National Time to Fill Job Vacancies at a 15-Year High

Social engineering conceptDiceHiring Indicators just recently released a report that measures the average time it takes to fill vacant positions. Their study found that the national average is 27 working days to fill an open job, a 15-year high. A job being filled is defined as an offer being accepted, and there usually is additional time until a candidate’s start date.

The study by Dice also looked at major industry sectors where the numbers varied. Any guess as to which industry has the longest time to fill? If you guessed Financial Services, congratulations you’re the winner! The Financial Services industry has the longest time to fill at 43.1 working days, and was followed by Health Services (42.6) and Government at 41.1. Here are the national averages for a few other major industries:

  • Manufacturing – 32.4 working days
  • Professional and Business Services – 24.2 working days
  • Information – 37.9 working days
  • Construction – 11.8 working days
  • Education – 33.5 working days

So why is the national time to fill at an all-time high? Could it be a sign of a tightening labor market and that the candidates are just harder to find? That would make sense. State and national unemployment rates have been dropping and the current national unemployment rate is 5.5 percent. In March of 2010 the unemployment rate was 9.9. However, labor statistics can be difficult to make sense of. A low unemployment rate would make sense for longer times to fill open jobs, yet the number of Americans over the age of 16 who did not participate in the labor force exceeded 93 Million for the first time last month according to data produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These people are categorized as individuals who are 16 years or older who haven’t held a job or actively sought one over the last four weeks. I hear that and it sounds like there are plenty of people that could potentially fill some of these open jobs.

So why do you think the time to fill open jobs is so high? Do you think the unemployment rate or labor participation numbers have anything to do with it?

Stay tuned for my next blog and I’ll share some of DAVIS’ time to fill numbers.

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