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December iCIMS Insights Report: Capping off a year of uncertainty

December 30, 2022
3 min read

As the end of 2022 approaches, job numbers reflect a year that was defined by uncertainty, with employers and job seekers alike facing mixed signals surrounding the business landscape. ​

Job openings, job applications and hiring activity continues to trend downward — a pattern that has been in play for the last several months. There is much buzz surrounding the job market, but the declines are likely due to typical year-end seasonality. A slowdown in hiring is not unusual for this time of year, and iCIMS’ data highlights similar patterns in years past.

Snapshot of labor market, December 2022

“Rumors of the labor market’s demise have been greatly exaggerated,” Nick Bunker, head of economic research at Indeed Hiring Lab, said following the release of the most recent jobs report. “The outlook for next year is still hazy with an aggressive Federal Reserve willing to raise unemployment to bring inflation down. But as we head to the end of 2022, the U.S. labor market remains resilient.”

As hiring cools, organizations would benefit from building a talent network with recruitment marketing software for when hiring inevitably picks up again. This allows recruiters to keep candidates engaged during a slow period and then quickly move them into the hiring funnel when a role opens.

Be prepared for whatever the new year brings with our 23 Tips for ’23.


Labor market activity

Graph of labor market trends, December 2022

With one month left in the year, talent market activity continues to trend downward. Job openings are down 5% since the start of the year. Hires are down 2% since the beginning of the year. While these slowdowns could seem a red flag to some, it’s a trend iCIMS data has tracked over the last several years:

  • Openings YoY: iCIMS data shows that in both 2021 and 2022, there was a downward trend in openings in Q4. The decline is slightly steeper this year, although the overall volume of openings was nearly the same.
  • Hires YoY: Looking at hires year-over-year, iCIMS data shows that activity is down more than double where it was last year, -7.8% in November 2022 compared to -3.4% in November 2021.

Applications are declining month-over-month as well but remain up 14% since the start of the year. As of November 2022, employers are receiving 22.4 applications per opening – this is an increase of approximately 25% since the beginning of the year and is primarily being driven by the rise in applicants.

  • Applications YoY: Applications declined 5.2% from October to November 2021 and 5.9% from October to November 2021. However, there are significantly more applications now than last year – the volume of applications from November 2022 is about 40% higher than in November 2021.


Get ahead of the competition

iCIMS Insights provides a deep understanding of the talent market through data drawn from its platform, including employer and job seeker activity from more than 4,000 customers and hundreds of millions of data points across job openings, job applications and hires.

Tap into the latest labor market activity and hiring trends in our December Insights report.

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About the author

Alex Oliver

Alex is well-versed in content and digital marketing. He blends a passion for sharp, persuasive copy with creating intuitive user experiences on the web. A natural storyteller, Alex highlights customer successes and amplifies their best practices. Alex earned his bachelor's degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University before pursuing his master's at Montclair State University. When not at work, Alex enjoys hiking, studying history and homebrewing beer.

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