War for Talent Accelerates, Especially in Certain Industries

August 13, 2021

U.S. job openings jumped to a record 10.1 million in June, or 1.2 openings for every unemployed American, with record or near-record job opening rates in 11 industries, further highlighting the mismatch between available jobs and worker skills.

Industries with the highest job opening rates include:  accommodation and food services (10.2%), arts, entertainment, and recreation (9.4%), professional and business services (7.9%), nondurable goods manufacturing (7.2%), and retail trade (7.0%).

But quit rates are up too.  Industries with the highest quit rates and therefore difficulties retaining employees include: accommodation and food services (5.7%), retail trade (4.1%), professional and business services (3.3%), and nondurable goods manufacturing (3.0%).

Some industries have recovered all of the jobs lost to COVID.  Those with the largest gains include: couriers and messengers (14.0%); warehousing and storage (8.6%); activities related to credit intermediation (8.5%); miscellaneous computer and electronic products (8.2%); scientific research and development services (7.8%); other information services (7.4%); and nonstore retailers (6.6%).

Takeaway:  There is clearly a structural mismatch between who is unemployed (based on their previous industry) and where the jobs are in the U.S. (industries looking for workers).