• 5.8




Key drivers

Talent Mismatch (10.0)

The vacancy rate has risen, suggesting there is an imbalance between the skills sought by employers and those held by jobseekers.

Wage Pressure in High-Skill Occupations (0.0)

Wage growth in professional service occupations, and other high-skill roles has been slower than their low skill counterparts, narrowing the occupational skills wage gap.

Labour Market Participation (3.8)

The participation rate is forecast to rise this year, increasing the size of the available labour pool.


Education Flexibility


Labour Market Participation


Labour Market Flexibility


Talent Mismatch


Overall Wage Pressure


Wage Pressure in High-Skill Industries


Wage Pressure in High-Skill Occupation


View from the Ground

2018 was a year of good news for the US economy, with GDP growing by 2.9%. Highly skilled workers remain in high demand with unemployment reaching levels below 2% in areas like IT, accounting and construction management professionals. Wages continue to increase, but the limited supply of workers is putting increasing pressure on companies to keep up in these highly competitive markets. There is no end in sight to the skills shortage as companies look for ways to attract, retain and develop people with the key skills they need. Although the demand is widespread, the areas in which we see the greatest demand are in cyber security, construction and big data.

David Brown, CEO, Hays USA

Key Skills in Demand

  • Software Developers
  • Cyber Security Professionals
  • Construction Estimators
  • Construction Superintendents
  • Big Data Professionals (Data Analysts/Scientists)

Market Insight

In 2018, the United States GDP grew by 2.9%, slightly above the average of 2.2% in the previous five years. The economy was given impetus by the recent fiscal stimulus, recovering private investment and supportive financial conditions.

Unemployment has fallen dramatically since the recession and global financial crisis. It has been driven lower by persistent employment growth, with employment increasing by 1.6% in 2018. As a result, the unemployment rate published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics fell to 3.9% in 2018. The majority of those who were unemployed had either lost their jobs (47% of total) or were re-entrants into the labour market (31%) as opposed to voluntarily leaving their jobs or being a new entrant.

The proportion of people working part time for economic reasons rather than other causes has declined steadily since the recession. In 2010, 33% of part time workers were doing so because they could only find part-time work or business conditions were slack. This percentage has declined to 18% in 2018.