The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly changed the landscape of the labor market. In the first two months of 2020, the year started where 2019 left off – a red hot job market and record low unemployment rate. Fast forward to today, and there are now over 40 million U.S. jobless claims in the first week of June. Despite this horrendous downfall, things are starting to look up. States are opening back up, virus numbers are declining, and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3% as people are finally returning to work. So, now that we are over the hill, what will the rest of the year entail regarding the labor market? Here is what the second half of 2020 will look like for our workforce.
Where are the jobs at?
Employers across the country are still hiring during the pandemic. And as things continue to simmer down as far as COVID-19 cases go, more employers will restart their hiring efforts. Some industries are actually doing well, and even going on hiring spurts right now. For example, hardware stores have been going through a growth spurt over the last couple of months. Have you tried to go to Home Depot or Lowes lately? If you haven’t, there is usually a line to get it inside. Ace Hardware will be hiring roughly 30,000 workers over the upcoming weeks. This is just one of many industries that experienced a boost in hiring thanks to the pandemic.
As more states open back up, these numbers will continue to grow. According to the Business Insider, only seven states are in a partial lockdown, with Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico the only U.S. territories with a complete lockdown. That means the vast majority of the country is either completely reopened or working hard to get to that point.
And if you are in one of the few states still in a lockdown period, don’t panic. You can always secure a remote position from a company located elsewhere. At the peak of the outbreak, 62% of Americans were working from home. And this trend will not be going away, even after we overcome this crisis. Many employers, such as Twitter, are allowing workers to work from home permanently. As a result, this will open the door for new work opportunities in the second half of 2020.
The key thing to remember is that companies are still hiring; however, you may have to work a little harder to find them.
The skills that employers need most right now
If you’re one of the millions of Americans looking for new employment opportunities in the second half of 2020, there are a handful of skills you will want to demonstrate to hiring managers.
Adaptability and flexibility
These skills have and always will be crucial. Now more than ever, employers need workers capable of adapting to new environments, workloads, and pretty much everything else around them. We are in unchartered waters, and depending on the industry you work in, every day may be a little different. Try and use examples in an interview to convey this to employers or use specific points on your resume that illustrate your ability to be flexible in the most challenging environments.
Creative and innovative
Employers want to see that you are not afraid to think outside the box. These are tough times, and a little innovation goes a long way. There are dozens of examples of employees showing innovation during these challenging times. One excellent example is automakers shifting their efforts from making vehicles to respiratory equipment. You can find a creative way to solve a problem, save the company money, or improve efficiency; these are things hiring managers will want to see.
Day to day tasks may be more difficult now with social distancing in the workplace or while part of your team is working remotely. Simple activities may need new solutions to make them more efficient in the post-pandemic workplace. Make sure you are illustrating to your prospective employers your accomplishments and clearly define what issues they resolved.
Recruiters will be your best friends
Whether you’re a hiring manager struggling to find talented workers or a job seeker looking for their next opportunity, partnering with a recruiter will be a must. Hiring managers won’t have to sift through hundreds of resumes and hire the workers they need, fast. And as a job seeker, you can rest assured that you have a professional in your back pocket, walking you through every step of the hiring process. At Johnson Search Group, we work hard, we work together, and we work for you. Reach out to us today!