Monster hiring report: January 2021 snapshot
It’s only fitting that 2020, a year filled with a raging pandemic and political chaos, would end in the most 2020 way possible: another round of job losses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor market shed 140,000 jobs last month, breaking it’s seven-month streak of positive growth since April when the country lost a colossal 20.8 million jobs.
Despite a decline in the labor market in December, it wasn’t all bad. Pandemic-proof industries like tech and construction continued to make solid gains last month, while Monster data indicates that 2021 is already starting to look up—at least for now. Here are some of the industries that are having the biggest impacts heading into the new year.
Hiring in tech zooms forward
The professional and business services sector has, perhaps, shown the most resilience in adapting to the “new normal” created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Serving as the primary job creator last month, the BLS reported that employment increased by 161,000 in the sector. These gains were largely concentrated in temporary help services (+68,000), computer systems design (+20,000), and professional and technical services (+11,000). As businesses continue to operate in socially distanced, remote environments, it’s clear that tech systems and support will be crucial.
Likewise, on Monster, we’ve seen this increased reliance on technology translate into more opportunities for gainful employment. From an employer perspective, some of the top new jobs posted include those for software developers, network and computer systems administrators, computer user support specialists, web developers, and computer systems analysts. We’ve also seen interest from candidates using keywords like “software engineer,” “information technology,” “software developer,” “computer,” and “computer technician” to fuel their job search.
Looking ahead, expect even more tech jobs coming down the pike. According to a recent Monster survey, nearly half (49%) of the tech industry respondents plan to create new jobs in 2021.
Final hiring push as holiday season comes to a close
We know that a lot of people asked for a job this holiday season, and it looks like jolly old St. Nick delivered—with a little help from Monster, of course. Our data shows that some of the top job searches conducted over the past couple months were for customer service, retail, sales, warehouse, and delivery jobs. And if the BLS report is any indication, it looks like many were able to find gainful employment in retail, transportation, and warehousing last month. According to the report, the retail sector added 121,000 jobs, while employment in transportation and warehousing expanded by 47,000 in December.
Now that the presents have been opened and the tree put away, the question is whether these jobs are here to stay or settle down for a long winter’s nap? Monster data indicates the former, meaning the holiday hiring rush might not be over just yet. Some of the top new jobs posted on Monster right now include: order fillers, retail salespersons and supervisors, light truck or delivery service drivers, laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, and packers and packagers.
Cabin fever is making the construction sector hot, hot, hot
After being stuck at home since the middle of March, it’s safe to say that most of us are ready for a change of scenery. But with nowhere to go, more and more people are rethinking their current living situations, leading to a surge of home remodeling and building projects (AKA, more construction jobs).
It’s a trend we’ve been following closely over the past few months, as the sector has worked toward reaching its pre-pandemic levels. In December, employment rose by 51,000, with notable gains in residential speciality contractors and residential building—two industries that have now gained back the jobs lost when the pandemic first began.
On Monster, hiring is continuing to build in construction, as well. Some of the top jobs in demand right now include construction laborers, electricians, operating engineers, and construction equipment operators.
All of this job growth in the midst of a pandemic has been hard to ignore, as we see an increasing number of workers starting to take notice. From apprentices to more seasoned pros, Monster data shows an uptick of candidates searching for construction, carpenter, electrician, and heavy equipment operator jobs over the past month.
Worker shortages plague healthcare sector
As COVID-19 cases surge across the country, lines of people waiting to receive the vaccine are only growing longer, with some people even camping out overnight. This slower-than-expected rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines has highlighted increasing staffing shortages that have plagued the healthcare industry since the beginning of the pandemic. As hospitals seek to find caregivers to tend to the sick and administer the vaccine, Monster data shows that some of the top jobs hiring right now are for registered nurses, medical and clinical laboratory technicians, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (LPNs and LVNs), pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, medical assistants, and nursing assistants.
Slowing, but surely, these jobs are starting to be filled. In December, the BLS reported relatively small employment gains of 39,000 in hospitals and ambulatory care services. While this number is fewer than what’s been reported in previous months, Monster data shows that the talent pipeline has not yet been depleted. In fact, job searches for registered nurses, medical assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physician assistants, and pharmacy technicians continue to persist on Monster as more and more candidates strive to join the fight against COVID-19.
Supply and demand for manufacturing jobs
The manufacturing sector continues to chip away at the job losses experienced at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With 38,000 jobs added last month, the sector still remains 543,000 short of its February level, according to the BLS.
It’s an uphill battle for sure, but as we look to the year ahead, all signs point to continued expansion in this space. From a hiring standpoint, some of the top new job postings on Monster right now are for team assemblers, machinists, production workers, inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers. Likewise, on the candidate side, keyword searches for “manufacturing,” “welder,” “production supervisor,” “CNC machinist,” “manufacturing engineer,” “production manager,” and “machinist” are trending upward.
Job vacancies in leisure and hospitality
Unfortunately, the great job gains in tech, retail, and construction weren’t enough to offset the massive losses in leisure and hospitality. According to the BLS report, the sector shed nearly half a million jobs in December alone as increases in COVID-19 cases led governors to shutter restaurants and families to cancel trips home for the holidays. It’s a trend we’ve seen not only in the BLS report, but also on Monster, with fewer job openings and candidates searching for work in restaurants, hotels, casinos, amusement parks, and recreation centers.
With states rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations over the next several months, we’ll continue to monitor how the leisure and hospitality sector bounces back. And when it does, we’ll be here to serve as the ultimate destination for employers and job seekers to find the right fit.
Stay on top of the COVID-19 pandemic
Monster aims to provide employers with the insight needed to move forward. As you plan your hiring strategy over the next month, see how Monster can help you navigate the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic at your organization.