The number of open job postings in the US grew throughout 2021, and that momentum is rolling into 2022. According to the Indeed Hiring Lab, on January 21, 2022, US job postings on Indeed were 60.5% above their level on February 1, 2020, the pre-pandemic baseline, after adjusting for seasonal variation.
As we get back to work and hiring activity begins to pick up after the holidays, there is one talent trend that is clear to all of us: we are in a job seeker’s market. In all the years I’ve worked in the hiring industry, I’ve never seen such a tight US labor market or one where employees hold all the cards.
The hits just keep on coming
There are many names for this phenomenon: the Big Quit, the Great Resignation and the Great Re-Evaluation come to mind. Whatever you call it, it is real. And beyond this immediate trend of employees’ finding their next great career move during the pandemic, the 2022 US labor market is impacted by more secular trends coinciding with the pandemic: a workforce increasingly made up of millennials and Gen-Zers are redefining the role of work in their lives, as well as baby boomers who are retiring in larger numbers, earlier than expected.
In 2022, the HR leaders I meet with are wrestling with how these unprecedented trends are affecting their ability to attract and retain talent. And new, unexpected barriers continue to stand in the way. The most recent job-posting tracker from Indeed (a real-time measure of labor activity as of January 2021) indicates that it’s still too soon to know how variables like the Omicron surge will impact hiring trends and job-seeker behavior.