“December Dip” in Hiring Looks Temporary

HOLMDEL, N.J. [January 7, 2019] – U.S. employers closed out 2019 with a dip in new hires, but modest growth in net new job openings, according to iCIMS’ Monthly Hiring Indicator (MHI). Before seasonal adjustments, new hires declined 8.4% and new job openings saw modest growth with a 0.8% increase. After factoring in seasonal adjustments, new hires declined 3.4% and job openings increased 0.4%. December typically shows a slowing in hires and job growth, but the declines in December 2019 were smaller than usual.

The MHI is a leading economic indicator published by iCIMS, drawing upon its database of more than 75 million applications, 4 million hires and 3 million jobs each year. New hires translate directly into payroll growth, after netting out departures, layoffs and other separations.

“Despite this year’s compressed holiday schedule, the annual ’December dip’ was the smallest in three years,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS. “This was the first December to see a rise in new openings in four years, so it looks like recruiters and hiring managers were trying to get a jump start on 2020. Still, our results support the idea that calendar effects may distort the seasonal adjustments and artificially depress the December employment report.”

December 2019 U.S. New Hires and Openings Highlights:

  • All sectors that iCIMS tracks saw drops in hiring, most notably in professional & business services, which saw a 16.6% decline before seasonal adjustments and a 7.1% decline after.
  • The most significant drops came in the ailing manufacturing sector, which saw a 9.6% decrease before seasonal adjustments and a 5.8% drop after.
  • The retail trade and education & health services sectors were tied for the smallest decline in new hires, at a seasonally adjusted 1.3% each.
  • Regionally, the West saw the biggest gain in job openings, increasing 7.6% before seasonal adjustments and 4.2% after.

About the iCIMS Monthly Hiring Indicator (MHI) Methodology:

The iCIMS Monthly Hiring Indicator (MHI) measures job openings and new hires, based on iCIMS system data, which is generated by user activity within our platform. iCIMS processes more than 1 million hires per quarter and 75 million applications per year. While iCIMS supports employers across the globe, the MHI is based on U.S. hiring activity only. The figures present both indexes of hiring activity and their month-over-month percentage change, using a fixed panel of customers. To facilitate comparison with benchmark data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, iCIMS publishes its indexes both with and without seasonal adjustments. Data from the MHI has been referenced by Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business and NBC. To learn more about iCIMS’ MHI, visit iCIMS Hiring Insights, where the latest data and details on the methodology are both available for download.

About iCIMS

iCIMS is the talent cloud company that empowers organizations to attract, engage, hire, and advance the right talent that builds a diverse, winning workforce. iCIMS accelerates transformation for a community of approximately 4,500 customers, including nearly half of the Fortune 100, that employ more than 35 million people worldwide. For more information, visit www.icims.com.