Strong Rebound in Hires and Job Openings in March

Following a slowdown in February, employers’ hiring activity and need for new employees is back on the upswing, according to the iCIMS Monthly Hiring Indicator

HOLMDEL, N.J. [April 2, 2019] – After a dip in February, U.S. employers’ hires rose 1.6% and new job openings rose 4.5% on a seasonally-adjusted basis in March, according to iCIMS’ Monthly Hiring Indicator (MHI). The MHI is a leading economic indicator published by iCIMS, drawing upon its database of more than 75 million applications and 4 million hires each year. New hires translate directly into payroll growth, after netting out departures, layoffs and other separations.


According to our tracking data (chart below), a jump in new job openings usually precedes a rise in hires within the following two to three months. This rise in job openings at a time when the U.S. labor market is near full employment indicates that employers are going to continue struggling to find qualified candidates to fill roles in the coming months.

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

   Growth in hires was strong across most sectors, led by manufacturing (3.8%) and business services (3.7%), on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

   At a time when the unemployment rate is near its lowest level in decades, employers continued to open new jobs, led by the retail (13.2%) and education & health services (10.2%) sectors.

   The West saw the largest increase in new job openings (9.8%). The San Francisco area saw the most growth in new job openings, a 24.7% jump, followed by Houston at 23.7%.

   Cities that saw the fastest growth in hires, after factoring in seasonal adjustments, include the Philadelphia area (9.8%), Detroit (7.7%) and Miami (6%). Conversely, Baltimore had a dip in new hires, with a decrease of 7.5%.


“The job market still looks strong and the weak February payroll report appears to have been an air pocket,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS. “It’s a job seeker’s market and a great time for upcoming college graduates to be entering the workforce. It’s going to be hand-to-hand combat among employers for the best candidates, especially with wages rising.


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 a leading provider of talent acquisition technology that enables organizations everywhere to build winning workforces. For over 20 years, iCIMS has been at the forefront of talent acquisition transformation. iCIMS empowers thousands of organizations worldwide with the right tools to meet their evolving needs across the talent journey and drive business success. Its AI-powered hiring platform is designed to improve efficiency, cut recruiting costs and build exceptional experiences for candidates and recruiters. For more information, visit