U.S. Workforce Volatility Stabilizes but Uncertainty Remains, According to Workforce Logiq’s Annual Labor Market Report

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AI-powered talent intelligence shows the total number of employees categorized as most likely to switch jobs is down 30% from its peak during the initial COVID-19 outbreak

Workforce Logiq, a global provider of AI-powered workforce intelligence, technology, and services, today released its second annual Workforce Management Benchmark Report. The market analysis, which is based on proprietary and predictive insight from Workforce Logiq’s Total Talent Intelligence platform, examines workforce volatility across states, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), job functions, and major industry sectors. The U.S. Talent Retention Risk (TRR) ScoreSM, a measure of workforce volatility, surged 14% to its 2020 peak in June, but improved significantly in Q4 to end the year in relatively stable territory despite the pandemic’s rollercoaster impact on the labor market, up only 3% overall since January 2020.

“Our benchmarks indicate employment stability is improving, with retention risk slowly declining to historically lower levels. But employers will likely face new challenges in 2021,” said Jim Burke, Workforce Logiq’s CEO. “Workers will continue to migrate outside of cities in pursuit of better lifestyles. Remote work will create national, not local, competition for talent. And vaccination uncertainty and ongoing economic jolts could cause another uptick in volatility.”

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Key findings from the annual report include:

  • All 50 states showed decreasing workforce volatility in Q4. This overall 24% reduction is a big improvement from the second quarter, when all states spiked in volatility due to the onset of the pandemic. Washington, D.C., which improved 23% from Q3, had the highest volatility score exiting the year at 33% above the national average.
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford was one of the most improved MSAs, even with major hits to the tourism industry, with a TRR ScoreSM 25% below the national average in Q4 and an annual volatility increase of only 3%. While San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley improved its volatility level by 22% during Q4, the area still holds its spot as the most volatile MSA, at 38% above the national average. The top 25 MSAs collectively improved 29% from their Q2 peak.
  • More than 60% of major sector categories ended 2020 with above average workforce volatility. Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction (64.6) had the highest volatility in Q4, up 8% over Q3. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (60.4) had the highest annual increase, up 14% over 2019. Accommodation and Food Services (53.5) came in fifth and was up 6% over last year. Healthcare and Social Assistance (40.2) had the lowest volatility score and ended 2020 relatively flat compared to 2019.
  • Finance jobs were the most volatile employment category in Q4, 90% higher than the national average. HR, marketing, recruiting, and investment jobs rounded out the top five. Teachers (+175%), Doctors (+108%), Administrators (+61%), and Nurses (+27%) had the most significant year-over-year volatility jumps. Conversely, Military (-52%), Software Engineering (-48%), Public Safety (-48%), Film/TV (-26%), Dentistry (-25%) and Recruiting (-25%) improved the most compared to 2019.

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“It’s smart to be optimistic – and even smarter to be ready. Despite the overall market improvement, the data shows significant changes in volatility levels across certain jobs and locations. Forward-looking workforce management leaders are using this time to invest in data-based recruiting and retention programs and really understand the evolving state of the workforce. This leads to confident, fast, and strategic decision-making, enabling employers to capitalize on new trends and build an optimal workforce to handle future shocks,” said Dr. Christy Petrosso, Workforce Logiq Chief Data Scientist and Talent Economist.

Workforce Logiq uses proprietary AI models to calculate industry, company, and candidate-specific TRR Scores and predict the likelihood of professional and knowledge workers being receptive to unsolicited recruiting messages and job opportunities over the next 60-90 days.

The company tracks, aggregates, and analyzes more than 2,000 events, triggers, and shocks that can impact employment volatility – macroeconomic trends, company-level social media and news sentiment, employee churn indicators, industry news and events, and more – from more than 1 billion data points, 40,000 sources, and analytics on over 19 million global companies.

TRR Scores range from low (less than 35) to high (above 70), with scores 35-49 considered average and 50-69 above average. High TRR Scores indicate high levels of workforce volatility.

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