Workplace Trends

Workplace Economy

Tight labor market continues with fewer job openings, less turnover reported in March

By Lee Hecht Harrison on May 14, 2013

The BLS reported 3.8 million job openings at the end of March, a slight dip from February 2013 (3.9 million openings).  The hires rate of 3.2 percent and the separations rate of 3.1 percent were basically unchanged from the previous month. While the overall openings rate remained steady at 2.8 percent, openings did increase in trade/transportation/utilities, retail, and leisure/hospitality business segments. Source: BLS

A reduction in job openings and stagnant turnover rates mean job seekers must continue to “up their game” to compete for open positions.  To conduct an effective job search today, job seekers must be visible and searchable online for recruiters and hiring managers to find them.  And job seekers should be using online channels to learn about open positions.

But the use of social media in a job search, and specifically LinkedIn, isn’t just for professionals.  No matter what an individual’s occupation or level, failure to create a LinkedIn profile is a mistake, potentially leaving qualified candidates out of the loop.  A LinkedIn presence is an opportunity to create a personal brand that highlights your skills, experience and professionalism.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn presence, start now.  Enroll in one of LinkedIn’s free Learning Webinars to gain familiarity with valuable site features and learn how to use it to develop your professional network and maximize job search opportunities. Then, jump in.  Share an article, comment on colleagues’ accomplishments, join industry or professional groups and follow targeted companies.  If you’re not on LinkedIn, you could get locked out of an already tight job market.

Job openings and labor turnover statistics from the month of March:

• Job Openings Level: 3,844,000 in March 2013 down from 3,848,000 in February 2013
• Job Openings Rate: 2.8% in March 2013, the same as in February 2013
• Hires Rate: 3.2% in March 2013 down from 3.3% in February 2013, and the same as March 2012
• Turnover Rate: 3.1% in March 2013, unchanged from February 2013 and March 2012
• Layoffs/Discharges Rate: 1.3% in March 2013, up from 1.2% in February 2013 and the same as March 2012.

Some key industries:

  • Construction openings decreased from 116,000 openings in February 2013 to 96,000 in March 2013 with new hires down from 353,000 in February 2013 to 338,000 in March 2013. Turnover for March 2013 was 5.7% up from 5.6% in February 2013.
  • Leisure and hospitality openings decreased from 488,000 in February 2013 to 433,000 in March 2013 with new hires totaling 813,000, up from 762,000 in February. Turnover in this sector increased in March (5.6%) over February 2013 (5.2%).
  • Manufacturing openings decreased from 274,000 in February 2013 to 260,000 in March 2013. New hires decreased from 231,000 in February 2013 to 200,000 in March 2013. Manufacturing turnover decreased from 1.9%in February to 1.7% in March.

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