Hiring gets easier for some employers despite hot job market

Aug 11, 2022
Written by WR Communications

By Chip Cutter — WSJ

Some big U.S. companies say hiring is getting easier, at least by a little.

Employers in hospitality, retail, healthcare, and other industries hardest hit by worker shortages over the past two years say they are seeing emerging signs that recruiting workers—and getting them to accept jobs when offered—is becoming less of a challenge, even as the overall job market remains tight.

Corporate leaders say the job market still favors workers over employers and that challenges remain in drawing enough staff. Still, many say the worst of the hurdles appear to be over.

The economy has now made up the number of jobs lost in the aftermath of the pandemic, and demand for workers is fierce. In July, employers added 528,000 jobs, far more than expected, and the unemployment rate fell to a half-century low of 3.5%. There are indications that workers are also accepting jobs more quickly, economists say, reducing some of the burdens for companies looking to fill positions.

Companies cite varying factors in explaining hiring successes. Kroger Co. told investors in June that some employees who left to work elsewhere had returned to the grocery chain. Uber, UBER -0.28% , which struggled with too few drivers to meet demand over the past year, said inflationary pressures motivated more people to drive for the service. Uber ended its latest quarter with a record number of drivers, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said last week.

Fears of a recession or inflation also appear to be keeping some workers in their existing jobs, economists and executives say, leading to a drop in turnover in some industries—another boost for companies. The rates of quitting in both hospitality and retail have fallen in recent months from peaks earlier in the pandemic, Mr. Bunker said, though they remain elevated historically.

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