Job Postings Trends Show Continued Growth in West Michigan

National Job Trends

While it’s difficult to pinpoint which sectors will experience the fastest recovery following the coronavirus outbreak, the disparate pace of economic recovery across industries depends largely on how we transition from stay-at-home to go-back-to-work, and recent job posting activity can serve as a valuable tool to identify emerging pockets of growth in local economies. To help practitioners in businesses, education, workforce development, and policymakers navigate their local labor markets’ response to COVID-19 in real-time, EMSI (a leading provider of labor market analytics) released this free, publicly accessible job posting dashboard. Updated daily, the dashboard tracks the labor market’s response to COVID-19 as it unfolds across the United States to illustrate the evolving needs of employers, right down to the state-level.

Job postings jumped by 10 percent across the United States in March when compared to the volume of postings recorded during the same month in 2020, with nearly 12.9 million active job ads posted across the nation this month. All but six states experienced a rise in job postings year-over-year, led by Rhode Island (+61%), Vermont (+37%), and Nebraska (+37%), while the largest losses were observed in Hawaii (-20%), Alaska (-18%), California (-3%), and Colorado (-1%). The median advertised salary of job postings throughout the nation stood at $57,500 in March, an increase of 16 percent from the median recorded at the onset of the pandemic. Although the observed hiring disruptions affected a wide range of sectors, two industries emerged with the largest growth in online job ads over-the-year. Transportation and Warehousing and Information both experienced a significant uptick in hiring demands, growing by 76 percent and 39 percent, respectively, from March 2020 to 2021.

Year-over-Year Growth in Job Postings, U.S. (March 2020 to 2021)

03.19.21_Job Ad Map

Source: Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI)

Although March’s volume of job advertisements rose by 10 percent from last year’s count, the month-over-month change in job ads fell by 4 percent for the nation. Just five states throughout the U.S. saw more job postings in March compared to February, led by Rhode Island ( +5%), Nebraska (+5%), and Texas (+0.5%). Fifteen major industries experienced a spike in job advertisements over-the-month, led by Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (+11.7%), Construction (+8.4%), Public Administration (+5.2%), and Educational Services (+4.9%). Dentists experienced the largest increase in demand compared to any other occupation in the U.S. workforce, growing by 74.7 percent over-the-month to reach 20,750 active postings in March. However, the occupations with the largest volume of online job ads continues to be Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers (1.3 million ads) and Registered Nurses (685,802 ads).

What Happening in West Michigan?

Online job postings in West Michigan grew by 4.1 percent over-the-year with nearly 48,000 active job ads posted across the region in March. The median advertised salary stood at $42,600, an increase of 7.5 percent from last year. Although hiring activity slowed for a small portion of West Michigan industries when compared to 2020, several occupational groups have seen a significant spike in demand since the pandemic, led by Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers (+105%), Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers (+50%), Light Truck Drivers (+32%), and Registered Nurses (+10%).

Year-over-Year Growth in Job Postings, West Michigan

03.19.21_WM Map

Source: Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI)

Although the volume of job advertisements in West Michigan jumped by 4.1 percent from last year’s estimates, the month-over-month growth in job postings stood at 4.0 percent. This was the fourth consecutive month of positive growth in job ads for the region, and the first over-the-month drop in the median advertised salary of postings since September. The occupations with the fastest growing demand over-the-month included Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers (+43%), First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers (+16%), Maintenance and Repair Workers (+12%), and Stockers and Order Fillers (+10%). However, the occupations with the largest number of unique job postings in West Michigan remained largely unchanged, with the greatest demand for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers (5,890 ads), First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers (1,955 ads), Registered Nurses (1,698 ads), Retail Salespersons (1,673 ads), and Customer Service Representatives (1,087 ads).



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