U.S. New Hires in February Slowed ‘More Than Usual’: iCIMS

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. employer hiring is expected to have slowed "more than usual" last month, according to the iCIMS’ Monthly Hiring Indicator.

New hires decreased 8.5 percent compared with a 7 percent decline for the same month last year, according to iCIMS data. Hiring in the Atlanta and New York metro areas experienced "significant declines" of around 23.7 percent and 13.2 percent, the iCIMS report shows.

Pockets of weakness in hiring data are likely to pop up with increasing frequency as the U.S. economy slows down in the first quarter, according to Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS.

Despite the softer new hire numbers, U.S. job openings declined less than usual. In February, job openings fell 7.4 percent versus a 10.8 percent decline last year. Those numbers are "particularly encouraging" for Friday’s jobs report, Wright said.

"Even if we get a weak payroll number, the job openings suggest greater demand in the months to come," he said.

U.S. New Hires in February Slowed ‘More Than Usual’: iCIMS

Key Insights

  • Hires in the professional and business services sector declined 4.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. Atlanta, New York and Washington D.C. metro areas, in particular, saw declines.
  • Employment in manufacturing remained resilient in the face of trade tensions, with a nearly seven percent increase in openings, after seasonal adjustments.

iCIMS provides recruitment software to employers and processes more than three million jobs and 75 million applications a year. The company’s Monthly Hiring Indicator measures U.S. job openings and new hires over a given month based on iCIMS data.

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