US job advertisements up in April 60 percent over pre-pandemic levels – hiring outlook strong but finding workers is challenging

The number of job advertisements continued to grow throughout April, averaging over 59 percent higher levels compared to pre-pandemic levels in early 2020, according to labor market intelligence firm Greenwich. HR. And while demand for new employees has been at the highest levels since 2018, unemployment claims continue only modest declines, suggesting employers at newly-reopened businesses are finding it tough to attract the workers they need.

“We’ve seen steady strong hiring demand since January – over 50 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels during each month, and this demand is steadily increasing,’ says Cary Sparrow, CEO of Greenwich.HR. “But, we continue to hear about challenges employers are facing filling new positions.”

Where Are The Workers?

Since early March, the number of new and continuing unemployment claims remain more than double pre-pandemic levels, and the decline in these figures throughout 2021 has been steady but moderate.

“Just like supply chains for consumer goods were completely disrupted early in the pandemic, the supply for labor has also been disrupted and is taking a while to return,” says Sparrow. “Especially in industries that are reopening, like hospitality, and industries that are seeing historic surges in labor demand like transportation and warehousing.”

Outlook For April Jobs Report

In spite of challenges employers are facing attracting workers, Sparrow says his firm is still expecting an historically positive US jobs report on Friday. “The sustained hiring demand and steady decline of unemployment claims suggests we’ll see a very strong report on Friday, with gains across nearly all industries. As we look ahead to the May and June numbers, we are expecting to continue to see strong gains, but at declining levels compared to March.”

Two industries continue to see hiring demand below pre-pandemic levels – communications and entertainment. For those industries, job advertisements are 28% and 19% lower than pre-pandemic levels respectively. Additional detail on job advertisements across all industries can be found at

This analysis is based on job listing data from the weeks of May 1, 2021 and December 20, 2020. Greenwich.HR tracks the hiring and pay behaviors of over 4.1 million organizations. Additional analytics of companies’ hiring patterns is available from Greenwich.HR through Yahoo Finance Plus.


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