Integrated Human Capital

What You Need to Know About Today’s Job Market

April 30, 2020

As many of us enter weeks or months of sheltering in place, the coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on today’s job market. It seems that every industry has been impacted in some way, whether that be forcing people to work from home, furloughing employees, or closing storefronts altogether. But what does this mean for the overall scope of our job market in the months to follow? Although trends are constantly shifting, there are a few markers that illustrate a dramatically changed economic landscape.

While industries like technology are thriving, businesses like retail shops, restaurants, movie theaters, airlines, and hotels have taken a big hit. Many businesses like these are unable to transition their operations to a remote work setup, leaving many unemployed and businesses looking for creative ways to stay afloat. Many employees have turned to big corporations like Amazon and Hulu in search of temporary employment. Other essential businesses are working overtime to ensure the safety of their employees and the public. New polices and restrictions have been put into place, personal protective equipment is now required for some businesses, and employees must practice social distancing when interacting with consumers.

From a low unemployment rate of 3.5% to a staggering 20% as of this month, many are looking for ways to supplement their income. As businesses look for assistance of their own, those unemployed can turn to the demand of this pandemic and the need of consumers.

Businesses that host gig economy workers, such as food delivery apps, are hiring to keep up with an increase in demand. Other industries, like corporate services, legal, public safety, and software and IT services, are also expected to increase their hiring as many industries are now requesting their services at a high demand.

As many businesses are forced to shut down, and others are needed to stay open, some companies have adapted new policies to keep their workers employed in the safety of their own homes. As state after state announced a stay-at-home order for all non-essential businesses, company leaders drafted steps and guidelines to help transition employees to a safer working environment. With many of these orders put in place, our job market has shifted, adding many others to the remote workers list.

In a survey conducted and analyzed by Sykes, studies show that over 50% of employees is the U.S. have been asked to work from home at the request of their employers. The study also shows the readiness employers demonstrated in transitioning their employees and the effectiveness of these transitions. Of those surveyed, a majority of them reported that transitioning to remote work took anywhere from one day to a week to successfully operate remotely. A majority also reported that, over all, transitioning to remote work was seamless, and they have been given new technology to successfully complete their jobs remotely.

Businesses that never prepared for this kind of work seemed to have turned out new policies and procedures overnight. Before the coronavirus, only a third of companies carried a work from home policy related to or because of a pandemic. Many of these polices may now be adopted into everyday life as this pandemic runs its course.

No one is certain what will happen over these next couple of months. Many industries will take most of the year to recover. Some companies may transition to fully remote work. With many more remote workers, people looking to bigger corporations for jobs, and employers doing what they can to stay afloat, our job market has become a part of a drastically different economic landscape.

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