LinkedIn data shows U.S. job hiring may have hit bottom in mid-April

Luis Mora stands in front of the closed offices of the New York State Department of Labor May 7, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York City.

Stéphanie Keith | Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic created a huge crash in hiring new jobs in March and early April, but the worst could be behind us, according to data collected by LinkedIn.

The professional social network owned by Microsoft keeps track of a hiring rate which shows the number of people who were hired in an area per day compared to a year earlier. The metric is calculated on a seven day continuous basis and is based on changes in user profiles.

LinkedIn data shows that the hiring rate in the United States fell steadily throughout March due to the Covid-19 pandemic before starting to level off in mid-April, said the economist in chief of LinkedIn Karin Kimbrough.

The hiring rate in the United States on March 3 was up 25% from the previous year, but began to drop the next day. As of April 15, the hiring rate was down almost 38% from the previous year. Since then, the hiring rate has remained relatively stable from year to year. The most recent data shows that the hiring rate in the United States on May 8 has decreased by almost 34% year over year.

“We don’t see any signs of improvement yet, but what we think is that we may have suffered the worst job loss yet,” said Kimbrough.

Although the hiring rate in the United States appears to have stabilized, the path to recovery is likely to be long and slow, said Kimbrough. Other regions previously affected by the coronavirus, such as China and France, have already started to recover hiring rates, but progress is slow.

“We are seeing a gradual improvement in China,” said Kimbrough. “But they have not yet returned to their pre-crisis level. So if China is a guide for the United States, I think it will be an extremely gradual pace of recovery in terms of hiring.”

One of the main reasons why recovery takes time is that many companies take the time to reorganize their strategies and reconfigure their supply chains before focusing on the type of positions they will want to add once they will resume hiring, said Kimbrough.

“The hiring is going to take a back seat to define a business strategy,” said Kimbrough.

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