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Longer Hiring Timelines Signal Tightening U.S. Labor Market

Bloomberg Business
By Nina Glinski
January 26, 2015

 

(Bloomberg) — Employers in the U.S. are taking longer to fill job openings, a sign that the labor market is tightening as companies compete for talented workers.

Fifty-seven percent of positions went unfilled 30 days after being posted in the three months through October, a 0.8 percentage-point increase from the same period in 2013, according to a report released Monday by online job advertiser Indeed and business consultant Centre for Economics and Business Research.

Employers in hospitality and manufacturing had the highest rates of jobs unfilled after at least three months, the report showed, as employment gains in those industries made it harder to recruit suitable hires. Increased demand for qualified help in a shrinking talent pool boosts the odds of accelerating wages, said Paul D’Arcy, senior vice president of Austin, Texas-based Indeed, which said its data accounts for about 47 percent of all jobs available in the U.S.

“When it takes longer for employers to fill jobs it should put pressure on wages to rise in order to attract quality candidates faster,” he said. “If employers are unwilling to offer higher wages, this could in part explain longer vacancy times.”

Longer hiring cycles could also hit employers with “a significant knock-on effect to the productivity of their business,” d’Arcy said.

Productivity can suffer as companies ask employees to log more hours or the quality of work diminishes. Senior roles, particularly retail sales managers and computer software engineers, took longer to fill than low-skilled positions, the report showed.

Among states, manufacturing-intensive Indiana had the greatest share of unfilled job openings after three months, at 35.8 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nina Glinski in Washington at nglinski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Vince Golle at vgolle@bloomberg.net Mark Rohner

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