RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Employers looking to fill positions struggle to find the talent they need, which means workers can choose.
Yes, a lot has changed about the workforce since the start of 2020. For this week’s employment report, WRAL TechWire wanted to get a feel for the macro impacts the pandemic has brought on the world. US employment landscape.
We spoke with Andrew Hunter, co-founder of job search engine Adzuna, about some of the trends he is seeing on his platform and how the job market has changed during the pandemic. The site currently lists over 4 million jobs across the United States, including 32,229 jobs in Wake County, 16,633 in Raleigh and nearly 11,000 in County Durham, from Sunday afternoon.
Hunter shared his take on the general trends shaping the national labor market, recent developments, the sectors and skills that are experiencing the highest demand, how employers compete for talent, and how applicants compete for talent. employment and employers can stay ahead of emerging trends.
Jobs report: LinkedIn lists over 57,000 open positions in Triangle
To learn more, check out our exclusive Q&A. (Comments have been edited slightly for clarity and brevity.)
- What changes have you noticed in the job market over the past 14 months or so?
The job market is very different from 14 months ago. We are witnessing a major shift in power. At the height of the pandemic, many people were concerned about job security and some industries have shut down or completely slowed down operations, resulting in layoffs and time off. Now job seekers are in the driver’s seat again and companies are fighting for talent with a significant talent shortage. As a result, companies go to great lengths to attract candidates, and candidates have the power to be more selective in where they apply and are interviewed.
But despite the return of employment opportunities, the number of people leaving the labor market and taking a career break is higher than normal. The oecd [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] suggests [in its 2021 Employment Outlook report] Employment in the United States could be below pre-pandemic levels through the end of 2023. After months of uncertainty, COVID-related pressures and poor job security, burnout professional affects many sectors, not only frontline workers, but also white-collar workers who juggle less than ideal working conditions.
We’re seeing a high number of quits fueled by workers looking to change careers or just in need of a break. Many have accumulated savings over the past year and are in no rush to return to work immediately. As a result, we have a job market with a high number of vacancies but a smaller pool of job seekers than usual and it may take some time to restore balance.
- What was the catalyst for the trends you are seeing now?
These trends are the culmination of what employees have learned over the past year, whether it’s a year of remote work or a year of in-person employment for essential workers. Health and wellness have become a priority for many people, inspiring a greater focus on work / life balance. Many have been forced to recognize that life is short and prioritizes job satisfaction, balance and family over work that does not bring them joy.
- How has the employment landscape in the United States changed in terms of sectors or skills in demand?
The distribution of opportunities has been shaken up since the start of the pandemic. Early on, we saw significant hiring in the logistics and warehousing industry, likely fueled by the growth of e-commerce and an increase in online deliveries. In fact, Adzuna’s data reveals that jobs in this industry are 206% above pre-pandemic levels, with more than 925,000 positions currently vacant.
The pandemic has also caused ultra-low interest rates, leading to an increase in the real estate sector as well as labor and trade professionals indirectly through home improvement. For 11 consecutive weeks, we saw more than 100,000 jobs in trade and construction.
Meanwhile, sectors such as healthcare, nursing and social work have seen consistently high job vacancies, with a combination of high turnover, high demand, and a shortage of skilled workers creating a continued need for new talent. Finally, the pandemic has forced many companies to switch to remote working, accelerating the adoption of the technology in many industries. Digital and software skills are in greater demand than ever.
While these changes may be momentary, they are a testament to the overall demand for jobs that we will see in the future as well. Some of the most in-demand roles today and over the next decade will be those of registered nurses, software developers, delivery drivers, social workers and the skilled trades.
- What does this mean for employers?
We have seen the dismantling of bustling office perks like free food or laundry services replaced with a greater focus on health and wellness. Employers put more effort into retaining workers by creating comprehensive benefit packages. These will be expected by applicants and will forever change the way employers build their compensation programs.
From an employer’s point of view, digital skills are in particular demand. The combination of changing skills needs and high demand for candidates has led to another positive change: companies are paying more attention to skills than formal education.
- Are there any new trends or themes that you have observed in the past month in particular?
Job openings in restaurants were initially curtailed by restrictions linked to the pandemic, but are now recovering and businesses are struggling to fill those roles. We’ve seen the restaurant industry react with creative ways to compete for talent, including pay raises, babysitting bonuses, and signing bonuses, mimicking the trendy high-tech offerings. which has since spread to many industries struggling to hire.
McDonald’s is the latest big brand to come up with a caregiver offering, introducing emergency child care as a way to get parents back to work. [According to U.S. Census data,] About 1 in 4 American children, or 22 million, live in single-parent households, which means that adding supportive care has the potential to significantly open up the labor market.
- What can job seekers and employers do to stay ahead of these trends?
Employers who find a way to offer job seekers a chance to develop and adapt to the future of the job market will stand out from the crowd. Workers are more aware than ever of how quickly the labor market can change and how quickly they may need to adapt. They are looking for employers who can support them in these transitions. Flexibility is also essential, allowing workers to balance their careers with other responsibilities.
For job seekers, it is worth looking at demand industries as a starting point and seeing if they could fit into broader career ambitions. Roles such as software developers or registered nurses require specific skills and qualifications, but other in-demand roles such as delivery drivers for warehouse workers are more accessible – they might offer good options for flexible work while retraining in other sectors. The general labor shortage also means that now is the time to know your worth and you need to be sure to negotiate your salary when starting a new job.
Career fairs in the coming weeks will seek to match Triangle workers and companies