret that schools have had a tough time adjusting to the new normal. Whether they are fully remote, in-person, or operating in a hybrid model, teachers and administrators have had their work cut out educating young minds amid the COVID-19 pandemic. When it comes to finding these kinds of dedicated, hard-working educators, new data from Monster and the BLS can teach you a thing or two about hiring in this sector.
For one, more faculty resources are needed in academic institutions across the country. Last month, the BLS reported top marks in employment gains in local government (49,000), state government (36,000), and private (34,000) education. Looking more closely at what types of positions are being filled, Monster data shows an increase in new job listings for teachers, instructors, instructional designers and technologists.
Chalk it up to all this job growth, but educators, it seems, have wised up to the extensive opportunities that currently exist in this rewarding field. On Monster, job searches in education have increased by a whopping 19% compared to the month prior, with candidates focusing their searches to teaching and instructional designer positions.
IT jobs are hard-coded in the job market
Alexa and Siri are your new best friends. Netflix and Hulu are your saving grace. Shopping has been reduced to just a few clicks of a button. Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype are your definition of spending “quality time” with friends and family. Sound familiar? For many of us, adjusting to the new normal has meant a greater reliance on technology—and a boon in IT jobs for the economy.
Just looking at jobs data on Monster, it’s almost as if our system is hacked by employers seeking developers and network administrators every month. This month is no different, as jobs for software application developers continue to be the top new job posted on Monster. Other top IT job postings include network and computer systems administrators and software systems developers. It’s no wonder the BLS showed that employment in tech rose by 27,000 in January.
The good thing is, there are plenty of computer geeks—er, job seekers—on the hunt for employment in this field. “Network administrator” and “Java developer” were two job searches with the greatest increases over the prior month. Not to mention, searches for information technology, software engineer, software developer, and Python developer jobs increased as well.
Workers are hungry for jobs in food services, leisure, and hospitality
Employment in amusement parks, casinos, hotels, bars, and restaurants has been a bit like a roller coaster ride amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At the onset of the pandemic, the industry took a nose-dive as employment fell by 8.2 million. But as bars and restaurants began to reopen across the country, about 4.9 million jobs were recovered. These past two months, though, employment has taken yet another dip. Following a steep decline in December (-536,000), employment in leisure and hospitality continued to decline in January, according to the BLS. Since February of last year, employment in this sector is down by 3.9 million, or 22.9%.
With these declines in employment, it’s clear that workers, primarily in the restaurant industry, are hungry for jobs. The number of candidates searching for jobs as cooks, restaurant managers, servers, and bartenders increased by 6% month-over-month on Monster.
While no one knows for certain what the future will hold for the leisure and hospitality industry, Monster data suggests that things may be looking up—at least for now. According to our data, new jobs posted have increased by 11% compared to the month prior, keeping in mind, of course, that the number of jobs is still lower compared to other, more pandemic-proof industries.
Jobs report prognosis: There is hope in healthcare
Healthcare was poised to be one of the largest job-creating sectors, primarily due to an aging population. However, throughout much of the pandemic, growth has been slowly trending downward, finally coming to a halt in January. The BLS reported losses of 30,000 jobs focused in nursing homes and home health care services last month, leaving many wondering, where have all the jobs gone?
The answer may be in hospitals, pharmacies, and physician offices. With the continued rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, we’re beginning to see employers hiring for healthcare positions pick back up on Monster. Some of the top jobs on Monster include listings for registered nurses, medical and clinical lab technicians, medical assistants, and pharmacy jobs. Likewise, job searches for registered nurse and medical assistant positions have increased over the past month as well. We’ll keep a close eye to see if these increases are enough to reverse the negative hiring trend currently plaguing the industry.
It may be time to head back to the office
In March of last year, many of us packed up our desks, thinking we would be back in two weeks, tops. Almost a year later, we’re still largely working from home. This may finally be about to change. While candidates searching for “remote” and “work from home” jobs have remained as two of the top keywords on Monster (and the BLS reports the top industries working from home as education and health services and professional and business services), we’ve seen an increase in more location-based job searches over the past couple months. In fact, some of the top locations being searched on Monster right now are for positions based in Houston, New York City, Seattle, Dallas, and Atlanta.
For those who only have to take a few steps from your bed to your desk, the BLS reinforces our theory that your commute may soon be getting a little longer. In January, BLS data showed that the number of remote workers edged down from 23.7% to 23.2%. We’ll continue to monitor in the coming months whether businesses continue to work remote or start to head back to the office.
Stay on top of the COVID-19 pandemic
Monster aims to provide employers with the insight needed to move forward, whether it’s sharing our take on the jobs report or providing proprietary candidate insights. As you plan your hiring strategy over the next month, see how Monster can help you get ready to hire in 2021.