Online Job Postings Jump 95% in Region; Health/Retail Lead the Way

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Online job postings in southeast Michigan, which jumped 94.5 percent to 141,835 listings in the third quarter from 72,912 listings in the second quarter, are a positive sign for the region’s economy, according to a new study.

“This quarter’s data shows that employers are posting at an all-time high,” says Lisa Katz, executive director of the Workforce Intelligence Network of Southeast Michigan, which conducts the quarterly study. “Whether or not this translates into record hiring we have yet to tell. What we can say is that the posting behavior is a signal that employers are looking for more talent. Overall, continued strong demand in the form of online job postings is good news for the southeast Michigan economy.”

The report shows that the biggest gains occurred in Oakland County, where employment listings grew to 40,443 from 20,230, and Wayne County, where postings increased to 56,625 from 29,451. In Monroe, Oakland, and Macomb counties, job postings doubled in the third quarter.

Up to 80 percent of jobs are posted online, says Katz. “We cannot really track offline methods, but with the increasing popularity of technology, we believe that online postings are a good proxy, or estimate, for job demand. With so much online activity though, we can say that the majority of job postings are showing up online,” she says.

However, Katz says online postings are not synonymous with available jobs. “On average, over the past several years, there has been an average of two online postings per net new job in Michigan’s economy. This means that the ratio of postings to new jobs is likely higher because we are only capturing online postings,” she says.

The most significant job growth was in the health and retail/hospitality sectors, which showed 118 percent and 117 percent growth, respectively. The region’s top five job postings include:     

  • Retail salespersons (5,858 postings)
  • Registered nurses (4,819 postings)
  • Software developers for applications (4,076 postings)
  • Sales representatives for wholesale and manufacturing — except technical and scientific products (3,875 postings)
  • First-line supervisors of retail sales workers (3,735 postings)

“We have noticed that incomes in the area are starting to rise, consumer expenditures are growing, and employment and GDP contributions from the retail and hospitality sector is increasing quickly,” says Katz. “This is a sign of overall recovery in the region. When people have more money and feel secure, they spend more. That will drive increased demand for workers in these fields.

She adds part of the spike in retail postings during the third quarter is seasonal, “but another part of the spike is due to an overall increase in consumer demand services and products because of increasing and more stable incomes.”

The full report, which includes Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties, can be viewed here.  

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