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November 2, 2022

Jacqui Barrett

November 2022 Early Talent Labor Market Updates

Competition increases for full-time jobs as hiring remains flat. Which industries are the most competitive for young talent?

Key takeaways

  1. Applications per full-time jobs are up: Thefull-time jobs creation rate in the last 3 months (August - October 31st) has been relatively flat compared to last year but applications per job posting have increased by 16%.
  2. Competition is increasing for several industries: Industries like media & marketing, tech, professional services, and financial services have seen a yearly decrease (-16%) in jobs available, while the number of applicants continues to increase (10%).
  3. Increase in job postings for several industries: There are bright spots for the applicants applying to industries such as food, beverage and CPG, architecture, real estate, construction, government, law, and politics because those industries have seen an increase in job postings (10.5%) while there is an overall decrease in applications per jobs (-9.7%). This creates an opening for applicants who may otherwise be shut out of industries, like media, tech, and financial services.

Job growth remains flat compared to last year

As discussed in last month’s Early Talent Labor Market Update, job postings for new college graduates saw a surge earlier this year compared to a year prior. Over the last few months, that growth has moderated, falling more in line with where demand was before the surge in job postings at the beginning of 2021. At the same time, the academic school year started—a time when many companies begin on-campus recruitment for full-time positions. By analyzing trends in Handshake’s platform data from August to October we are able to understand how the labor market for young talent is changing and provide a sense of how the overall economy is fairing.

When looking at demand over the last 3 months, we see that full-time job postings are close to flat and have fallen by 1.16% from the previous year. Given how strong the job market was at the beginning of the year, even this slight decrease means that students are facing a more difficult job market.

There also seems to be a lot more competition for those jobs compared to a year prior. Applications per job posting have increased over the same time period (August to October) by 16.47%. The increase is a combination of more people applying for jobs, as well as each applicant applying for more jobs than in the past. In October, the total number of applicants increased by 19% annually, while the number of apps per applicant increased by 6% year over year. As we noted in our latest Handshake Network Trends report, nearly half of respondents said they plan to apply for more jobs based on economic uncertainty.

Students and recent graduates face more competition for media and marketing, professional services, finance and tech

Demand for college graduates and relative competitiveness of the job market varies by industry. Competition has gotten much steeper for the media & marketing, tech, professional services and financial services industries compared to last year. All four groups have seen a decrease in job postings from August through October of this year compared to the same time a year ago. At the same time, student demand for these industries remains high: the applications per job has increased for all four. Media and marketing has seen the biggest increase in competition for jobs with a drop in job postings of 37% coupled with an increase of 78% in applications for those jobs.

Some industries are bright spots for students with job growth and less competition

There’s still good news for early career professionals: there are several industries that may be easier for grads to break into this year. Food, beverage and CPG (consumer products and goods); architecture, real estate and construction; and government, law and politics have all seen over 10% increase in job postings compared to last year. This growth, alongside a decrease in the number of applications per job, signifies less competition overall for those jobs.

In many instances, early career job seekers may be able to find roles they are interested in within less competitive industries—a tactic they may not have initially considered. For example, tech remains one of the most popular industries for students on Handshake, but, as we see above, the jobs in this industry are competitive. But many students and grads may not realize that the majority of tech roles on Handshake have been posted by employers who are in industries outside of tech. By widening their scope to these other industries, job seekers who want tech roles might find an abundance of opportunity and less competition.

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