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  • 2016 iCIMS Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    U.S. Hiring Trends Q1 2016The New Reality for Entry-level Workers and Where in the U.S. Companies are Hiring

  • Q1 2016 | U.S. Hiring Trends Report

    2016 iCIMS Inc. All Rights Reserved.2

    One of the most remarkable aspects of this phenomenon is

    it sits at odds with the headline numbers for the U.S. labor

    market. Job growth has been unusually steady for several

    years now normally, even during a robust expansion,

    there are one-off months when job gains go in reverse yet

    stories of economic insecurity are widespread. For some

    time now, there has been an unusual discrepancy between

    media narratives of the U.S. jobs market and some of the

    standard macroeconomic data, but this is not just a media

    myth. Step back even further to the broader picture of

    overall U.S. economic growth, and it has been substantially

    more modest than many recent economic expansions,

    fueling fears that the new normal in the U.S. economy will

    be lower and slower growth.

    How to explain the discrepancy? One possibility is that it

    is all about the demand side of the labor market, whereby

    it is simply a question of relatively low-quality jobs being

    created. For instance, Fed Chair Janet Yellen has been

    outspoken in calling attention to the relatively high number

    of workers accepting part-time work because they

    cannot find full-time jobs. A recent study by economists

    at Princeton and Harvard suggests that many of the jobs

    created since the Great Recession have provided less

    economic security than jobs created in the past because

    they provide only temporary, freelance, or otherwise

    alternative employment. iCIMS system data adds another

    piece to this puzzle, showing negligible net progress over

    the last two years in the proportion of full-time jobs created

    relative to part-time or contract workers whose hours are

    not guaranteed.

    There is also the possibility that we are witnessing

    a shift in the supply side of the labor market. Some

    commentators have raised the possibility that job

    seekers and workers today, especially millennials, want

    something different out of their careers. Still others point

    to a potential skills gap not only that the nature of new

    jobs is changing, but that as labor force participation rises

    and discouraged workers are tempted back into the job

    search, their skills may have deteriorated.

    Naturally, it could be a little of both. The excess demand

    for internships evident from iCIMS elevated talent supply/

    demand ratio suggests a shortage of either internships

    or high-quality entry-level opportunities. While iCIMS

    system data focuses on the demand side of the labor

    market, we have conducted a survey that shows high

    levels of willingness to accept alternative forms of

    employment on the supply side as well. All of this

    suggests that as people re-enter the labor force or enter

    it for the first time, they may or may not go straight to

    regular full-time jobs.

    - Josh WrightiCIMS Chief Economist

    A foot in the door. Pounding the pavement.Our metaphors for finding a job emphasize the arduousness of the task and its chanciness.

    And these days, its not getting any easier. Glance at a newsstand or your social media

    newsfeeds and youre bound to see stories of economic transition and dislocation.

  • 2016 iCIMS Inc. All Rights Reserved.3

    Q1 2016 | U.S. Hiring Trends Report

    Table of Contents

    The Big Picture Insights from Our Findings 4

    Section 1: Is the Path to the American Dream Becoming Harder to Start? 5

    Section 2: Increase Your Odds of Success The Best Cities to Find a Job in the U.S. 10

    Methodology 12

    About Us 13

  • 2016 iCIMS Inc. All Rights Reserved.4

    Q1 2016 | U.S. Hiring Trends Report

    Job growth alone does not tell the full story of todays labor market. There is an ongoing

    conversation about the nature and quality of the jobs that the U.S. economy is creating. While

    concerns about job security have been rising for many years, more fundamental concerns

    have recently emerged, such as whether enough full-time jobs are being created.

    Furthermore, iCIMS system data appears to be consistent with an increased desire to seek

    internships as a first step to finding a job. This raises some new questions about todays labor

    market, especially for entry-level candidates. For anyone trying to find their way to a great job,

    or even a good one, it is important to consider not only alternative types of employment, but

    alternative locations. With that in mind, this report also provides indicators of which U.S. cities

    are seeing the most rapid growth in jobs.

    The Big Picture Insights from Our Findings

    Data from iCIMS system for tracking job applicants indicates that while job growth remains strong, full-time positions are not outpacing the creation of part-time and contractor work enough to meaningfully increase their share of total jobs created.

  • 2016 iCIMS Inc. All Rights Reserved.5

    Q1 2016 | U.S. Hiring Trends Report

    Millennials are entering the workforce at rapid rates and play a critical role in todays workplace.

    According to the Pew Research Center, more than one in three American workers today

    are millennials (adults ages 18 to 34). But do college seniors face the right opportunities after

    graduation to build a long-lasting career? Recent trends could be pointing to a lack of traditional

    entry-level, climb-to-the-top type of roles. With hidden weakness in the job market, todays

    entry-level workers might be forced to compromise their dream of landing that perfect job.

    Section 1:

    Is the Path to the American Dream Becoming Harder to Start?

    To investigate this further, we took a look at our system data

    and found that the talent supply/demand ratio, meaning the

    number of people applying per position, is much higher for

    internships than for full-time positions. As seen in Figure 1,

    in Q1 of 2016, internship positions had an average of about

    37 applicants per job filled, while full-time positions had only

    26 applicants per job filled. While we do not know what

    level of experience these full-time positions were hiring

    Demand for Internships is High and Competition is Intense

    for, if recent graduates are realistic enough not to apply

    for senior-level positions, then this decrease in the ratio

    could indicate a shortage of entry-level opportunities

    for recent college graduates. Such a shortage could be

    depressing the number of applicants per full-time position

    if the number of applications submitted by people looking

    for their first job is larger than the number of applications

    submitted by people with previous work experience.








    Figure 1: Talent Supply/Demand Ratio

    Full-Time Part-Time Contingent Intern

    Source: iCIMS System Data

    In the beginning of each year since 2014, the number of applicants per internship position has consistently grown while the same ratio for full-time positions has declined.

    Q1 2014 Q1 2015 Q1 2016



















  • 2016 iCIMS Inc. All Rights Reserved.6

    Q1 2016 | U.S. Hiring Trends Report

    Increases in iCIMS job postings, displayed in Figure 2, are consistent with the reported overall strong job growth in the U.S.

    Figure 3 displays the steady nonfarm payroll growth as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). With 66 straight

    months of positive nonfarm payroll growth through March 2016, this is the longest streak of monthly job gains since

    World War II.

    The Overall Job Market is Improving but Millennials Are Being Left Out in the Cold

    Figure 2: Monthly Job Postings

    Figure 3: Unusually Steady Nonfarm Payroll Growth

    Month Year










    Dec 1


    r 14

    Jun 14

    Sep 1


    c 14

    Mar 1



    p 15

    Dec 1


    r 16













    1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006

    Observation Date

    2008 2010 2012 2014 2016

    Nonfarm Payrolls 12-Month Moving Average of Nonfarm Payrolls

    Source: BLS

    Source: iCIMS System Data









    iCIMS job postings

    show strong

    overall job growth

    continues in the U.S.

    Official job gains

    have been unusually

    steady over the last

    few years.

  • 2016 iCIMS Inc. All Rights Reserved.7

    Q1 2016 | U.S. Hiring Trends Report

    However, entry-level workers may not be finding quality jobs. According to the BLS, the

    unemployment rate for people ages 20 to 24 was 8.4% in March 2016 compared to the

    national unempl