The Job Market

Latest job market statistics from our Recruiter Index.

Recruiter.com's job data and job numbers based on the insights of our network of over 40,000 recruiters and HR professionals.

Our jobs report is updated monthly. For media inquiries, please email [email protected].

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Job Market Overview

No one understands the talent market like the experts working on the front lines. Every month, Recruiter.com surveys its network of 40,000+ independent recruiting and talent acquisition specialists to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

The May 2022 Recruiter Index results show that recruiter sentiment held steady as candidate sentiment took a slight dip. Recruiters are working on an average of 22 roles each, with the top salary range being $100-$150K.

The candidate sentiment score, how open candidates are to new jobs, was 3.3 / 5. Majority of recruiters reported a decrease in applicant values for the month, while 40 percent reported applicant volume remaining the same.
Job Market - Overall Candidate Sentiment
Job Market - Average Recruiter Sentiment by Month
* Scale of 1-5, with 1 being "The job market is getting much colder." and 5 being "The job market is getting much hotter."
Job Market - Recruiter Workload
Job Market - Job Applicants
You can also look at the Recruiter Index candidate priorities. With this valuable insight, you can identify what candidates are looking for in new positions. For example, in May 2022, 37 percent of candidates are most interested in compensation when applying, 30 percent are interested in remote work, and 18 percent also want work / life balance.
Job Market - Candidates New Opportunities
Job Market - Top Reasons Employees Leaving Jobs
Recruiters are still in high demand as recruiters report a total of 49 percent of the candidates they are speaking with have had two jobs within the past two years - showing that the job hopper economy is in full swing. According to the Recruiter Index, in May 2022, IT and software engineering is the hottest industry on the market, followed by recruiting and staffing, medical and healthcare, architecture and engineering, accounting and auditing, and sales.

What Is the Job Market?

The job market changes rapidly on a local and national level in every country. National employment news consists of the unemployment rate, trends in particular industries, and careers in unusually high or projected demand. Individuals and companies can use this career information to forecast marketability or talent availability.

The job market is a concept meant to evoke the structures of competition, exchange, and the interplay between employers searching for employees and employees searching for work. It is an essential aspect for employers and job seekers.

The demand for labor in a given economy will grow or shrink based on the market for jobs. It will look at the urgent demand for different industries, the level of education needed for those positions, and other factors that will affect the market. When the unemployment rate is high, the supply on the market for jobs increases, and the market may even see job gains. This gives employers a chance to be more selective in their hires and offer lower wages. When the unemployment rate drops, employers will have to compete for the best talent, and they will need to raise wages and provide other benefits.

If you want to look more in-depth at the job market, you should study the field of economics. Economics also looks at how labor affects the overall economy through the study of labor economics. Labor is defined as the measure of work that people do, contrasted with the economic circles from capital and land, affecting production. Some people will also refer to "human capital" as employees' skills and abilities. A labor economist will look at workers, employers, and patterns from the distribution of total employment, income, or wages.

When you're learning about the job markets, you should understand the supply and demand of different industries. You'll also learn how to look at the career outlook for various careers.

However, when analyzing the job market, look at the local employment market. If you don't know how to interpret the local job market, a professional recruiting agency or an employment center should understand different hiring and economic conditions.

Different Parts of the Labor Market

Four different parts make up the job labor market. These components are people who either participate or feel the effects of the market.
LABOR FORCE
The labor force consists of every working professional, regardless of their industry. These people are actively working, but it can include anyone regardless of their work history, educational levels, or skills. In the labor market, the force is vital because they are the supply. The positions that employers will offer are the demand in this market.
Applicant Pool
You can then narrow down your applicants into their own pool. These are applicants who go through the first step in the recruitment process.

This pool contains professionals who were eligible for the role and then applied because they met specific criteria.
Applicants
When you look at the labor force, you can narrow that down even further to applicants. This population is more specific, and it comprises professionals who want to apply for one of the job openings that a company might post. Each job opening will have its applicant population because some people may not be interested in a job opening or may not have the skills necessary to apply.

Recruiters will typically contact this group of people to try and get them to send their applications and resumes in for consideration.
Candidates
Lastly, the interview process will help narrow the applicant pool to candidates. The applicants turn into candidates when they pass the company's screening process. There might be multiple qualified candidates for a job position, and recruiters will need to pick one of their favorites.

When a recruiter or a hiring manager chooses a candidate, the recruiter will offer them a position on behalf of the business they're representing. If a candidate accepts an offer, they will become an employee, and then they're off the job market until the next position comes along.

The Job Market and Unemployment Rate

You may hear the job market and the unemployment rate talked about often. The unemployment rate is the percentage of the labor force that isn't currently working. Even though they aren't working, they are trying to find a job.

The lowest rate of unemployment was in 2019 at 3.5%. However, the highest unemployment rate in the U.S. was recorded at 24.9% in 1933. If the unemployment rate is high, there is a more significant supply of labor in the economy and a lower demand for job openings from businesses. If there is a low unemployment rate, more people are working, but there could be more job openings. Typically, there aren't as many openings.

There are two types of job market conditions: a candidate's market and an employer's market. If employers have more applicants to choose from, they can offer lower wages and be pickier with their candidates. However, once the unemployment rates drop, candidates have the upper hand and can demand more wages, and employers may have to take whatever available workers there are.

The competition for these applicants will drive the salaries and wages that companies will offer. The cost of the wages is significant for economic analysts to judge how the overall economy is doing.

The unemployment number will generally rise when there is a difficult economic time. If it gets higher, employers may start letting employees go and slow down job creation, which will make it harder for more people to find work, which drives the unemployment rate even higher.

If unemployment rates stay too high for an extended period without any economic growth, it can halt the economy, affecting everyone's lives. The Federal Reserve may have to print more money, which can grow inflation and cause even more problems down the road.
About the U.S. Job Market
Each country has its job market, but it is always heavily scrutinized in the United States job market. During the Great Recession, the unemployment rate hovered around 4 to 5%, and many businesses failed. In addition, the demand for goods and services, along with labor, fell drastically.

In 2009, after the 2008 housing market crash, the unemployment rate reached 10%, but it eventually declined until February 2020, right when COVID-19 lockdowns started occurring. Companies had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, so they had to lay off their employees to keep the business afloat. During that time, the unemployment rate hit 14.7%, which was the highest level since 1940.

The unemployment rate isn't the only factor that analysts look at when determining the job market's health. They also look at labor productivity, measured by the output produced for each hour of labor that went into making it. Productivity has become very important in multiple economies, primarily because of advancements in technology and efficient processes and improvements.

However, in the United States, productivity growth did not result in wage growth. Workers now create more goods and offer more services for each unit of time, but they aren't compensated on an equally scalable level. This could be another factor that will affect the job market's health.
Historical Job Market Trends
To better understand how the job market works and how to analyze it, it helps to know what historical trends were there in the past. For example, in the 20th century in America, wages rose, benefits grew, and working conditions significantly improved. At the beginning of the century, it didn't look like the job market would be that strong, but it eventually grew to a point where it was healthier at the end of the century versus the beginning.

For example, according to BLS data, the size of the workforce in the country grew from 24 million people to 139 million people. However, the nature of work also changed.

The top industries consisted of technical and professional service workers, like foresters or farmers. That same BLS data found that 38% of the labor force initially worked on farms at the beginning of the century, but only 3% of workers were on a farm by the end of the century. In addition, other industries like construction, manufacturing, and mining lost workers. In its place, service industries and corporate business growth companies started growing.

In addition to that, the demographic of working people also changed. Women started participating in the labor market, which is part of the reason that the size of the workforce changed so drastically. By looking at trends and patterns like these, we can start to identify them in the current job market and use it to predict what the future might bring.

How to Analyze the Job Market

Once you understand the job market, it makes it easier to analyze it. Analyzing the labor market will help you figure out what steps you should take to grow your business. It can also help you identify which job roles you should hire for.

 
  • Compare Salaries

  • Inform Recruiters

  • Identify Hot Markets

To remain competitive, you'll need to make sure that you offer a fair salary for new hires. They will likely be doing their salary research, and if they know that you're underpaying them, they might accept a position at a different company.

In a competitive market, you may even want to offer higher salaries than the average for that position. This could be great for your employer branding, but it could also help your retention rates. Knowing what the job market is like will give you insights into how much you should pay for a new hire.
The job market can also offer most recruiters and hiring managers valuable information. Cultural trends, current events, and other interests can affect the job market. Recruiters can determine which positions might be in demand, and they can start curating a professional network with those positions in mind.

For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, recruiters could read the job market and notice a higher demand for health care professionals. Because of that, they could start curating a candidate pool and begin recruiting those professionals.

They should look at labor statistics websites and noticeable employment trends to find this information.
As a business owner, you'll want to ensure that you're growing your business. You'll need to know what market to capitalize on to do that. This can also be important for entrepreneurs trying to decide what type of business to start.

For example, if they notice that the tech industry is growing, they may want to think about creating a tech startup. Analyzing the job market could be the key to creating the next great company.
About the Recruiter Index
Each month, Recruiter.com sends out the Recruiter Index survey to gauge the job market's health through the recruiters' experience. We survey 30,000 recruiting and talent acquisition specialists each month to understand the recruiting industry's opportunities and challenges.

Since 2020, the Recruiter Index has predicted the Bureau of Labor Statistics job report before it even comes out. We can do this because we rely on talent acquisition professionals and recruiters. These professionals know the job market better than anyone else.

The Recruiter Index tracks many things, including an overview of the job market, an analysis of candidates, and the most currently active industries on the market. However, the Recruiter Index tracks the most critical aspects: the recruiter and candidate sentiment. Recruiter sentiment is how recruiters feel about the current job market. The candidate sentiment will show how open candidates are to new job opportunities.
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Best Industries for the Job Market?

If you're going to be starting a new business, you'll also need to evaluate the job market and understand consumer sentiment to find a specific industry that is hot. If you choose a hot market, then you're more likely to have a successful business.

Right now, technology is one of the biggest industries, encompassing aspects like Artificial Intelligence (AI), biotechnology, cloud technology, and data analytics. Startups in these industries are succeeding, especially as a Software as a Service (SaaS) company.

As many people have also started buying homes and moving thanks to remote jobs, the real estate market is also really popular.

Sustainability is another industry that has become more popular as green technology advances and energy prices go up. More people realize the importance of going green, electric cars are more popular, and more people install solar panels on their homes.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare industries are also hot. There is a growing demand for healthcare professionals, and pharmaceutical companies are also growing as they conduct new research for new medicine and technology.

However, recruiters and staffing professionals are also in high demand right now. As many companies are still trying to recover from the pandemic and the Great Resignation, recruiters and staffers are the ones who will feel these positions. In fact, recruiters are so in-demand right now that companies even struggle to find and retain them.

How to Navigate a Tough Job Market

In a tough job market with more open positions than candidates, it might be difficult for recruiters and hiring managers to acquire talent. However, some strategies can help your business navigate through a tough job market.

Market your Business

Recruiters and business owners will need to take on the role of marketing to advertise new job openings. They will need to be in tune with the job market to know what factor is most important to job seekers in the current market. 

If you're trying to attract younger candidates, they may be interested in your company's sustainability, diversity, or other progressive initiatives. They may want to be able to volunteer or be a part of great company culture. If you're trying to attract applicants with more experience, they may be looking for a better work-life balance, daycare options, paternal leave, or a better retirement plan.

Your business should also be promoting job advertisements on social media and other niche job boards. Keep in mind that your current employees may even be able to help you market. They can bring in employee referrals and also promote your branding online. 

However, you'll also want to analyze your compensation packages in a competitive market. This is usually the first factor that job seekers will look for when searching for job advertisements. In some states, it's even legally required to put the salary range in the job description. If you can't offer competitive compensation, you may want to provide a sign-on bonus or another valuable asset. 

Brainstorm New Ideas

As the job market changes, the expectations and priorities of candidates will also change. Businesses need to start looking for good employees with the intention of training them. This is especially true for newer fields, like cryptocurrency or FinTech. 

Rather than have your staff struggle, take the initiative into your own hands and grow your ideal employee. Look for people who are open to learning new things and train them to have all the qualifications you are looking for. You may even want to branch out and consider hiring part-time employees to help fill in some gaps. 

Hire for talent, commitment, and personality. You can focus on training them on the rest as long as they have the essential skills.

Broaden your Horizon

If your standard strategies and talent pools aren't working for you, you may want to try new sourcing strategies to find the best employees. Now, advanced technology like artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance your recruiting strategy and improve your workflow. 

This type of technology will help you identify more candidates and recruit them. You could also try recruiting on social media by meeting candidates where they are. You may even need to hire a recruiter monthly to gain access to their more expansive and diverse talent pool. 

Recruiter.com is an expert in recruiting, and we have all the recruiting solutions you need to navigate through a tough job market. Whether you need to find niche job communities, need temporary help from contracted recruiters, or want to use powerful AI sourcing software, we have you covered. Contact us today to figure out which solution is the best option for your hiring process.

Job Market Resources

The job market changes rapidly, both on a local and national level. National employment news consists of the unemployment rate, trends in particular industries, and careers in unusually high or projected demand. Individuals and companies can use this career information to forecast marketability or talent availability. However, when looking for a job, most attention should be paid to local resources: employers that are hiring, opening new locations, and personal resignations and hiring.

The "Job Market" is not a physical location or even an open space but rather a concept meant to evoke the structures of competition, exchange, and interplay between employers searching for employees and employees searching for work. It is an imperative aspect of employment and finding jobs. The overall demand for labor within a given economy, as well as the exigencies of any specific industry, the relative level of education and training for workers, and a host of other factors can cause the demand for labor to grow or to shrink and consequently the market for jobs to expand or contract. When the unemployment rate grows the supply on the market for jobs increases which gives employers the opportunity to be more selective in their hires and to force down wages. When the unemployment rate drops employers then have to compete for the best workers which consequently raises wages.

The field of economics which studies the job market and the effect which labour has on the overall economy is known as labor economics. Labour economists study workers, employers, and patterns which emerge in the dispersal of wages, employment, and income. Labor, which is generally defined as the measure of work done by human beings, is contrasted in economic circles from land and capital, which also effect production. Some have proposed the term "human capital" to refer to the skills and abilities which workers possess, but other macro-economists have suggested that such language is a contradiction in terms.

The most important function of learning about job markets is to understand the supply and demand of particular types of talent and to understand the career outlook for a given profession. It is often a good idea to consult with professionals deeply involved in the local employment market. Usually professional agency recruiters, job coaches, and employment center personnel have a nuanced and detailed understanding of local hiring conditions and connections with local employers.
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