Are you one of the many people who have been wondering how COVID-19 impacts the current job market? Perhaps you’re considering a career change, or you simply want to have the information on hand in case you need it. One aspect about unemployment statistics to keep in mind is the fact that when people give up and stop actively looking for a job, they are no longer counted as “unemployed.” That is part of what we will address in this article.
A New Normal
First, here is a concise summary of the “new normal” in our working lives. Some of us have unfortunately been let go or furloughed and are dealing with finding a new role. Many of us have begun to work from home this year, whether full-time or part-time. This can be challenging in terms of logistics, equipment, noise, strategies, etc. It may have an added benefit of reducing the cost of commuting, both in time and money, plus using less gasoline, which is good for the environment. Some auto insurance companies have responded to the decline in miles driven with a reduction in premiums. Parents often have had to juggle child-care responsibilities with work obligations, as schools and daycare facilities curtailed their operations. This leads into the next point.
Second, COVID-19 impacts have been felt more strongly by women. Let’s face it, even in this era of supposed equality, childcare duties still fall more heavily upon the mother in most cases. Women still earn less money than men, in general, and so when one parent needs to give up employment to deal with childcare, the lower earner is the logical choice. Also, women are more often in roles that have disappeared or been suspended, such as teachers and retail workers. As we know, when there’s a gap in our employment history, that can have a negative effect on obtaining interviews in the future. Four times more women than men dropped out of the labor force in September 2020. That’s a sobering statistic. As mentioned previously, when people quit trying to find a job, they are no longer counted as “unemployed.”
Third, can we find out exactly which industries have suffered the most from COVID-19 impacts? Yes, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce presents a very granular study dated September 30. We see that the service industry has been hit with an enormous number of losses, especially leisure and hospitality (restaurants and hotels), with a staggering 25% loss of jobs. Other hard-hit industries are mining and logging (14%), apparel manufacturing (18%), clothing stores (29%), and home furnishings (14%). The transportation industry has experienced negative numbers to the tune of air travel (21%), ground passenger transport (32%), and sightseeing (43%). It’s only logical that people are wisely choosing not to crowd together on planes, trains, and buses during this time, but that has resulted in huge numbers of job losses as the revenue stopped flowing in.
Last, but not least, is the entertainment industry—motion picture and sound recording—50%. Fully half the people who had been employed in entertainment positions have become unemployed as a result of the pandemic. And those are the ones who are still looking for work.
Light at the end of the Tunnel
Fourth, well, that’s depressing, but is there any positive news? Actually, there is. COVID-19 impacts have not been all negative, and there are some industries that are facing an uptick in employment numbers. Federal government employment is up 13%, courier and messenger services are up 9%, general merchandise stores, including warehouse clubs, are up 10%, building material and garden supply businesses are up 6%, computer and miscellaneous electronics are up 6% as well. Plus, the numbers change daily as people find ways to return to work environments more safely. Businesses, schools, theaters, etc. provide distancing and other guidelines to help employees and others avoid exposure to the virus. So, there are roles to be found if we update our resumes and keep an optimistic outlook.
Don’t give up!
We hope you have found this article helpful. Contact Resume Advisor for assistance in creating your resume today!