Hiring trends show the labor market is settling into a changing new normal


Hiring trends show the labor market is settling into a changing new normal

The United States is back to record employment, but the job market is nothing like it was in the early 2020s. employment during the pandemic. Residential and nursing facilities are still scrambling to get back to pre-crisis employment numbers. Loading Loading something.

Employment in the United States may have returned to record highs, but jobs look very different from pre-pandemic norms.

For starters, many private service sectors are still struggling to return to pre-pandemic employment levels. Travel arrangements and reservation services are a far cry from their pre-crisis job numbers, with employment still down around 31% from February to August 2020. These businesses have suffered throughout the pandemic , as early lockdowns and subsequent virus variants halted travel for much of the year.

The slowdown in business travel has also dampened the industry’s hiring plans, and that shortfall is expected to persist, Julia Pollack, chief economist at Zipricruiter, told Insider.

“Remote work is going to be permanently higher than it was pre-pandemic, so jobs in the office ecosystem and commuting jobs are going to be permanently lower,” he said. .

Coal mining employment is 17.7% below pre-pandemic levels. Daniel Zhao, chief economist at Glassdoor, told Insider that this highlights a long-term trend that existed before Covid as the United States shifted to cleaner energy sources.

Moving away from coal “isn’t really something that has changed with Covid,” Zhao said. “If anything, maybe the epidemic has slowed down a bit just because of higher energy prices. But overall it’s a trend that I expect that it continues, whatever the evolution of the pandemic.

Transit and ground passenger transportation, including school buses and mass transit, have yet to return to pre-pandemic employment.

“I expect there will be a recovery in this industry, but the pace may be different from the rest of the economy because it relies very, very heavily on government funding,” Zhao said.

Leisure and hospitality employment still 1.2 million below pre-pandemic level

Companies in the leisure and hospitality sectors have been creating jobs at a faster rate throughout the recovery, indicating that they could still catch up. Still, with employment still some way off previous highs, those employment numbers could start to creep back up before the sector fully recovers.

“We all thought that the first moves away from the trend were related to the pandemic and that things would return to normal. But now they’ve been really stable in the new normal for a very, very long time,” Pollack said. “You don’t really see a convergence that’s about ending the outbreak and getting back to normal behavior.”

The lodging industry – hotels and motels – has suffered during the pandemic. The number of jobs in these companies is about 19% lower than the level observed in February 2020.

“I think overall, accommodation and the broader leisure and hospitality industry will return to pre-pandemic employment levels,” Zhao said. “Right now this industry looks a long way off from where it was before the pandemic, but that’s mainly due to the depth of the crisis for the leisure and hospitality industry.”

Food and beverage spaces, which include accommodation, leisure and hospitality, are still below pre-pandemic employment. This could be a potential sector that may not return to what it was before the pandemic.

“Restaurants and their customers find themselves in the ‘new normal’. Given emerging technologies, changes in consumer behavior and food preferences, and the extraordinary challenges of the past two years, the industry is unlikely to fully revert to its pre-pandemic state,” said Hudson Riehl, senior vice president of research and knowledge group National Restaurant Association, Dr.

Some U.S. industries see employment uptick from February 2020

At the other end of the labor market spectrum, companies that have helped transition to lockdown lifestyles are performing the best. Employment in the warehousing and storage sector is up 35% from early 2020 levels, fueled by growth in e-commerce companies and supply chain issues that surfaced the year last.

“Warehousing has been a winner in the pandemic-era labor market as households shift their consumption from services to goods,” Nick Bunker, director of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab, told Reuters. Insider in a press release.

Employment in couriers and messengers, a sector that has grown throughout the pandemic, is about 28% higher than pre-pandemic numbers.

The data processing and hosting sector increased employment by 18% from the previous peak, likely helped by the rapid shift to cloud computing and telecommuting. Employment in the scientific research and development services industry has similarly increased.

A changing labor market can be good for workers

Changes in the labor market are not necessarily a bad thing. Nonfarm payrolls hit nearly 153 million in August, surpassing the previous record set in February 2020 and marking a new record for U.S. employment. The unemployment rate jumped to 3.7%, but the rise reflects a healthy increase in labor force participation, and the rate is still near its lowest level in five decades.

Job postings remain near record highs, indicating that labor demand remains strong. This could be beneficial for Americans displaced from struggling industries and looking to move to other areas of work.

However, the latest employment figures confirm that the labor market is structuring like never before. The epidemic was always ready to leave the United States with a permanent scar. Some of this has already appeared in the labor market, and the workforce is expected to deviate further from its pre-crisis status as the recovery continues.

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