US Job Insights for the Second Half of 2022

To provide accurate and timely employment forecasts for business leaders, Express Employment Professionals International Headquarters commissions an ongoing Job Insights survey to track employment and hiring trends across a wide range of industries.

INSIGHT: Hiring Demand Continues Through Challenging Conditions
U.S. hiring decision-makers are more positive about the future of the workforce, with the most common feelings attributed to hiring in 2022 being positive (85%) – including being hopeful (51%), and optimistic (49%). According to hiring decision-makers, in the second half of 2022:

  • 61% plan to increase the number of employees at their company
  • 34% expect no change to the number of employees
  • 3% anticipate a decrease in employee count

INSIGHT: Inflation Affecting Wages, Revenue, and Future Gains
Companies have been faced with many challenges over the past few years. Unfortunately, there continue to be new issues companies face – most recently, a generational rise in inflation. Over the past two years, the inflation rate has increased to a level last seen in the 1980s. Nearly all U.S. hiring decision-makers (92%) say their company has been impacted by this rise in inflation, with nearly two-thirds (65%) reporting it has had a major or moderate impact on their company.

The high inflation rate has caused companies to make difficult decisions, including:

  • Raise prices (40%),
  • Absorb additional costs (39%)
  • Adopt new technology to automate tasks/processes (27%)
  • Reduce transportation (24%)
  • Outsource work (18%)
  • Turn down work opportunities (16%)

Hiring costs look to be a trend moving forward, with expectations for wage increases has been steadily increasing over the past two years:

  • 52% in the first half of 2020
  • 63% in the first half of 2021
  • 70% in the first half of 2022

INSIGHT: Soft Skills Essential for Workers, Leading to Reskilling
In the search for potential applicants with their companies, U.S. hiring decision-makers commonly look for certain soft skills in their applicants. Among the top skills deemed essential or very important are dependability (90%), communication skills (89%), and a willingness to learn (88%).

Other important skills companies look for include:

  • Problem-solving skills (85%)
  • Adaptability (85%)
  • Critical thinking (84%)
  • Initiative (84%)

More than 7 in 10 feel fitting the company culture (79%), creativity (72%), and/or leadership skills (71%) are also of high importance to them.

However, reskilling current employees has been continuing to entice U.S. hiring decision-makers since 2021. Nearly 4 in 5 (77%) would prefer to do so with their current employees for new roles before venturing outside the organization for brand new hires – 75% in the second half of 2021 and 72% in the first half of 2021.

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express between May 3 and 23, 2022, among 1,003 U.S. hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18+ in the U.S. who are employed full-time or self-employed, work at companies with more than one employee, and have full/significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). Data were weighted where necessary by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.


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