Unfilled Jobs Are Costing the Economy over $1 Trillion a Month

With American professionals quitting their jobs at a slower pace, new research from Fiverr Pro and Lightcast sheds light on the impact of open jobs on businesses and the economy at large.

NEW YORK, NY – November 16, 2023 – Fiverr International Ltd. (NYSE: FVRR), the company that is changing how the world works together, today released the findings of new research from Fiverr Pro, Fiverr’s end-to-end solution for medium to large businesses seeking top professional talent, in partnership with the economist team at Lightcast, highlighting the high economic cost of open job positions across the country.

According to the analysis from Fiverr Pro and Lightcast, the cost – as determined by the anticipated output in revenue per open role for an average of 3.7 million newly posted open jobs across all industries in 2023* – is a staggering $1.08 trillion per month. Therefore, if every new open role was filled in one month, nearly a trillion dollars would be added to the economy. “Had we filled all of our openings, we could see a potential of around 15% more dollars of economic growth,” comments Ron Hetrick, Senior Labor Economist at Lightcast.

“Our research highlights a critical need for business leaders to revisit their approach to hiring, especially as we enter a new financial year for many. With significant loss of potential business output at risk, businesses should consider other hiring options, such as freelancers, to fill the skills gap and support the wider team to continue driving business output,” comments Shai-Lee Spigelman, GM of Fiverr Pro.

Today’s research also sheds a stark light on how open job positions affect individual businesses’ bottom lines, finding that just one open role costs businesses, on average, nearly $25,000 a month in output. Open positions in the following highly skilled professions cost businesses even more:

Legal (i.e., Lawyers, Legal Support): $48,902/month per open role

Computer & Math (i.e., Software Developers, Data Scientists): $42,458/month per open role

Engineers & Technicians: $37,173/month per open role

Business & Finance (i.e., HR, Marketing, Accountants): $33,800/month per open role

Arts & Media (i.e., Artists, Designers, Media): $30,038/month per open role

“The data begs the question – can businesses really afford to lose out on this much potential growth simply because they can’t fill open positions? Businesses must be smarter about their hiring strategy moving forward,” comments Spigelman. She adds: “2024 must be the time for businesses to finally embrace the freelance movement. With an estimated 6.7 million independent skilled professionals in the U.S. and platforms like Fiverr Pro that fill jobs with skilled, talented freelancers in just one day on average, there is no reason to wait.”

Indeed, new data from Fiverr’s recent report with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that 51% of business leaders surveyed agree that in the future, their organization will likely employ more freelance workers than it does now – a good sign that business leaders are starting to consider other, arguably more untraditional ways to fill skills gaps within their organizations. “If anything, I hope our new research today pushes the other 49% to do the same, but now,” adds Spigelman.

From a broader economic perspective, the research clearly points to how sought-after skill sets associated with these professions significantly contribute to the nationwide $1.08 trillion economic cost of open roles. More specifically, jobs in the Computer & Math category, such as Software & Web Developers, System & Security Analysts, and Database & Network Architects, cost over $120 billion per month.

Computer & Math (i.e., Software Developers, Data Scientists): Open roles contributing over $120 billion in economic cost per month across 2.2 million open roles

Business & Finance (i.e., HR, Marketing, Accountants): Open roles contributing $76 billion in economic cost per month across 1.7 million open roles

Engineers & Technicians: Open roles contributing $49 billion in economic cost per month across nearly 1 million open roles

Arts & Media (i.e., Artists, Designers, Media): Open roles contributing $19 billion per month across 485,000 open roles

Legal (i.e., Lawyers, Legal Support): Open roles contributing $12 billion per month across nearly 189,000 open roles

“Many companies have multiple postings of roles critical to their output. Unfilled jobs cost companies real money; there should be a much higher sense of urgency than many companies seem to have,” adds Hetrick.

Fiverr companies include ClearVoice, CreativeLive, Working Not Working, SLT Consulting and Stoke Talent. Don’t get left behind – come be a part of the future of work by visiting fiverr.com, read our blog, and follow us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.