The number of new job postings, a key indicator of the health of the labor market, declined for the second straight week when compared to a year ago, according to data from the hiring firm Indeed.com.
Postings are down 20.8% for the period ending Aug. 21; two weeks ago, they were running 18.1% below the same period in 2019.
Notably, postings for higher-wage occupations are faring worse than those for lower-wage jobs, down 27% versus 14%. Postings for jobs in the software development field are down 33.1%, while in banking and finance postings are off 35.5% from year-ago levels.
Geographically, postings have declined the most in large urban areas, with Honolulu, San Francisco and San Jose topping the list.
There also appears to be a political tint to the decline in job postings.
“Job postings have recovered more in Republican-leaning metros, which tend to be smaller, than Democratic-leaning ones, which tend to be larger with more people working from home,” Jed Kolko, chief economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, wrote. ” However, the slowdown in job postings in the past two weeks has been steeper in red metros.”
Other measures of the job market have shown a worsening of late, reflecting the surge of coronavirus cases in June and July after businesses reopened following nationwide shutdowns that began as COVID-19 struck the U.S. in March. In response to the spike, many states and cities imposed new restrictions on businesses such as bars and restaurants.
The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment rose by 135,000 last week, to 1,106,000, a rise of 14% from the prior week’s revised number of 971,000, the Department of Labor reported. It took the figure back over 1 million and was the first rise after two weeks of declines.
Many economists believe the unemployment rate, now at 10.2% nationally, will remain elevated well into 2021 unless there is a breakthrough on a vaccine to prevent people from becoming infected with the coronavirus. The unemployment rate was 3.5% in February.
Copyright 2020 U.S. News & World Report
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