Job Market Trends

Q4 Job Market Trends Amidst the Pandemic

January, February, Quarantine, October. This year has felt like a blur for many as we adjust to a new way of life. Surprisingly, we are already at the tail-end of the year, leaving many of us concerned about the rest of 2020. Although this has been a tough year, both economically and emotionally, the labor market is finally starting to rebound. Employers are slowly starting to lift their hiring freezes and bring back workers that have been on the sidelines for months. Other companies have been on a hiring frenzy to keep up with new demands and consumer lifestyles. Here are some Q4 job market trends to keep an eye on amidst the pandemic.

The competition will be tight

Even though the U.S. economy and the labor market are still in recovery mode, jobless claims rose 4,000 to 870,000 in the week ending September 17th. That puts the total number of claims to over 12.5 million. This is the lowest level of continued claims since mid-April but is still much higher than pre-pandemic levels.

As a result, millions of Americans are still out of work and will be competing for the same jobs as they slowly open back up. As competition rises, job seekers in every industry will have to be on their A-game. That means tailoring your resume, doing research, reaching out to your professional network, and putting yourself out there if you want to secure a new position by the end of the year. Employers are now in the driver’s seat for the foreseeable future, and job seekers will have to be resilient in their job search.

WFH migration

The work from home migration has been a heavy topic of discussion this year. Many employers embraced remote work, while others were resistant. Regardless of your stance, working from home is here to stay. Job postings for remote positions are skyrocketing as the pandemic lingers on, and it is encouraging a work from home migration away from big metro areas. Workers in markets such as Seattle, New York, and Silicon Valley are relocating to markets with a lower cost of living. After all, why work from an expensive, densely populated big city when you are working remotely?

This migration has a significant impact on companies’ hiring strategies and will likely impact salaries going forward. The five cities with the biggest gains in net arrivals are:

  1. Jacksonville, FL (+10.7%)
  2. Salt Lake City, UT (+9.6%)
  3. Sacramento, CA (+7.6%)
  4. Milwaukee, WI (+4.5%)
  5. Kansas City, MO (+3.9%)

The mid-west is also a hot spot for migration as workers look for a better quality of life and cheaper cost of living. However, are employers willing to pay their staff the same salaries if they move from the Bay Area to Sacramento? Job seekers will want to be conscious of this job market trend when relocating or searching for new remote positions.

Industries with the most robust outlook

Some industries were hit harder than others throughout the pandemic, while others are thriving with a new customer base and a change in consumer habits. The pandemic hit retail trade, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality the hardest. However, these are now the industries with the fastest growth and recovery rates.

Education and health services also are on the rise as many Americans are more reliant on these services. Additionally, transportation and warehousing have gone through tremendous growth as Americans shift their buying habits from brick and mortar stores to online purchases.

If you are looking for some of the hottest jobs right now, check out this article highlighting the jobs with the most demand.

Take your career to the next level

The country is still recovering, and there are still a lot of unknowns for the rest of 2020. However, these are a few job market trends that will happen in the last quarter of 2020. We asked Perry Paden, Senior Vice President of Johnson Search Group, his thoughts on hiring in Q4 and he said, “Budgets for 2021 are currently in full swing. Many companies are finding out that they have a considerable amount of their 2020 hiring budget remaining this quarter. Even though the hiring process has changed, hiring top talent has not. Many of our clients and prospective clients are struggling to find the best candidates on the market, and Johnson Search Group is here to help.”

If you are a job seeker looking to secure a new opportunity before the end of the year, look at our job board. We have hundreds of jobs available across the country, with clients looking for excellent candidates like you! Or if your department is in need of great candidates this quarter, we can help find the talent you need to end 2020 on a strong note. Partner with JSG today, and let’s take your career to the next level.