Jobs growth sped up in February 2022 with the most jobs added to the U.S. economy since July 2021. In Feb, 678,000 jobs were added, ahead of economists’ forecasts. The unemployment rate fell from 4% in January to 3.8%.
On March 1, President Biden discussed workforce issues and inflation as part of this State of the Union address. He encouraged employers to avoid decreasing wages as a reaction to inflation. He went on to highlight that 6.5 million jobs were added to the U.S. economy last year, “More jobs in one year than ever before in the history of the United States of America,” he said. This was attributed in part to a recharge in manufacturing and mentioned the huge semiconductor fabrication plant in Ohio with Intel as investor.
In order to boost wages and benefits, Target is looking to spend up to $300 million, including raising the hourly rate from $15 to between $15-$24 for store employees as well as those in corporate and supply chain facilities. Health benefits will also be accessible to more hourly workers, as the company will be offering these to those working 25 hours per week or more (down from the previous requirement of 30 hours). This change will make benefits available to another 20% of their workforce.
Posting a job got way pricier in 2021 – the median cost per job posting increased by 43%! That’s up to $28 more per posting. Conversely, the media apply rate only rose by around 3%. Things that make you go hmmmm…. The fact that there are so many employment choices is thought to have had an impact on application volume but so did other lifestyle situations such as caregiving responsibilities. The industries with the biggest decrease in applications? That would be Food Service, Cusomter Service, Healthcare, and HR. As expected, candidates are leveraging their mobile phones way more than their desktops with 68% of job ad clicks and 67% of apps in 2021 – even industries like Legal that have higher desktop applicant rates saw an increase in mobile applications.
Many employers are still holding out on disclosing salaries within job posts in the U.S. – only 29% include that info. Personal service (76%) and transport (67%) industries had the highest salary transparency while architecture and engineering (18%) and tech (16%) had the lowest. Colorado’s pay transparency law has that state as tops with the most salary transparency – the law requires job postings include the compensation rate or range. The three states with the lowest transparency were New York (12%), Los Angeles (15%), and Boston (17%).
In February, 475,000 jobs were added to the U.S. private sector. Gains were seen across the board with leisure and hospitality posting the biggest increase with 170,000 jobs. Small businesses continue to struggle as they compete for workers, losing 96,000 jobs, midsize business added 18,000 jobs, while large businesses added 562,000 jobs.
U.S Manufacturing activity grew at a quicker clip in February than in January, although employment growth is still crawling at a snail’s pace as hiring still proves to be tough. “The US manufacturing sector remains in a demand-driven, supply chain-constrained environment,” said Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM’s manufacturing business survey committee. “The Covid-19 omicron variant remained an impact in February; however, there were signs of relief, with recovery expected in March. A higher-than-normal quits rate and early retirements continued.”
Labor-fueled inflation has caused a new forecast of a risk of higher inflation over the next three years than previously thought – two-thirds of respondents of a recent survey state that rising wages in a risk factor.
Hospital workforce challenges continue with increased vacancy and turnover rates. Nursing support staff from staffing firms saw hourly rates increase 444% from 2019 to 2021. Registered nurses have an increased turnover rate of 27% in 2021 (up from 21% in 2019) and nurse specialist roles have seen an increase of 32% for vacancy rate (compared to 15% in 2019).
Until next week,
Erin and Team BountyJobs