SAN JOSE, Calif.
(Reuters) – The job-hunting and job-training services industry in the United States has been hit hard by a slowdown in demand for social-media workers, with many of the nation’s top tech firms shuttering their offices.
While the number of jobs in social-networking services grew by 9 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a Reuters analysis, jobless claims rose to nearly 6 million, or 17 percent of the U.S. workforce.
That was well above the 3.6 million, 15-day average of the past four quarters, and the highest since the end of the Great Recession.
“It’s the perfect storm,” said Jim Loeffler, CEO of the social-network site Airbnb.
“We’re trying to create a new kind of company.”
The job-seeking and training sector has been buffeted by economic factors, from the decline of the housing market and the rise of online shopping to an influx of immigrants and technology companies.
The social-tech industry has been growing at a much faster pace than the rest of the economy.
In the fourth-quarter, employment in social media grew by 13 percent, compared with 5 percent for the whole economy, the data showed.
In a separate report, tech firm Zynga said it was hiring about 2,000 people in the first quarter.
The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent, a more than four-decade high, from 6.4 percent in November.
In April, it was the lowest since September 1999.
Many of the top tech companies shut down their U.N. offices and are moving their employees to other countries.
Apple, Twitter and Facebook have all reported layoffs.
Other tech companies have reported slower hiring than expected, including Facebook, which announced last week it was closing its U.K.-based office and its online-dating service.
The company said it is expanding its workforce in India and the Philippines.
A Reuters survey of 500 U.L.O. companies in the country found that the majority of them, 62 percent, said they were facing “a shortage of qualified individuals” in their supply chain.
The job market has been a major focus of President Donald Trump, who has vowed to boost hiring by bringing back American manufacturing.
The White House said in January that the United, as a whole, had lost more than 50,000 manufacturing jobs since the start of the year.