What a difference a year makes! While we are by no means past the pandemic, we have managed to crawl out from the massive crater it created in the job market. In fact, March brought a major milestone in the pandemic recovery with job listings in the U.S. returning to pre-COVID levels.
Though the rollercoaster-like trajectory may have spurred a serious case of whiplash, the current upward trend in job listings is great news for those on the hunt. The market continues to heat up, with some employers even having a difficult time finding workers to fill positions.
All occupations have had recent increases in hiring, so there is more demand for workers overall, as well as added demand in many occupations. Many occupations have seen major increases in the last month.
Two occupations seeing major growth recently are Production and Food Service. We decided to take a closer look to see if there are unique factors that might be driving this growth, and what that might mean for job seekers wondering where to find their next opportunity.
Production has seen large, steady growth since the pandemic job crash. Job listings have increased an impressive 46.78% in the last 12 months, and they continue to rise, increasing another 14% in March. We are currently seeing a large number of job openings in food production, medical supply production, and aerospace and defense production—with companies like Stratosphere Quality, Costco and Food City topping the list for most listings in March.
Food Service and Serving occupations have seen a more irregular pattern of growth since the pandemic crash. Job openings increased 13% in March, which is a big jump from previous months. This spike in growth coincides with recent news stories highlighting the restaurant industry’s recruitment challenges. Taco Bell, which has consistently been at or near the top of the list for active job listings throughout the pandemic, is thinking outside the bun when it comes to hiring. The company is holding interviews in parking lots at nearly 2,000 locations where candidates won’t even have to leave their cars to apply.
The time is now
Overall, the market is looking good for job seekers. March was a month of strong growth, and we continue to ride that wave. So if you’re ready to start your search, now is the time. As you set out, make sure to check out our tips for job hunting in 2021–from video interviews to virtual networking, job search during a pandemic comes with it’s own unique challenges. But now that you know where to look, you’re that much closer to landing your next big opportunity!