Every other week, we will be publishing labor market industry (LMI) data and important trends to consider in the development of an equitable economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. We are always looking for opportunities to learn, grow, and collaborate. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Over the past several months, the number of new weekly job openings has begun to inch closer to pre-pandemic levels. Thanks to the warmer weather and thousands of new vaccinations each day, businesses are starting to feel optimistic about future demand and are increasing their staffing levels. At the end of March, this optimism pushed the total number of new weekly job postings above the total number of jobs posted in the weeks just before COVID-19 hit for the first time.
In the Philadelphia region, job postings continue to grow each week. In comparison with the same week in 2020, job postings in the city of Philadelphia were up over 40%, and up over 55% in the Philadelphia suburbs. The biggest gains have come in Health Care and Hospitality, two sectors hit hard early in the pandemic. Compared to the same week in 2020, there were well over double the number of health care jobs posted in the city for the week of March 28th – April 3rd, and nearly 3 times as many in the suburbs. The year-over-year increase is even more dramatic in the hospitality industry, with nearly three times as many jobs posted in that same 3/28 – 4/3 period compared to the same week in 2020.
While the news is optimistic, it’s important to note that the recovery has not been equal. The official national unemployment rate is hovering around 6%, while the unemployment rate among African Americans is closer to 11%. These numbers do not take into account those who have dropped out of the labor force over the past year and are no longer looking for work. Including those groups and other misclassifications, the real unemployment rate is likely over 9%. Women continue to lose jobs at a faster rate than men, with women of color hit the hardest. And despite strong job growth numbers in recent months, the U.S. economy still has around 8.4 million fewer jobs than it did in February of 2020. In addition to those 8.4 million jobs lost, economists believe there are roughly another 2 million new jobs that would have been created over the past year if hiring trends had continued.
So while the signs of recovery are promising, even if the economy continues to add jobs at the same rapid pace it has in recent months, we estimate it will take the job market close to a year to get back to pre-pandemic levels. If you’re interested in seeing a snapshot of the job market in our West Philadelphia community, visit our new roundup of local opportunities found here.
Weekly Postings, March 28th - April 3rd
Health Care & Social Assistance
Professional, Scientific & Tech Services
Finance & Insurance
Accommodation & Food Service
Administrative & Support & Waste Mgmt
Transportation & Warehousing
Real Estate & Rental Leasing
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation
Mining, Quarrying and Oil & Gas
Mgmt of Companies & Enterprises
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
About the data: Data is sourced from Burning Glass Technologies Labor Insights, unless otherwise noted, covering job postings in the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Metro Statistical Area (MSA), which is comprised of roughly a circle surrounding Trenton, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Camden, and Wilmington. This data is then compared to a benchmark week of February 9th – 15th, which was the last week before the economic impact of COVID-19 began to be reflected in job posting data.