Labor Market Continues To Add Jobs but Severe Talent Shortages Impact Recruiting: The Conference Board

Staffing Industry Analysts (04/04/22)

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index rose again in March, signaling further solid job growth ahead in the second quarter of this year. However, recruitment and retention difficulties remain high, and the unemployment rate is expected to approach 3% by the end of the year, indicating severe labor shortages throughout 2022.

The index rose to a reading of 120.56 in March, up from a downwardly revised reading of 118.90 in February.

“Consistent months of growth in the [Employment Trends Index] indicate that employment is growing, and the labor market is expanding,” said Agron Nicaj, associate economist at The Conference Board. “The labor market is continuing to add jobs, especially in in-person services and other industries that have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels of employment. We expect these industries, including accommodation and food services, to experience the greatest job gains in the coming months. We can expect jobs to return to pre-pandemic levels before the end of the year.”

The labor force participation rate is expected to grow slightly with rising wages potentially luring more workers to the job market, driven by ongoing labor shortages, according to The Conference Board.

“During this tight labor market, job switchers are especially likely to reap the benefits of wage gains,” Nicaj said.

The Conference Board releases its employment index each Monday after the US Bureau of Labor Statistics releases jobs numbers. Total employment rose by 431,000 in March.

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