Understanding Job Seeker Behavior

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During a recent webinar, Recruiting News Alert: Job Seekers Behaving Oddly, Appcast CEO Chris Forman discussed what’s happening in the labor market.

Here are several key takeaways:

Candidate supply and demand are in balance, which should be good news.Job seeker interest has increased since lows of mid-March 2021, which also should be good news.Nevertheless, in a historical context, job seeker intent is down 25%.

Meanwhile, the labor shortage is exacerbated by the fact that quit rates in several key industries are up. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds Retail has been significantly impacted, as has Leisure and Hospitality, particularly the Accommodation and Food Services subsector.

So, why aren’t people interested in working?

A Census Pulse Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, asked the “reason for not working” question in September 2020 and again in May/June 2021. It turns out “concern about getting or spreading the coronavirus” is way down – there’s been a decline of 48.36% in people citing it as a reason.

Likewise for people citing “laid off or lost my job due to the coronavirus pandemic”; it has declined by 42.84%.

These numbers would suggest that people are eager to get back to work.


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