Wanted: Health care workers, delivery drivers and technology professionals.
Even as the job market struggles to find a footing, employers are putting out the welcome mat in certain fields, according to economists from two of the country’s biggest online job sites, ZipRecruiter and Indeed.
“There are clear differences between different industries,” said Julia Pollak, a labor economist at ZipRecruiter.
Besides the strength in industries that benefit from the stay-at-home trend, like warehousing and deliveries, hiring in tech and professional and business services has been showing signs of life recently.
“Businesses are looking to the future and are somewhat optimistic,” Ms. Pollak said.
AnnElizabeth Konkel, economist at Indeed Hiring Lab, added that demand for pharmacists is up 23 percent from a year ago while openings for drivers have jumped 18 percent. “It all ties directly back to the pandemic,” Ms. Konkel said.
Nevertheless, there have been important regional differences in hiring. In cities where many people are working remotely, like Washington, Seattle, Boston and San Francisco, there have been fewer postings in some fields than in places where more workers are back in the office.
“People aren’t popping into their local coffee shop on their way to work or stopping into a store to pick something up when they work at home,” Ms. Konkel said, and that affects hiring.
Openings at restaurants are down from a year ago, she added, as are positions in arts and entertainment as well as hospitality and tourism.
At ZipRecruiter, the energy industry has shown an increase in job postings after steep losses when the pandemic struck. Manufacturing, too, has recorded more openings lately.
“Some of the losers are finally coming backing a bit,” Ms. Pollak said. “But so many industries can’t possibly resume while the pandemic is going on.”
Even as layoffs remain extraordinarily high by historical standards, unemployment claims have shown a recent decline as coronavirus cases and restrictions on activity recede.
New claims for unemployment benefits declined last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday, and were significantly below the level seen in most of December and early January.
Last week brought 813,000 new claims for state benefits, compared with 850,000 the previous week. Adjusted for seasonal variations, last week’s figure was 793,000, a decrease of 19,000. (Because of revisions to previous data, it was not the fourth straight weekly decline, as this briefing stated earlier.)
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