Job Insights for 2020

To provide accurate and timely employment forecasts for business leaders, Express Employment Professionals International Headquarters conducts an ongoing Job Insights survey to track hiring trends across a wide range of industries. Express surveyed business owners, decision makers, and human resource professionals about the overall hiring trends in their markets and how those trends impact their hiring decisions. The majority of respondents (89%) hold decision-making roles regarding hiring for their companies and represent small- to medium-sized workforces:

  • 1 to 50 employees: 55%
  • 51 to 100 employees: 18%
  • 101 to 250 employees: 15%
  • 251 to 500 employees: 4%
  • 501+ employees: 8%

The competition to attract and retain the best talent continues in 2020.
Recruiting and retaining top talent today requires a more strategic approach than ever before. Skilled, experienced workers hold all the cards and businesses must be willing to meet or exceed what the competition is offering to not only attract the best employees, but also keep them. In fact, according to the survey results, 78% of respondents say it will be somewhat or very difficult to fill open positions in their companies.

The top reasons open jobs are not filled:

  • Lack of applicants with experience – 25%
  • Lack of available applicants – 22%
  • Lack of applicants with hard skills – 10%
  • Lack of applicants with soft skills – 9%

The top reasons employees leave their current job:

  • Lack of advancement/opportunity – 17%
  • Low pay – 14%
  • Not a good cultural fit – 14%
  • Unlikeable boss/management – 6%
  • Long hours – 6%

Businesses remain overall optimistic for the economy going into 2020.
Eighty-six percent (86%) of survey respondents said their employment markets are either “trending up” (42%) or “staying the same” (44%) going into 2020. Only 13% forecast a downward trend in employment activity. Additionally, most survey respondents remain generally optimistic about the strength of the economy and do not predict the country entering into recession in the short-term.

Do you foresee your country entering into another recession?

  • I do not foresee my country entering into another recession – 46%
  • In 2 years – 20%
  • In 1 year – 18%
  • In 6 months to 1 year – 12%
  • In 3 to 6 months – 3%
  • Within 3 months – 1%

Over the next six months, wages will

  • Stay the same – 54%
  • Increase – 45%
  • Decrease – 1%

About Express Employment Professionals

At Express Employment Professionals, we’re in the business of people. From job seekers to client companies, Express helps people thrive and businesses grow. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, our international network of franchises offer localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve, employing 552,000 people across North America in 2019. For more information, visit

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