February Hiring Dips After a Strong January

Employers beginning to feel the impact of new coronavirus as U.S. job openings and hiring activity declines, according to the iCIMS’ Monthly Hiring Indicator

HOLMDEL, N.J. [March 3, 2020] – Following a month of healthy gains to kickstart 2020, U.S. hiring dropped 1.4% after seasonal adjustments and 9.7% before, according to iCIMS’ Monthly Hiring Indicator (MHI). Job openings were also down, posting a 3.1% decrease after seasonal adjustments and 1.5% before.

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.

“Concerns about the Covid-19 coronavirus are weighing on employers’ willingness to take on new workers,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS. “Although financial markets didn’t start swooning until mid-February, we already see signs of U.S. businesses adapting to supply-chain disruptions. Many employers actually increased their job openings for certain roles, which may also reflect January momentum in the first half of February and perhaps lingering hopes that the health crisis may yet blow over.”

February 2020 U.S. New Hires and Job Openings Highlights:

—   All sectors that iCIMS tracks saw drops in hiring before seasonal adjustments, which is a complete reversal from last month’s performance.

—   Professional & business services, a bellwether for the larger service-sector economy, saw the sharpest dip in hires, with a non-seasonally adjusted 15% decrease and a seasonally adjusted 5.4% decrease.

—   Manufacturing saw a slight increase in job openings (0.4% before seasonal adjustments and 3.4% after), potentially due to international supply chain disruptions. This growth was led by demand for production support roles, whose duties typically include sanitation and supplying or holding materials – key tasks when hygiene is a concern and factory operations need to be reconfigured.

—   Education & health services struggled to fill front-line roles in February, with a non-seasonally adjusted 9.9% decline in new hires (-2.7% after seasonal adjustments). Notably, registered nurses had nearly 14% fewer hires in February compared to January, and nursing assistants had nearly 19% fewer hires.

—   Although job openings across all sectors were down overall, some sectors saw increases. Education & health services saw a 1.2% uptick before seasonal adjustments and 6.4% after, reflecting increased demand for medical services amid the public health crisis. Retail trade job openings were little changed, perhaps reflecting increased demand for warehousing to support e-commerce.

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.