As Labor Day closed the books on what is arguably the strangest summer in modern history, we decided to take a peek in the rearview mirror and recap what happened over the last 90 days (or was it 90 years? What is time anyway?!?)
Set to a backdrop of social unrest, oppressive heat, and natural disasters, we watched the ongoing pandemic continue to play out in the job market. Surprisingly, amid the turmoil, the overall trajectory has been positive. Summer has found labor demand on a slow climb up from spring’s rock bottom.
Jobs increased each month this summer, but the pace began to slow in mid-August. Total unique active listings increased 3% in August, while July and June job listings were up 8% and 10% respectively. Overall for the summer, unique active job listings were up 12.7% since June 1st., but they are down 0.2% since their peak seen on August 15th.
Looking at the employers with the most active job listings at the close of summer, we are seeing a large presence by essential businesses who managed to avoid the large scale COVID closures seen in the spring. Dollar General tops the list of employers with the most unique job listings in August with well over 52,000. Other companies offering value priced essentials like Wal-Mart and Dollar Tree (which held the #2 slot in April) also boast large numbers of active listings.
Fast food also continues to maintain strong jobs numbers. Taco Bell had the most job listings in April, and at the end of August finds themselves with the second highest number of listings, with over 46,000. Other fast food giants actively adding to their workforce include Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Wendy’s.
Other essential goods and services figure prominently across the top 20 employers hiring with appearances by multiple auto parts stores, convenience stores, and pharmacy chains. Unsurprisingly, Amazon currently has just under 16,000 active listings as many continue to lean on home delivery services as a way to avoid unnecessary COVID exposure. They also announced this week plans to hire 33,000 employees for corporate and tech roles, so it looks like their job listings are set to increase further in the coming months.
As we move into fall and beyond, and the pandemic shows no end in sight, we will continue to monitor overall labor demand to see whether we expand upon gains seen over the summer. We’ll also keep an eye on employers to see whether businesses offering essential goods continue to lead in jobs created as we begin to prepare for what will undoubtedly be a long, tough winter. But for now we’ll simply say, “Bye, Summer 2020. Let’s do this again never.”