U.S. Job Gains Surge to 850,000 as Businesses Work to Fill Record Number of Open Roles and Capitalize on Revenue Opportunities

Career Climbers / 5th July 2021

ThinkWhy, a Dallas-based SaaS company focused on creating a new generation of AI-driven labour market solutions, released its national jobs report and labor forecast for June. The report follows an announcement today from theBureau of Labor Statisticsthat the economy added 850,000 jobs in June, with the unemployment rate at 5.9%. ThinkWhy’s June Report reveals that Los AngelesNew York and Minneapolis metros post most jobs added in the first half of 2021 while leisure-hospitality and government sectors show strongest gains in June. 

With 9.3 million jobs open, employers have been scrambling to attract talent since the second quarter began while trying to seize new revenue and growth opportunities as America’s economy reopens post-COVID. Job creation in April and May at 269,000 and 583,000, respectively, failed to meet economists’ expectations, though the labour market has kicked into higher gear in June. The question is, will the momentum continue? 

ThinkWhy’s talent intelligence software, LaborIQ®, reports, forecasts and advises on employment conditions and the impact on jobs, industries and businesses across all U.S. cities. Leveraging 18 trillion data points validated against more than 8.6 million U.S. pay stubs, LaborIQ provides market-driven compensation answers. The multi-tiered data intake process verifies and delivers precise salary recommendations, talent supply and forecasts for more than 20,000 job titles. 

“The acceleration in job gain suggests the supply of talent is starting to loosen, but with hiring managers facing a record number of job openings to fill, it’s simply not enough. The labour market will remain tight in the near-term as remote work demand adds complexity to the talent acquisition process,” said Jay Denton, chief analyst for ThinkWhy. “As companies go back to the office, whether full-time or not, a period of disruption will exist as we shift back to previous work norms.” 

Numbers recently released by the U.S. Commerce Department show business investment in nondefense capital goods are at an all-time high and consumers are shifting spending back to in-person activities, such as dining and travel. Home price growth remains extremely strong, and the economy is showing widespread sustainable growth.

The Outlook for Job Recovery

LaborIQ projects a significant acceleration of job growth in the second half of 2021. May and June employment gains suggest talent acquisition professionals will have their work cut out for them as business progresses through the remainder of 2021, a year in which upwards of 73 million hires could take place.

With news headlines focused on the potential rise of the COVID delta variant, the near-term outlook could become cloudier if another spike in virus cases occurs. Overall, the job market is expected to remain strong, especially if more workers rejoin the labour force over the summer months. 

“June was the start of a very busy hiring season. With additional unemployment benefits ending in half the states, and business investment and consumer demand through the roof, job gains will remain strong,” noted Denton. “A lack of talent supply, along with any potential disruption from the Delta variant of the coronavirus, will be the biggest obstacle ahead.”

It has been two years since most people were able to take a true summer vacation, and travel has picked up quickly in recent months. As workers take extended time off this season, another hiring slowdown may occur. Whether it is hiring managers, talent acquisition professionals, candidates or others involved in the hiring process, anticipate a lot of out-of-office replies as we get back to a semblance of normalcy. 

Top Metropolitan Areas for Job Market Gains

As the nation marches toward a full job recovery in 2023, the losses experienced during the pandemic and rebound have been uneven across geographies. From a pure volume perspective, the following metro areas added the most jobs back to the labour market in the first five months of 2021.  Of note, many of these labour markets were among the hardest hit by the pandemic. 

  • Los Angeles-Long BeachAnaheim, CA (165,000)
  • New YorkNewark-New Jersey, NY-NJ-PA (131,400)
  • Minneapolis-St. PaulBloomington, MN-WI (62,500)
  • BostonCambridgeNashua, MA-NH NECTA (57,800)
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland, TX (53,100)
  • ChicagoNapervilleElgin, IL-IN-WI (52,700)
  • San FranciscoOaklandHayward, CA (50,500)
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (45,600)
  • WashingtonArlingtonAlexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (45,300)
  • DenverAuroraLakewood, CO (44,400)

Industry Recovery Outlook

U.S. industries have been impacted differently by the pandemic and thus, recovery will be uneven across sectors based on varying economic influence. As a result, each city will be impacted differently. Talent acquisition professionals must understand the economic drivers that impact the ability to ramp up hiring and business development. 

The service-based economy is bouncing back. Consumer demand and business investment have swelled — signs of improved job prospects and employment growth opportunities. This is good news for Leisure and Hospitality, which was anaemic for much of the past year.  

LaborIQ expects to see pre-pandemic employment levels return unevenly across the major sectors, extending past 2025. 

To read the full ThinkWhy June Jobs Report 2021, click here.

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