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iCIMS February Workforce Report: Applicant spike ‘good news for TA’

March 1, 2023
4 min read

Looking at February’s labor market numbers based on our monthly Insights data, we can say with confidence: so far, so good (for now).

The talent market started off strong in January, with job seekers — and male job seekers, in particular — showing increased confidence in the market. In fact, the number of monthly applications soared, increasing 41% since January 2022.

This followed a how-hum-end-of-year report, which showed a drop in both job openings and hires and only the tiniest increase in applications (1% when compared to the start of 2022). Based on the following month’s application surge, it would seem that our speculation then, that it reflected seasonal slowdown, seemed to be true.

However, that spike in applications last month is also a seasonal trend, mirroring activity that we’ve documented at the start of the last few years.

“This is very normal for this time of year, but with so much uncertainty out there, it was good news,” said Rhea Moss, director of data insights at iCIMS. “And it’s really good news for TA because it means that people are still out there actively looking.”

This application spike also jibes with data we reported in our 2023 workforce report, where we found a third of those surveyed said they would be looking for a new job in the new year. “They certainly put their money where their mouths are,” Moss said.

This month’s Insights report also takes a snapshot of the workforce through a December consumer survey to see who’s looking and what’s on their minds.

Chart displaying state of the talent market

Download the February Insights report to help attract, engage, hire and advance the talent you need now.


Boomers are (working) people, too

Although the media seems to love to focus on the trials and tribulations of the youngest members of the workforce, they don’t even makeup half of the working population. Data shows rising numbers of those who identify as members of the Gen X or Boomer population, who account for 60% of the workforce, looking for jobs.

Workers aged 45-54 are leading the pack, with applications from this cohort increasing 36% year-over-year, followed closely by those aged 65+, up 30% year-over-year. Employers must consider the ever-changing business environment and varied preferences among the multi-generational workforce to attract, engage, hire and advance the best talent in the market today.Chart displaying age brackets of workforce


An unbalanced gender balance

 The rise in job applicants is driven primarily by males. Although both genders are applying more now than at the end of the year, an influx of men in the applicant pool – up 38% YoY – has displaced the gender balance.

For most of 2022, women made up slightly more than half of applicants. The female share started decreasing at the end of the year and has now fallen to 43%. This shift may indicate women are concerned that the current job landscape is not conducive to finding a new opportunity. iCIMS research found that only 13% of women felt “very confident” they could find a new job in the next three months, compared to 30% of men.

Chart displaying percentage of male applicants


Who runs the world?

Diversity efforts may be helping to make gains at the top levels. In the last year, there have been incremental increases in women and candidates from historically excluded groups hired into top executive roles. Notably, the share of women and black professionals has seen an uptick, with 4% and 3% YoY increases, respectively.

With so much happening in today’s labor market, it’s hard to keep track of it all and plan accordingly. iCIMS keeps its finger on the pulse of key indicators to keep you up to date each month with our findings, drawn from our proprietary database of more than 4,000 customers and millions of data points across job openings, applications and hiring.

Chart displaying diversity hiring in 2021 vs 2022

Check out this webinar for an analysis of data shared in the iCIMS 2023 Workforce Report and use it to build your TA strategy.

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About the author

Amy Byrnes

Amy brings a knack for storytelling and strategy to her role at iCIMS. A longtime journalist and marketing consultant, she is on a mission to make her content sparkle with details and clarity.

As an essayist, Amy’s writing has appeared in The Washington Post and Family Circle magazine. When not writing, you can find her going for long hikes in the woods with her goldendoodle, working in her veggie garden or researching her next travel destination – which has included spots like Hong Kong, the Greek islands and Newfoundland.

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