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The job market is hot. But who’s hiring?

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A "Now Hiring" sign is displayed on a digital screen in a McDonald's drive-thru.

Even if they're not the most well-paying gigs, people are still taking jobs in the restaurant industry. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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In the presser on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said “inflation remains too high and the labor market continues to be very tight.” Hence the decision to continue with interest rate increases. The job market is a key piece of all this.

For all the interest rate increases so far, hiring is still surprisingly hot — even with all the high profile layoffs we keep hearing about.

Now is either a terrible time or a great time to be looking for a job depending on who you are and what you want to do. Work in tech or media? (Like me?) It’s kind of a stressful time.

But outside of those industries there are still a lot of options. That’s especially true in leisure and hospitality, according to Elise Gould at the Economic Policy Institute.

“Pretty much every month, leisure and hospitality jobs have been chipping away at the shortfall,” she said.

Many of the industries doing the most hiring right now are the ones that were hit hardest during the pandemic, she said. “We also saw job increases in education and health services sector and in retail services.”

As you may have surmised, a lot of these are jobs that don’t pay all that well, but people are still taking them, said Layla O’Kane at the labor market analytics company Lightcast — especially at restaurants, stores and hotels.

One sign of that? “Things like sign-on bonuses and training, which were being heavily offered in those fields earlier last year, are down into the new year,” O’Kane said.

There are other areas, though, where labor shortages persist. Those include home health care, child care and nursing, said Julia Pollak at ZipRecruiter.

“The number one job category on ZipRecruiter right now is nursing, with over 1 million active online job postings, which is really incredible,” she said.

Restaurants and software jobs are second and third, she added, with half a million postings each. There’s also a lot of hiring starting to happen in government again.

“The government has lagged behind the private sector in recovering from the pandemic, but finally seems to be making headway now,” Pollak said. “And that is likely because wage growth is slowing elsewhere in the private sector.”

So, those lower-paying government jobs are now getting a bit more competitive, she added.

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