The South surges while the Northeast lags behind: New Hires Quality Index

Three business women at table hiring discussion

The Upjohn Institute New Hires Quality Index rose 0.1 percent between January and February to $18.92, 2 cents off its November record and 1.9 percent above a year ago. Hiring volume broke a seven-month streak of declines, rising 0.5 percent.   

In this month’s news release, index creator Brad Hershbein compares hiring patterns in the Northeast and South. Both regions saw increases in earnings power through February 2020 and volatility during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the South emerged in February 2023 up 2.7 percent from its level at the start of the pandemic while the Northeast was down 0.7 percent from its level. 

Hiring rates have also stalled in the Northeast, hitting an all-time low, while the South’s hiring rates are up 2.5 percent over the past three years. As a result, the South’s share of the earnings power of all new hires climbed to 37.6 percent, while the Northeast’s dropped to 16.7 percent in February, down more than 3 percentage points since the early 2000s. 

Read the full release or explore the Index.

Date: April 5, 2023