The Impact of the Pandemic on Job Openings in the USA |

Jobs & Career

The Impact of the Pandemic on Job Openings in the USA

Today, the effects of the pandemic on job opportunities in America remain profound. While most sectors have seen an uptick since April 2020, employment levels remain below pre-pandemic levels and recovery is unlikely to be complete for some time yet.


The pandemic’s impact on job openings varies by state and industry. Some places have seen more employment opportunities in manufacturing and healthcare while others experienced less.

1. Manufacturing

The Pandemic’s impact on job openings in the USA has been dramatic. While certain industries, like restaurants, have been able to reopen quickly, others such as leisure and hospitality remain closed for business.

Even with the recovery, manufacturing jobs remain vulnerable. This is particularly true for workers without the skillset necessary to compete against advanced manufacturing technology.

According to a recent Deloitte study, outdated public perceptions are hindering the recruitment of key new workers for smart manufacturing. A shortage of skills poses an enormous hurdle for manufacturers and could potentially slow their economic expansion.

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The manufacturing sector is at an important juncture. If it wants to attract the stable, skilled workforce necessary for economic growth and global competitiveness, it must align public perceptions with reality.


2. Healthcare

In the healthcare sector, the impact of the pandemic has been mixed. Some industries such as home health services and dental offices experienced large job losses in March-April 2020, while others such as hospitals and outpatient centers saw small gains.

According to the Job Quit Tracker, the healthcare sector has seen a higher rate of job quitting than before the pandemic, particularly among women. From November 2022 until February 2020, there were 32.5% more healthcare job resignations than during that same period before the pandemic, the tracker found.

Since February 2020, average wages for healthcare employees have grown faster than overall workforce wages. This trend is likely to continue as demand in the industry remains strong; however, it should be noted that employment levels have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

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3. Transportation & Warehousing

Employers in the transportation and warehouse industries experienced a sharp drop in employment during the initial stages of the pandemic. However, after six months had elapsed after that crisis began, these sectors saw job growth again – adding positions to their ranks six out of eight months afterward.

Air transport was the industry with the greatest losses, seeing its employment drop 51,000 between February and June.

Transit and ground passenger transportation workers did better, maintaining jobs through May 2020. Warehousing employment also continued to rise year-over-year throughout 2020 due to an increase in online shopping activity.

By 2022, transportation and warehousing had recovered 82 percent of its pre-pandemic job losses. Nonetheless, it still lags behind the nation’s overall private sector in terms of size.

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4. Education & Training

In the USA, there is a shortage of workers with experience in industries like durable goods manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, education, and health services. On the other hand, there is an abundance of laborers in transportation and warehousing.

This could have a profound effect on growth, inequality, and inflation. For instance, a healthy labor market can result in higher wages that, in turn, may boost economic activity.

However, the US has experienced a large disparity between labor force participation and unemployment. Although employment rates have rebounded substantially since 2009, participation rates remain below their pre-pandemic levels.

The pandemic is having a profound effect on labor markets in both the United States and the UK, due to high vacancy-to-unemployment ratios and voluntary job quits.