Do you know? While hiring is stagnant, competition for full-time positions grows.

Reality check

There are more applications for full-time jobs: In comparison to the previous year, the rate of full-time job creation over the past three months (August through October 31) has been comparatively steady, while the number of applications per job posting has climbed by 16%. Multiple industries are experiencing increased competition: The number of open positions has decreased each year (-16%) in sectors such as media & marketing, technology, professional services, and financial services, while the number of candidates has increased (10%). 

A rise in job posts across a number of industries There are some encouraging signs for job seekers applying to sectors like food, beverage, and CPG, architecture, real estate, construction, government, law, and politics because those sectors have seen an uptick in job postings (10.5%), despite a general decline in applications for open positions (-9.7%).

Compared to the previous year, job growth is still flat

This opens the door for candidates who might otherwise be turned away from fields like journalism, technology, and financial services.

The number of job posts for recent college graduates increased earlier this year compared to a year ago, as was mentioned in last month’s Early Talent Labor Market Update. That rise has slowed down in recent months, more closely mirroring demand before the spike in job ads at the beginning of 2021. The beginning of the academic school year coincided with the start of on-campus hiring for full-time roles by numerous organizations. We are able to assess how the job market for young talent is changing and give a sense of how the wider economy is faring by looking at patterns in Skillplay’s platform data from August to October.

Full-time job posts are nearly steady over the past three months and have decreased by 1.16% from the same period last year, according to data on demand. Even this minor decline indicates a more challenging job market for students given how robust the job market was at the start of the year.

In comparison to a year ago, there also appears to be a lot more rivalry for those positions. Over the same time period (August to October), the number of applications per job ad grew by 16.47%.

The increase is a result of both an increase in the number of applicants overall and an increase in the number of positions each candidate applies for. In October, the overall number of applications climbed by 19% over the previous year, while the average number of applications per applicant increased by 6%. 

As we observed in our most recent Skillplay Network Trends study, nearly half of respondents said they intended to increase their job applications due to the current state of the economy.

Competition increasing in media and marketing, professional services, finance, and technology for students and new graduates

The need for college graduates and the level of job market competition differ by industry. In comparison to the previous year, competition has increased significantly for the media & marketing, tech, professional services, and financial services sectors. 

From August through October of this year, there were fewer job ads than there were at the same time last year for all four groups. Students continue to have a high desire for these fields, as evidenced by the rise in applications for each position in all four. The most intense increase in competition for jobs has been in the media and marketing sector, where there has been a 37% decrease in job ads and a 78% increase in applications.

Some industries provide students with opportunities for job growth and lower competition.

For early career workers, there is still good news: this year, it may be simpler for graduates to enter into a number of fields. The number of job listings in the following industries has increased by over 10% since last year: food, drink, and CPG (consumer products and goods); architecture, real estate, and construction; and government, law, and politics. 

There is less competition for those jobs overall as a result of this growth and a decline in the number of applications received for each open position.

Early-career job seekers frequently locate positions they’re interested in within less competitive industries, which is a strategy they might not have first thought of. For instance, IT is still one of the most sought-after fields for students on Skillplay, but as was mentioned before, the employment market is fierce. 

However, many students and recent graduates might not be aware that the bulk of tech jobs on Skillplay have been advertised by companies in non-tech sectors. Job seekers looking for IT roles may find a wealth of opportunities and less competition by expanding their focus to these other areas.

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