Cities that depend on tech, government, health care, and retail for their economies are seeing lower drops in job postings than those who rely on tourism or manufacturing.
A Burning Glass Technologies analysis of job postings in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) found drops ranging from 16% to 82% in different cities. Nationally, job postings fell 43% between the week of March 2 and the week of March 30.
Job postings offer a different perspective on the economy than other labor indicators, such as the number of unemployment insurance claims. Unemployment claims tell us what employers are doing in the present. Job postings give an indication of how employers see the future.
As with our state-by-state research, we found that the hardest-hit metro areas are those heavily dependent on manufacturing and tourism. The four metro areas with the largest drop in postings are all in Louisiana: Lafayette (-82%), Baton Rouge (-75%), Shreveport (-75%), and New Orleans (-72%). Louisiana is dependent on tourism and on the oil industry, which is seeing a sharp drop in prices.
We also found that there doesn’t seem to be a strong correlation between social distancing measures and the fall in postings. San Francisco was one the first regions in the country to enact social distancing measures but the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metropolitan area has the smallest decline in job postings (16%). The region’s top industries for hiring over the past 12 months include health care, professional and technical services, administration and support, and retail. All of those industries have seen declines, but not to the same extent as fields like accommodations and food service.
A similar dynamic seems to exist in the other MSAs that have less lesser impact. For example, employment in Columbia, S.C., is dominated by the government sector, health care, education, and retail. These fields have seen smaller declines.
The decline in these metro areas is only small in relative terms. In normal times any of these numbers would be disastrous.