- Job vacancies remain high compared to pre-pandemic levels, with over 11.5 million vacancies in March 2022 compared to 6.2 million two years prior.
- The accommodation and food services subsector, and the healthcare and social assistance subsectors have the highest job vacancy rates right now, at 9.9% and 9%, respectively.
- The sectors with the most ground to make up in terms of getting vacancy rates closer to pre-pandemic levels are leisure and hospitality, mining and logging, manufacturing, and education/health and social assistance.
- High vacancies overall provide students and graduates with more negotiating power, especially in certain sectors particularly desperate for qualified workers.
With “Help Wanted” signs filling many store windows, it’s easy to see that there seem to be a lot of job openings. This anecdotal evidence is made all the more real when we also look at the data that show that vacancies are at record highs. There are 11.5 million unfilled jobs as of March 2022, according to the BLS.
The rate of employees that are quitting their jobs are also at record highs, lending credence to the popular “Great Resignation” narrative. The rate of employees that are leaving their jobs is up to 3% in March 2022, from 1.8% in March 2020. That means that, compared to two years ago, hundreds of thousands more Americans not only believe that the grass is greener on the other side, but are also willing to bet that they can get to that other side by quitting their job.
To give students and graduates a leg up when it comes to deciding what industry to aim for in their search, we’ve gone through and looked at the parts of the private sector that are having the hardest time returning to pre-pandemic norms.
Companies in industries with wide gaps between their pre-pandemic vacancy rate and today’s rate may be especially keen to fill jobs by giving new hires more of what they ask for, whether it’s a sign-on bonus, flexible hours, remote options, or simply a more competitive salary.