Job Openings on ZipRecruiter Rose 18% in August 2020

U.S. job openings on ZipRecruiter grew by 18% in August—the fastest month-over-month increase since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 

But weekly data suggest that August may have been a turning point in the hiring recovery, with job postings falling 8.8% in the last two weeks of the month.

Many small businesses have now exhausted funds from the Paycheck Protection Program. Unemployed workers are having to cut back spending now that the $600-per-week unemployment insurance supplement has expired. Virtual-only schooling is weighing down parental labor supply

Campus closures are depressing college town economies. The cancellation of fall seasons in the performing arts and spectator sports has paused hiring in those industries and hurt the bars and restaurants surrounding stadiums and theaters. Many businesses are confronting the reality that summertime sales were not large enough to sustain them through the fall and winter.

All industries saw job postings grow in August

Job postings are still well below pre-COVID levels in all industries, other than transportation and storage. But industries that saw declines earlier in the pandemic all saw gains in August.

Top 5 Fastest-Growing Industries in August

Industry % Change in Job Openings (Jul.–Aug., 2020) % Change in Job Openings (Feb.–Aug., 2020)
Transportation & Storage +27% +57%
Personal Care +25% -11%
Healthcare +21% -25%
Engineering +19% -38%
Education +18% -36%
Source: ZipRecruiter, Inc. internal data. The measure of job openings used here is the average daily count of job postings that are active across the ZipRecruiter marketplace and located in the United States.

 5 Slowest-Growing Industries in August

Industry % Change in Job Openings (Jul.–Aug., 2020) % Change in Job Openings (Feb.–Aug., 2020)
Arts & Entertainment +10% -49%
Sports & Recreation +11% -47%
Non-profit Sector +12% -54%
Technology +13% -42%
Legal Industry +14% -35%
Source: ZipRecruiter, Inc. internal data. The measure of job openings used here is the average daily count of job postings that are active across the ZipRecruiter marketplace and located in the United States.

Similarly, every state saw job postings rise in August, even though they remain well below pre-crisis levels in most states, including the largest—California (-22%), Texas (-24%), Florida (-23%), and New York (-34%). 

The broad recovery that took place across states and industries in July and August still has a long way to go. It may now be in jeopardy.

Written by

Julia Pollak is a labor economist at ZipRecruiter. She provides insights and analysis on current labor market trends and the future of work.

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