By Jamie Zananiri

The first Employment Situation for 2022 from the Bureau of Labor has been released, so let’s take a look at how employment fared in January.

The great news: January saw nearly half a million jobs added (467,000), a drastic contrast to the projected 150,000. Restaurants and bars alone saw 100,000 more jobs in January. While the Omicron variant did not impact unemployment as expected, it did see an additional 15.4% of workers moving to the remote office space to do their jobs in January. Hourly earnings increased another 23 cents overall.

The good news: The unemployment rate increased marginally to 4%, only a slight change from December’s 3.9%. While it’s the first increase to the jobless rate since last June, the continued increase in jobs added show economic recovery is still going strong.

The bad news: While nearly every sector saw employment gains, there are still over 10 million job openings. The competition is stiff for employers in need of staffing. While white men once again saw gains in employment, nearly every other group saw virtually no change.

Keep in mind: Pre-Pandemic economic markers are increasingly losing their usefulness for monitoring and predicting the ongoing employment situation. Don’t depend on your previous experience with the ebb and flow of candidates for your agency to begin again.

Key takeaways: There are still more unfilled jobs than there are job seekers. Being competitive (from offering higher pay to better benefits to remote work to professional development) is no longer a bonus but a requirement to hook qualified candidates. This is a great time to review your hiring policies to ensure you are reaching a diverse pool of candidates. When posting ads for your sales superstar, also consider looking for entry level candidates with Sales personalities that you can train to be your next sales superstar.

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