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The Bayard Brief — November 2022

Labor Market InsightsLabor Market Insights

October Beats Expectations in Cycle of Cooling Gains

The labor market added 261,000 jobs in October, beating economists' expectations but still falling in line with the slowing pattern we've seen over the last few months. Given October's broad-based job growth and a surprising surge in job openings on the last business day of September, it's clear that the labor market remains healthy on the whole, even as it cools from summer's white-hot gains.

Job Seeker Traffic

Job traffic trends aligned with the typical decline in jobseeker activity we expect through late fall and winter, but October’s performance was generally solid. Queries began dropping slightly in early September but, for the most part, have held flat into November. During the same timeframe, Google searches for jobs followed a similar trend, except for a mid-October spike.

Click Trends

In October, clicks were up just over 6% to last year and almost 34% compared to pre-pandemic levels (October 2019), per Talroo data. Based on traffic patterns from the past three years and the tendency of jobseeker activity to cool around the holidays, we anticipate a decrease in clicks from October to November.

What To Expect

So, what does October’s performance mean for the state of hiring going forward?

First, the balance of power between workers and employers hasn’t shifted in any meaningful way. Employers that want to recruit and retain talent should aim to meet the needs of job seekers, whether that means offering higher pay, better benefits, workplace flexibility, or all of the above.

But it’s important to keep in mind that the pandemic has fundamentally changed job seekers’ career goals, attitudes about work, and, more specifically, beliefs on what defines a good job. Aside from the popularity of remote roles, job seekers prioritize competitive wages, a supportive company culture, and work-life balance.

Download the full Labor Market Insights report for November here.