The ZipRecruiter National Jobs Report for March 2015

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced today that the number of jobs created in March was substantially lower than economists had estimated, with the 126,000 jobs that the economy did create representing a little over one-half of expected job growth.

The culprits? According to most economists, the disappointing numbers are the result of a nasty, prolonged winter in the Northeast, along with falling energy prices. Bad weather kept construction hiring down, while the booming energy sector contracted in response to an oversupply of fuel. A labor dispute at west coast ports most likely also weighed on job creation last month.

The other key index – the national unemployment rate – remains at 5.5%.

As predicted in our February Jobs Report, Business Services recovered from a brief turndown to add 40,000 jobs, and Retail Trade surged back from its post-holiday contraction to add 26,000.

To supplement the government numbers on employment, we analyzed activity across hundreds of thousands of job postings to determine demand for hiring in March, which gives a predictive look at what real hiring will look like in April.

Recruiter National Jobs Report Key Findings:

According to our ZipRecruiter Hiring Demand Index, Insurance was the biggest gainer in March, with demand shooting up to .85% of relative demand, a huge jump over February’s contraction of -.40%. Rounding out the top five industries by monthly increase in demand were Financial Services (+.73%), Educational Services (+.66%), Construction (+.42%), and Accommodation and Food Services (+.38%).

Contracting industries include Healthcare, which plunged -1.44% month over month, Employment Services (-.10%), Retail Trade (-.10%), and Business Support Services (-.08%).

We also measure the largest change in relative demand for hiring by city (MSA’s). Demand in March experienced the highest relative growth in the following cities:

  1. New York, NY……………………………..5.95% (+.39%)
  2. San Francisco, CA………………………..2.10% (+.38%)
  3. Los Angeles, CA…………………………..4.22% (+.32%)
  4. Seattle, WA………………………………..1.00% (+.13%)
  5. Riverside, CA………………………………1.20% (+.09%)

We also tracked the top 10 job titles by job posting volume:

  1. Property Preservation
  2. Bank Teller
  3. Automotive Technician
  4. Human Resources Manager
  5. Customer Service Representative
  6. Financial Consultant
  7. Production Supervisor
  8. Restaurant Manager
  9. Electrician
  10. Maintenance Technician

To validate the predictive power of our data we compare our projections with Bureau of Labor Statistics historical data. What we find is a strong correlative relationship. When a job is easy to fill, immediately after posting a position employment goes up. If a job is harder to fill, we are a leading indicator. We can also see early indications of industry contractions when job postings in an economic sector decline, which is followed by a concomitant drop in the BLS measure of employment.

Predictive Analysis

The top five industries by increased demand for employees, graphed:

Graph 1


Based on our predictive curve, we should see Insurance hiring rebound in the next two months.

Graph 2


The dip in hiring in Financial Services looks to be short-lived, as demand for workers began to nudge upwards in March.

Graph 3


Worker supply and employer demand are entering a period of close alignment as Educational Services hiring begins to pick up.

Graph 4


Completed hires lag open job postings, most likely due to inclement weather across the country. Pent-up demand should drive strong hiring in April.

Graph 5


Demand for food and hospitality workers is experiencing continued strong growth, with completed hires slightly lagging the leading indications.

The ZipRecruiter National Jobs Report measures current and leading edge demand for employees across fourteen key industries by measuring relative month over month percent changes using the following benchmarks:

  1. Current Active Jobs – Our representative sample of millions of job postings provides an overview of existing demand for new employees (as opposed to hiring numbers), which provides a snapshot of the previous month’s hiring.
  2. New Jobs – Our representative sample of new job postings in January provides insight into current and upcoming demand, next month’s hiring numbers, and a predictive look at the demand curve for new employees across twenty-one industries.
  3. Employer Demand by Metro – We have further broken down these numbers to provide insight into current and upcoming demand for new employees across metropolitan areas nationwide.

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At ZipRecruiter, our mission is to connect employers and job seekers with their next great opportunity. On the ZipRecruiter blog, we use insider experience and data derived from our AI-driven jobs marketplace to provide advice and insights on topics such as the job search process, interviewing, and labor market trends. Start your job search or post a job today and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

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