Jobs Surging in Demand During COVID-19 Crisis

Amanda Stansell

June 8, 2020

Key Findings: 
  • Grocery managers, warehouse managers, public health advisers and IT specialists are among the occupations with the biggest increase in job openings from March 2 to May 11, 2020. While overall hiring is down across the U.S., these jobs have seen a spike in demand during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Bookseller, tutors, catering assistants and opticians are the occupations with the biggest decline in job openings from March 2 to May 11, 2020. A majority of these jobs rely primarily on in-person interactions, which have been severely limited during this time. 
  • New jobs are being born from this crisis and are already providing some opportunity to those out of work. There are 599 open roles in the U.S. for temperature checkers and 116 roles for contact tracers on Glassdoor as of May 18.  
As the COVID-19 crisis has progressed, most occupations in the United States have experienced a decline in the number of job openings.  However, there are some bright spots in terms of occupations that have seen surges in demand over the past few months. The table below shows the ten occupations with the largest increase in job openings from March 2 to May 11, 2020. The median base salary for these roles is based on salary reports left on Glassdoor between May 1, 2019 and April 30, 2020. Each of these occupations received at least 90 salary reports from U.S.-based employees during this time.  Grocery manager is the job with the largest surge in job openings, with a staggering 648 percent increase in open roles since March 2nd. As of May 11, there are 9,602 grocery manager roles on Glassdoor in the U.S. Order selector and warehouse manager roles also saw growth of over 100 percent during this time. It is not a surprise to see jobs like grocery manager and warehouse manager surge in demand, as these roles have remained essential across the country.  Public health advisor roles are up by 59 percent since March 2nd, demonstrating the need for those with knowledge to help plan and implement programs to help minimize the spread of disease. As many employers have transitioned their workforces to operate virtually, demand for IT specialist roles has surged by 33 percent to help solve WFH-related transitions and issues.  Top 10 Jobs Surging in Demand During COVID-19 and What They Pay
Occupation Job Openings on May 11, 2020 Change in Openings from March 2 to May 11, 2020 Median Base Salary
Grocery Manager 9,604 648% $32,000
Order Selector 8,457 177% $32,072
Warehouse Manager 12,006 145% $46,000
Customer Service Sales 4,971 89% $24,026
Forklift Operator 14,001 73% $30,116
Public Health Advisor 1,098 59% $52,087
IT Specialist 5,683 33% $51,717
Warehouse Worker 28,278 30% $30,068
Retail Merchandiser 17,168 24% $24,137
Material Handler 9,781 19% $30,165
Source: Glassdoor Economic Research Some occupations, particularly those that rely on in-person interactions, have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. The table below shows the ten occupations that saw the biggest decline in job openings on Glassdoor in the U.S. between March 2 and May 11, 2020. Each of the jobs in the table below had at least 1,000 job openings on Glassdoor on March 2.   Bookseller job openings fell by 87 percent, with only 172 job openings remaining as of May 11 on Glassdoor. Tutor job openings fell by 84 percent and catering assistant job openings fell by 83 percent. These roles largely depend on being able to interact face-to-face with other people, which has been made difficult with shelter in place orders around the country.  Top 10 Jobs Declining in Demand During COVID-19
Occupation Job Openings on May 11, 2020 Change in Openings from March 2 to May 11, 2020
Bookseller 172 -87%
Tutor 3,939 -84%
Catering Assistant 206 -83%
Optician 1,030 -82%
Product Demonstrator 1,310 -80%
Brand Manager 794 -80%
Parts Specialist 513 -80%
Counter Sales 895 -79%
Acoustic Engineer 332 -78%
Marketing Communications Manager 318 -71%
Source: Glassdoor Economic Research

New Jobs Created by the Pandemic 

The pandemic has had a widespread impact on all industries, with U.S. job openings on Glassdoor down 29 percent since the start of March. As employers continue to adapt, some new roles are being created as a response to the pandemic. While these new roles might provide additional opportunities for newly out-of-work job seekers, there aren’t enough new openings to fill the hiring gaps that currently exist across all industries.   Temperature checkers are one of the roles for which employers are hiring in preparation for the “new normal” of going to work. The essential function of this role is to take the temperature of anyone entering a facility and it is known by several different names, including temperature checker, temperature taker and health screener. There are already close to 600 open roles on Glassdoor in the U.S. for temperature checkers, demonstrating that employers are beginning to put new measures in place to ensure the safety of their employees as businesses navigate reopening.  This role is primarily being hired by employers in the recruiting & staffing, government, healthcare industries, and private security industries. Job openings for this role have been steadily increasing in the past month.  Another role born from the COVID-19 crisis is contact tracer. Contact tracers work with patients to identify any potential contacts with whom they had close contact, and then work with these contacts to educate and inform them of their potential risk and the precautions they should take to protect themselves and others.  As of May 18, there were 116 contact tracer job openings on Glassdoor in the U.S. These openings are primarily being hired by government and recruiting & staffing employers.   As the U.S. transitions further into reopening phases, new roles like contact tracer and temperature screener will continue to emerge. Additionally, demand for certain existing roles will grow, as the need for roles like epidemiologist and home health nurse, for instance, increases . There will also likely be new openings in construction, as buildings and facilities install plexi glass and other physical barriers to protect workers and the public and enforce social distancing protocols. In addition, as employers plan for employees to return to the office, we’ll likely see demand for site sanitizers and office cleaners increase. Moving forward, new job creation will be driven by solving new and changing workplace challenges in the age of COVID-19. 

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