02/11/2021 Nic Gustafson

Insights from our 2020 Jobs Report [COVID impact on labor demand]

In a year viewed almost entirely through the lens of COVID-19, LinkUp’s jobs dataset was able to provide unique insights into the pandemic’s impact on the labor market. In our just released 2020 Jobs Report [COVID impact on labor demand] we provide a look at the highs and lows of 2020, along with an in-depth look at the labor market over the entire year.

There is no denying the pandemic’s immediate impact on the global economy and well-being of people all over the world was profound, and it created a deep chasm from which we have yet to fully emerge. However, even as the virus continues to alter nearly all aspects of daily life, it is evident that massive strides toward labor market recovery have been made.

We began the year on a high, with nearly 3 million active job listings in the U.S. and unemployment at an all time low. But the cliff was approaching more rapidly than we could have imagined–just a few months later the country was all but shut down and active job listings dropped to less than 2 million. Since that time we’ve seen huge strides toward recovery made in the summer and fall, and some leveling off of that upward trajectory late in the year. 

Graph: 2020 US Job Listings

In the U.S., job opening growth periods in 2020 outnumbered the memorable periods of decline. Overall active job openings saw a 7.45% drop. So some strong progress has been made since the initial COVID decline, with the U.S. in the number one spot among countries with the most significant rebound.

While we’re proud of the recovery so far, declining listings are widespread. 74% of states saw overall declines in 2020.

Map: 2020 Job Listing Changes

Over the year, Oregon experienced a 17% increase in job listings, making it the number-one state for job listing growth. South Dakota on the other hand, has been consistently on the bottom of the list each month, with a decline of 47% annually. This is unsurprising, given the state’s emergence as a COVID hot spot in the latter half of the year.

Nearly all industries saw a decline in job listings in 2020 too, with Retail Trade being the lone exception. At the occupation level we also see widespread declines, while some of those occupations supplying essentials saw increases.

Much like our job index as a whole, the S&P 500® LinkUp Jobs Index saw losses early in the year, but ended the year at a level higher than it began. We’re also watching a few company tickers that have seen large job growth in the past year: First American Financial, FedEx and more. 

If you’re interested in learning more about COVID’s impacts at the global, country, state and metropolitan statistical area, as well as how jobs and industries have shifted in response to the pandemic, download our 2020 Jobs Report [COVID impact on labor demand].  

And, as always if you want to know more about the data behind this report, please contact us. 

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