The job report 2022 year in review shows us the job market has been less than predictable. Market stability in a post-pandemic era is still elusive. Our mission at Public Insight is to take all the noise in this market and turn it into meaningful, actionable insights.
Each month we generate a job market report that provides insights into the previous month. Each year we attempt to look back on the previous year and see if there are observable themes. This paper is designed to summarize the big-picture themes we are seeing.
There is plenty to be encouraged about it in the first full year of a post-pandemic recovery.
- Job openings remain in record territory
- Unemployment is at multi-year lows
- Layoffs despite the news are at multi-year lows
- Inflation appears to be somewhat under control
These appear to be very encouraging signs and even cause for celebration with boom times ahead. Yet there is this nagging feeling that things are not as good as they appear. Living in Northeast Ohio for the past forty years has taught me that gray clouds are obscuring the sunshine that is behind it. There is an obvious conundrum associated with today’s job market.
Market analytics plays a huge role in understanding the pulse of an ever-changing market. Market analytics also serves to level set talent acquisition and retention performance against peers. It sets the context by which the market can be properly understood and evaluated.
Key Takeaways from 2022
- Jobs remain plentiful but there is a moving, shrinking population of job seekers.
- A large segment of the job seeker population is on the move either in their career or physically to other locations.
- Supply/demand imbalances in some markets suggest opportunity but in others suggest long-term challenges.
- Pay transparency is here to stay and employers are adjusting.
- Remote work is still negotiating itself in a market with varying expectations.
- Worker sentiment seems to have hit bottom and is now slowly rising.
More Jobs Than People to Fill Them
Where are eleven million workers for open jobs coming from?
Job openings have traditionally been viewed as a significant economic strength metric. The assumption historically is that there would be enough people to fill open jobs. The pandemic has turned that theory on its head.
The current job openings number is simply way out of whack with reality. Job openings are over 50% above pre-pandemic levels as shown below – based on data from BLS – Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).
Flat Hiring Levels
However, hires have remained flat and at par with pre-pandemic levels. The real pickup of jobs from the mass layoffs of the pandemic lasted less than one year. Since the summer of 2022 we have remained at pre-pandemic levels despite record job openings.
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