The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has been the bane of the labor market, as the health care crisis causes industries to struggle and businesses to shutter. Early data shows that new job postings are down and unemployment claims are soaring. A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, according to Thursday’s Labor Department report, compared with around 280,000 a week earlier.
That said, it hasn’t all been bad news for those in search of work, as the pandemic places increased demand on industries like health care and delivery services.
The most in-demand job in the United States, according to a LinkedIn analysis of increases in job postings during the week of March 15-21, compared with a week earlier (March 8-14), was store associate. The retailers that are open, like supermarkets and hardware stores, are in need of more staff to deal with long lines. They also need new employees to replace those who can’t or won’t work due to concern for their own health during the pandemic. LinkedIn’s list also includes jobs like health care specialist, warehouse manager, and psychologist — all of which seem like a pretty good indicator of the state of the nation.
10 most in-demand jobs in the US
- Store associate
- System operator
- Certified public accountant
- Health care specialist
- Construction worker
- Warehouse manager
- Vehicle mechanic
- Academic adviser
- Delivery driver
For some historical context, take a look at LinkedIn’s Emerging Jobs Report, released late last year, which looked at the fastest-growing jobs of the past five years. In it, chiefly tech or tech-adjacent jobs including artificial intelligence specialist, robotics engineer, and data scientist topped the list.
The employers with the most openings last week were 7-Eleven, the National Guard, the tax services company KPMG (your taxes aren’t due till July this year, by the way), and Amazon, which recently announced it was hiring 100,000 warehouse workers. At the very top of the list was 7-Eleven, which announced last week that it was adding 20,000 jobs to meet increased demand at its convenience stores.
“7‑Eleven is a neighborhood store and it’s our priority to serve the communities in which we operate during this unprecedented crisis,” 7‑Eleven president and CEO Joe DePinto said in a press release. “This will provide job opportunities and ensure 7‑Eleven stores remain clean and in-stock with the goods our customers need during this critical time.”
Companies with the most open jobs in the US
The coronavirus pandemic will have lasting effects on the labor market and could change the composition of available jobs indefinitely. The Brookings Institution wrote in a blog post that it expects the coronavirus and the ensuing economic decline to usher in a new era of automation.
“At these moments, employers shed less-skilled workers and replace them with technology and higher-skilled workers, which increases labor productivity as a recession tapers off,” the authors of the Brookings post wrote.
If this continues to prove true, high-skilled jobs and the jobs that machines can’t do may be all that’s left.