Employers struggle to hire despite nearly 6% unemployment

June 8, 2021

The May federal jobs report revealed...not a whole lot new, but it confirmed how tough it is to hire right now. Read on for the numbers, and please, don't let hiring stress you out. 

Unemployment by the numbers 

  • Overall unemployment: 5.8%  

  • Men: 5.9%  

  • Women: 5.4%  

  • White workers: 5.1%  

  • Asian workers: 5.5%  

  • Hispanic workers: 7.3%  

  • Black workers: 9.1%  

Temporary layoffs: 1.8 million (down from 2.1 million in April)  

Permanent job losses: 3.2 million (down from 3.5 in April) 

Teleworking: 16.6% (down from 18.3 month prior)  

Hiring trends for May 2021 

The job market strongly favors workers right now, with wages increasing at historic rates and open positions at a 48-year high. “There's not a job shortage, there's a candidate shortage,” CareerBuilder CEO Irina Novoselsky recently told Yahoo News. Check out her interview to go deeper, and read on for the latest numbers and ways to hire right now – despite this challenging time. 

Your definition of “qualified” has gone out the window. Upskilling is here to stay, as an estimated 17 million more workers will need to find new occupations by 2030. According to our recent survey on the future of work, three quarters of job seekers have dedicated time to learning new skills during the pandemic. But to acquire the talent you need, you may have to confront the skills gap head on, with training programs built into the onboarding process. Think of upskilling as an essential benefit.   

Speaking of skills and benefits, hiring based on transferable skills (with the intention of upskilling if needed) and luring candidates with competitive wages should be the foundation of your hiring process right now. But what's a competitive wage for in-demand retail jobs, for example? Or what if the skills you list are similar to but not exactly those that potential matches are using? Read here and find out how to source candidates with salary and skills data. 

Data can tell a story, but that doesn't mean you have to get lost in numbers to understand the plot. Ask yourself: is your talent acquisition process working for you? If you’re feeling stuck, knowing which tools are most effective can help you refocus your resources and get back in business (literally!). 

While you’re at it, learn how Humana exceeded its hiring goals and transformed its strategy by using data to better understand job seeker preferences. 

Think small (business). If you’re part of the 44% of small businesses unable to fill open positions, it can be hard going up against large companies with the means to compete. Monitoring a job posting is the last thing you have time for. That’s why it’s crucial that you use technology to your advantage. Here’s how AI can do the hiring work for you. 

See you next month for our jobs report rundown, and in the meantime, find the answers to all your questions on our hiring resource page. 

Happy hiring!

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