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Why It's Hard to Hire and the Solution

Updated: Dec 11, 2023


Now that the pandemic is starting to end and things are heading back to normalcy, the demand for manufactured goods and services is skyrocketing. This was compounded by the stimulus money, much of which went into purchasing goods, driving demand even more.

In April 2020, the unemployment rate reached 14.8%. The labor force participation rate declined from 62.9% the previous year to 60.2%. In April 2021, the participation rate has risen a little but not fast enough to keep up with the demand. Right now, we are sitting at 61.7% labor force participation. That rise is not nearly fast enough.

Production & Manufacturing Workforce Trend

Indeed is the largest job board and hiring site. Because of this, they have the most data and best analytics on hiring in the US.

This graph shows the trend for the average number of workers there are per job in the production & manufacturing industry in the entire United States since the end of February 2021. It. In the beginning of March, it started to level out due to the wide distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. We are now in the phase where workers are returning. But as you can see, it is a very slow and gradual rise.

The supply of workers and producers in this county has not kept up with the demand consumers have for economic goods and the purchasing power they now have.

Indeed Competition Score

From 2020 to 2021, competition for jobs rose dramatically. In March 2021, the score was up 71.2% from March 2020. In April 2021 it was up 91% from a year before, and in May 2021 it was up 70.6% from a year ago.

Last year during the worst part of the COVID-19 era, the demand for manufactured goods decreased but the number of workers in the workforce did not. In 2021, however, the demand for production rose sharply, as people had more money to spend from the government stimulus money. Available jobs that went unfilled rose as well but the slow growth in job seekers skewed the competition score upwards.

As the largest job board and hiring site, Indeed's Competition Score is the gold standard for difficulty in recruiting. The Competition Score is an aggregate of supply and demand for workers and jobs how high employers are spending and bidding for jobs in Indeed's Cost Per Click job market.

The competition score has been trending upwards at an increasing rate since the beginning of 2019, with a sharp jump from February till May of this year.


Every company around the country is now dealing with a smaller pool of potential candidates. To enlarge that pool and attract more candidates, company’s need to make themselves look more attractive. The best way to do this is to increase the baseline wage they offer to employees. Long-term appeal is what companies need to be focused on during this transition into our new economy.


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