Amid the fears of recession, impacts of inflation and the tumultuous nature of consumer spending in our economy comes very real impacts on what is still a very hot (but cooling) labor market. Talent is still in very short supply and more expensive than ever before with over 26,000 open positions so far in 2023 and median wages for open roles up to $23.45/hour. Local unemployment was 2.8% in May.
Unique Open Positons – Hamilton County
[chart: unique open positions June 2018-June 2023, Hamilton Co, IN; Source: Invest Hamilton County via Lightcast June 2023]
Compared to the peaks of 17,000+ open positions per months in May 2021 and 2022 the 11,724 open positions in May shows how the labor market is loosening slightly and puts the local labor market right about where we were in May 2019 (which was not a contracting or shrinking economy), except far more expensive with wages up 33-40% depending on experience and education. This past month the median wage for open positions requiring a high school level of education in Hamilton County was $19.02.
With the notable exceptions of Tractor-Trailer Drivers and Registered Nurses most high-demand occupations have now seen multiple consecutive months with more hires than new postings, which is in sharp contrast to employers hiring experiences since mid-2018. Overall, while compared to 2021 and 2022 the market is cooling it is our hope we’re entering back into a period of more predictable and resilient growth.
At Invest Hamilton County, we love where data, stories and impact intersect. Currently, in partnership with our education, economic development, philanthropic, and business community leaders we are performing a labor market forecasting project going all the way out to the year 2030 focused on our resident and employer occupation makeup. After the data launch this fall, we’ll update it every summer and use it to develop tools and empower impactful collaboration across communities and stakeholder groups.
Please reach out if you would like to learn more about the local labor market, have any questions we can help answer, or would like to share your story.
Sources: Hoosierdata.in.gov; Invest Hamilton County via Lightcast; June 2023
Mike Thibideau serves as the President & CEO of the Hamilton County Economic Development Corporation (dba Invest Hamilton County). In this role Mike manages workforce development, talent attraction and quality of life initiatives throughout Hamilton County.