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For a long time, when you thought about “Hot Jobs” or jobs that were in demand, the list typically included many high-tech jobs. The introduction of a new programming language or emerging digital capability sent IT Managers hurrying to the job boards to try to secure experts for their teams. Healthcare also has consistently had roles on the list — specialty jobs, such as nursing, come and go as the supply and demand fluctuates.
But, within the last several years, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and various supply-chain constraints, other jobs have become in high demand. We’ve seen a lot of roles found in warehouses, shipping, and manufacturing join the jobs in-demand lists alongside more technical jobs.
Just what do we mean when we say a job is in high demand; how do we measure that? There are a couple of things that we regularly review as indicators:
With Mercer’s vast library of surveys and reports, we’re in a great position to take a look beyond what’s publicly available (i.e., job boards and BLS) and talk about year-over-year pay increases and turnover. Let’s take a look!
While the most recent version of our Compensation Planning Survey indicates that annual increase budgets are down and other pay adjustments are slowing, they are still happening. Perhaps the activity is just more strategic.
We can take a look at year-over-year changes from Mercer Benchmark Database to see which jobs are seeing higher base pay increases than others. When looking at the data from the same organizations and same incumbents from 2022 to 2023, the number of jobs that show a year-over-year increase of more than 5% has doubled. Below are the jobs with the highest year-over-year increases for incumbents, indicating they received some kind of adjustment, such as an above average merit/annual increase, market adjustment, or equity adjustment. Regardless of the particular type of increase, employers channeled more money toward these roles than others.
Note: Represents the same organizations participating in the survey 2 years in row, matching the same employees to the same job year over year. Jobs with less than 10 organizations in the sample were excluded.
Turnover is another indicator of jobs that are in high demand. If you can’t keep people in particular jobs, then you have a problem. Are those the roles that you really need to keep filled to be successful? What happens once you find people to fill these jobs but they don’t stay?
The 2023 US Turnover report gives us some insight into where there are some trouble spots. Overall, in the US, the average voluntary turnover for the last calendar year was 17.3%. However, certain industries have higher or lower turnover. Retail & Wholesale and Logistics both have voluntary turnover above 30% while Chemicals and Energy have the lowest turnover rates, at 11.7%, and 12.3%, respectively.
Within those numbers, we can get a better picture by looking at what employee category is leaving voluntarily. It does vary by industry. For example, Chemicals, which has a low average turnover rate overall, held on to their Executives and Heads of Organization (2.4% voluntary turnover), but had much more difficulty retaining non-sales Professionals (20.6% voluntary turnover). Retail and Wholesale is challenged the most to keep their para-professional “blue collar” employees — over 30% voluntary turnover.
In the same survey, we asked more than 2,000 participants whether they had difficulty hiring or retaining employees in certain roles – 55% of them indicated that they do. For all but a few industries, either “IT, Telecom & Internet” or “Engineering and Science” topped their list of in-demand jobs.
Are you struggling to keep employees in some of these jobs? Curious how your turnover rate compares to others in your industry? If so, we’re here to help. Making sure your pay is competitive and your total rewards package meets the needs of your employees is just one piece of the puzzle. Reach out to us at 855-286-5302 or surveys@Mercer.com. We’d love to share our thoughts.