iCIMS’ Monthly Hiring Indicator: U.S. Job-Filling Rate Declines Further While Retail Continues to Struggle

HOLMDEL, N.J. [December 4, 2018] – Job openings increased by five percent (from an index value of 145 to 151) and hires were little changed, after declining less than 0.1 percent (from an index value of 130.9 to 130.7) in November 2018, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Monthly Hiring Indicator (MHI) published by iCIMS, a leading provider of cloud-based talent acquisition solutions.

The MHI is based on iCIMS data, which measures recruiter activity with its database of more than 75 million applications and four million hires per year by more than 4,000 employers. After netting out layoffs, quits, and other separations, hiring figures translate directly into payroll growth, and openings translate into future hires.

November 2018 Report Highlights

  • iCIMS Monthly Hiring Indicator showed a seasonal slowdown in the aggregate number of hires, but no direct impact from tariffs and trade tensions: manufacturing performed in line with other sectors.
  • The job-filling rate – calculated here as the ratio of new hires to new openings – dropped to a new low of 82 percent, from an upwardly revised 86 percent in October 2018. This rate has see a downward trend since May 2017, reflecting the increasing difficulty employers face filling positions.
  • Retailers continued to struggle to fill roles as they recruit for the holiday season. Job openings in the retail industry rose nearly 5 percent in a month when they normally decline, whereas they declined in manufacturing, health care, finance, and business services (before seasonal adjustments). In 2015-2017, retail openings declined by more than 10 percent every November. 
  • Before seasonal adjustments, retail trade hires saw a relatively mild seasonal decline in November, suggesting employers were still playing catch up this year, despite an early start to holiday hiring. Both before and after seasonal adjustments, retail had the lowest ratio of hires to job openings of the industries iCIMS tracks.

“With accelerating difficulties in filling positions, we’re going to see pressure keep rising on both wage and non-wage labor expenses,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS. “Employers will increase their investment in not only business automation and outsourcing, but also training for less-qualified workers and novel recruiting technologies like texting and chatbots. In a job seeker’s market like this one, companies should also put together retention plans for crucial roles. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


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 one 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. The MHI was recognized as a bronze winner in the ‘2018 Best New Service of the Year’ by the Best in Biz Awards. This awards program is judged by prominent editors and reporters from top-tier publications including the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. To learn more about iCIMS’ MHI and the methodology visit iCIMS Hiring Insights. 

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.