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Job Market Trends for 2019

The annual Glassdoor Job Market Trends Report covers the job market impacts that defined 2018 — from the proliferation of AI to hiring campaigns that shaped local economies — and workplace trends expected to affect 2019 and beyond. 

Job Market Trends for 2019

“After nine years of steady growth, 2018 saw one of the strongest job markets in a generation. However, the world of work is forever changing. We’re witnessing a power shift as job seekers leverage their market position and employees make an impact with their voice. Plus, as technology matures, it’s changing how we work and the variety of jobs available,” said Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain. “Our annual Job Market Trends report looks into the highs and lows of 2018, and studies what is likely to disrupt the workforce in the year ahead.”

Five Workforce Disruptions to Watch in 2019

  1. Data-driven matching will be the new paradigm for hiring: Big data and machine learning will cut through the clutter of online job postings and candidates. The philosophy is simple: Use data to curate a smaller, smarter set of job recommendations that better fit a candidate. This is possible by leveraging the vast amount of information on not only jobs and companies, but also job seekers’ past learnings (such as personalized skills, education, and other experiences) and future aspirations (including job and company preferences, work locations, etc.) It’s a shift that promises to be a win-win for both candidates and employers in 2019 and beyond: Candidates get matched faster with jobs and companies that best fit their skills and preferences, and hiring managers get smaller pools of better quality applicants. 
  2. Demand for non-tech workers will increase: In 2018, nearly half (43%) of all open jobs at tech employers on Glassdoor were for non-technical roles. These include sales account executives, project managers, operations managers, financial analysts, marketing managers and more. As the tech industry matures, expect to see much more hiring for these non-tech jobs that help drive revenue and scale up operations at America’s big tech companies. 
  3. Aging workforce likely to mean talent shortages: The first wave of Baby Boomers reached retirement age (65) in 2011 and millions more will continue to do so in the next few decades. That’s both shrinking the nation’s pool of experienced workers and changing the age profile of American consumers. For the first time in U.S. history, there will likely be more retirees in America than children under age 18 by 2035.
  4. Job seekers and employers brace for recession: How will a recession change today's hiring market? During a slowdown, the balance of job openings compared to job seekers rapidly rebalances, as hiring slows and unemployment rises in affected industries. Attracting candidates to open roles becomes easier. However, the problem of sifting through applicants for great talent will remain a challenge. Investing today in interview processes that work, technology that helps screen great candidates and having a clear employer brand that attracts the right talent can help prepare employers to hire effectively during a recession. 
  5. More companies will try to get diversity, inclusion, and belonging right: In 2019, we will see a focus on inclusion and belonging. If diversity means having a more diverse workforce, inclusion means having a culture that ensures they’re plugged into the organization — included in networking opportunities, on track for promotions, represented among company leadership, and so on. Belonging means feeling safe in the workplace to show your differences without being marginalized. Without inclusion, workforce diversity is a hollow statistical goal that’s unlikely to have a lasting impact. Similarly, without belonging, companies will find it hard to retain diverse candidates and benefit from allowing them to show their creative perspectives at work.

Five Hiring Trends That Defined 2018

  1. Artificial Intelligence is a friend, not foe: In today’s job market there’s a rising army of “knowledge workers” — those using data, software, and intellectual skills — employed in service industries like healthcare, tech, consulting and finance. These roles are more likely to use automation as a complement, not as a substitute. AI is best suited for routine tasks and the reality is that most jobs are a complicated mix of tasks, with certain components easier for automation to tackle. Most AI used in 2018 freed up workers from low-value routine tasks, allowing them to focus on the most
    creative and productive aspects of their jobs.
  2. More women taking leadership positions, but there's room to grow: As more women take positions of power — whether in politics, the boardroom or the C-Suite, we see their bold leadership push forward initiatives that reflect changing priorities and values in corporate America. Although it has been a year of progress for women in corporate leadership, there’s still work to do. According to the Pew Research Center, women only hold about 10% of the top executive positions at U.S. companies, with women making up just 5% of chief executives of S&P 1500 companies. A separate analysis by the New York Times found the number of female CEOs overall fell by 25% among Fortune 500 companies in 2018. 
  3. Data privacy concerns on the rise: Today, the collection of sensitive information happens in nearly every industry from retail and finance to social media. Much like how stolen identities and fraudulent purchases can result from leaked consumer data, breaches of HR or performance data could potentially have serious consequences for workers. Just as concerns over protecting health records led to federal oversight in decades past, employees today are more concerned about whether HR data collected by employers is being safeguarded and used ethically.
  4. Gig economy smaller than once expected: In October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its first-ever survey of gig economy workers, and the early evidence shows it’s much smaller than we thought. The survey of gig economy workers -- or “electronically mediated employment” -- was the first attempt by the BLS to quantify the extent of gig workers in the U.S. economy using mobile apps like Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Instacart for jobs. The bottom line: the BLS identified 1.6 million gig workers -- about 1% of total employment in the U.S. That includes all Americans who did any gig work using an online app or platform during a typical week, whether for their main job, a second job, or just for occasional extra cash.
  5. Amazon proves local talent matters: The key lesson of the Amazon HQ2 campaign is that local labor markets are critical when considering company locales. Data show that most job candidates won’t move for jobs and enticing them to do so can be a pricey undertaking. Whatever culture, skills, and diversity exist in local areas will in large part become the DNA of a company’s workforce over time through the process of local hiring. This year was a reminder to workforce planners to look beyond factors like taxes and real estate costs when deciding where to expand.
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