Mecklenburg County Hiring Slows Down

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Mecklenburg County Hiring Slows Down

Mecklenburg County Hiring Slows Down

The recent occupation spotlights highlight significant labor market shifts in Mecklenburg County in demand for various roles. Analyzing job postings and salary changes between 2022 and 2023 shows a significant drop in hiring over this time. This uncovers some compelling narratives to help understand what is happening in the local workforce.

We will discuss these findings and talk about some of the causes and implications of this recent drop in hiring. One thing is clear across the board, the peak hiring numbers that were seen after the pandemic have come down.

Where Is Hiring Slowing Down?

  1. Tech Hiring Pulls Back: The previously hot tech industry cools down hiring. Each of the three occupations examined had a decrease in job postings of at least 38%. Software Developers, which have been very popular, saw a significant decline in job postings (-39.3%) but only a slight decrease in the median advertised salary (-0.4%). This might suggest a market correction after a tech boom or a saturation in the number of developers needed locally, aligning with a nationwide high demand for specialized IT talent.
  2. Healthcare Adapts and Evolves: The number of job postings for Registered Nurses decreased by 7.4%, with a notable salary decrease of 10.0%. This could be related to the stabilization of the healthcare sector following the pandemic’s peak and a reassessment of workforce needs. With the smallest drop in job postings, Registered Nurses (and the healthcare sector as a whole) are still expected to be a steadily growing field.
  3. Financial Services Fluctuate: The financial sector experienced a slowdown in revenues during 2023. This is likely one of the reasons why all the financial occupations analyzed experienced some of the highest drops in job postings. Of all occupations, Loan Officers experienced the largest drop in job postings (-51.8%), while also experiencing almost no change in salary. As banks continue to be cautious with their lending, hiring is expected to stay below the post-pandemic highs.
  4. Construction Hiring Cools: The drop in job postings in the construction sector can likely be attributed in part to the higher levels of inflation, interest rates, and an economic shift. Home renovations started to drop in 2023, after the increase during the pandemic, and just after, and are expected to continue dropping. Of the occupations in the construction sector we looked at, Construction Laborer has seen the biggest drop in job postings (-24.1%). Despite a decrease in job postings for Construction Managers (-16.1%), there was a substantial salary increase (11.3%), indicating a continued demand for skilled leadership in ongoing development projects.
  5. Manufacturing and Logistics: The familiar story of interest rates impacting consumer demand is likely why the manufacturing sector has experienced a slowdown in hiring. Welders and Material Movers saw both a decrease in postings and an increase in salary (14.0% and 6.3%, respectively), suggesting that there is still a need for skilled workers despite a possible decrease in manufacturing activity.
  6. The Service Sector’s Shift: The food service industry was one of the hardest hit after the pandemic. Still experiencing the labor shortage, long after the rest of the workforce had recovered, it seems like the high hiring levels seen in this sector have slowed down. Studies are showing that the rising cost of dining out is causing people to do it less often. This is likely why Food Service Managers and Waitstaff job postings dropped in 2023 (-16.5% and -26.7%). If interest rates come down, like they are expected, this industry could see some more hiring if restaurant prices come down too.
  7. Driver Demand Down: The high demand for truck drivers during (and after) the pandemic has gone away. Truck Driver and Delivery Driver have both experienced drops in job postings (-18.3% and -29.2%, respectively). Both have seen an increase in advertised salary (3.1% and 6.8%, respectively), which indicates there is likely still a desire for experienced drivers. This looks to continue into 2024 with the recent news of UPS cutting 12,000 jobs due to the decrease in shipping demand.

Workforce Continues To Change

The data suggests that Charlotte’s job market is adjusting to post-pandemic realities, technological integration, and evolving consumer preferences. While most sectors show job posting declines, salary trends indicate that there is still competition for skilled labor across industries. And a decrease in job postings year-over-year does not mean these sectors are not hiring, just that they are not hiring at the peak levels seen after the pandemic.

Job posting data from Lightcast, 2024.

By: Kevin Loux
Chief Impact Officer

Ryan Nelson
Data Analyst

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