chapter 2

2020 hiring trends.


For job seekers, 2020 marks one of the best labor markets in recent history. Opportunities are plentiful, unemployment is low and there’s no shortage of work for candidates with in-demand skills. But for employers, it’s only getting harder to attract and retain essential talent. With rising wages and fierce competition for skilled professionals, today’s employers face a challenging new reality: Candidates are in the driver’s seat, and the organizations that would hire them are just along for the ride.

In that context, what can you really expect when it comes to hiring, compensation and the changing world of work in the year ahead? How will economic factors and shifting candidate preferences impact your ability to attract and retain talent? With so much changing so fast, employers will need to pay close attention to these and other trends affecting the labor market in 2020.

2020 at a glance

163 million
people in the U.S. workforce

7.8 million
people with multiple jobs

3.5 million
people quit their jobs each month

57 million
people in the agile workforce

7.4 million
job openings each month

unemployment rate

All 2019 averages are based on YTD data available at the time of publication.

Here are the must-know hiring trends to watch for in 2020.

the labor market shows no signs of slowing

While new job creation slowed somewhat heading into 2020, don’t expect the labor market to cool off as a result. Plenty of roles remain unfilled — roughly 7.4 million per month, in fact. Those roles are likely to stay vacant for months, too, since 56 percent of companies take two to three months to fill a direct-hire vacancy. And with so many opportunities available, it should come as no surprise that an average of 3.5 million people are quitting their jobs each month.

Meanwhile, the U.S. workforce is earning more money than ever before. On average, U.S. workers right now earn $27.74 per hour, up from $27.10 in 2018. Annualized for a full-time employee working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, that’s a year-over-year increase of $1,331.20 before taxes.

With rising wages and no shortage of open roles to choose from, candidates continue to be in the driver’s seat in 2020.

the world of work keeps changing

It isn’t just the opportunities for job seekers that are changing — the nature of work is, too. The agile workforce has become a very real thing, generating $1.3 trillion last year alone. Plus, more than three-quarters of companies have begun using some form of an agile workforce in recent years. In 2020 we expect that number to increase.

There’s also a slow, steady uptick in the number of people with multiple jobs. As of 2018, the most recent date that data is available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were almost 7.8 million workers holding multiple jobs in the U.S.

compensation is still king

Despite a modest hourly increase, much of today’s workforce isn’t exactly thrilled with their compensation. In a recent survey of employees who considered quitting their jobs in 2019, just 57 percent said they were at least somewhat well paid. Meanwhile, Randstad’s 2020 U.S. Compensation Insights study found that:

  • Forty-six percent of employees surveyed said they were considering leaving their jobs due to being underpaid.
  • Sixty-six percent said they’d leave their current role for a salary increase.
  • Thirty-three percent have “ghosted” an employer for a higher-paying role elsewhere.

These stats jibe with additional Randstad research that cites “attractive salary and benefits” as the number-one reason employees decide to work for their employers.

how to thrive in 2020

With so much changing so fast, simply aligning your compensation with the overall market isn’t enough to attract the best talent — understanding your industry’s standard compensation packages and tailoring yours to exceed them will be critical.

That’s easier said than done, though, especially when considering all of the other hurdles companies face today when trying to secure top talent. It’s also why so many of them turn to Randstad for help.

With a nationwide network of qualified talent, a consultative approach to staffing and a local presence in hundreds of markets around the U.S., we can help your business attract and retain the talent you need in the toughest hiring market on record. Visit today to get started.

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