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Job Seekers Warm Back Up to In-Person Work, Signaling Relief Ahead for Restaurants

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(Bloomberg) — Job seekers have started to come back around to the idea of in-person work, signaling potential relief ahead for business owners struggling fill openings.

Interest in positions more likely to be in-person – like those in restaurants and hospitality – rebounded in May back to pre-pandemic levels or higher, according to Indeed’s Relative Job Seeker Interest metric. Since the beginning of this year, the job site found no statistically significant difference in interest in on-site versus remote jobs, meaning that those looking for work are more open to being in person.

The findings could be a boon for businesses that have struggled to hire in the pandemic recovery. The quits rate is hovering near a record high, in part reflecting lower-paid service-sector workers who’ve sought out opportunities in industries that offer remote work and better pay. And with over 11.5 million job openings, companies have raised wages and found other creative ways to attract and retain employees.

“It looks like interest in in-person work is coming back a little bit, which is welcome news for employers who want people back in,” Indeed economist AnnElizabeth Konkel said in an interview. “That remote variable is not as significant anymore.”

Though remote work is still far more popular than it was before Covid-19, “it may now be less of a make-or-break factor than it was at earlier stages of the pandemic,” according to Indeed’s report, which measures interest by tracking clicks on positions relative to the average job posting. The data is through May 20.

Hospitality and tourism, retail and food service saw the strongest resurgence in interest, Indeed found. However, job seekers still aren’t as drawn to work in personal care and home health aide positions.

Should more workers come back to work on site, wage gains could slow — and other metrics suggest that’s already happening.  That would be good news for the Federal Reserve, which is trying to cool demand in the economy, including for workers, in an intense effort to curb inflation.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

Job Seekers Warm Back Up to In-Person Work, Signaling Relief Ahead for Restaurants

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