COVID-19 Update: More States See Large Decreases in Online Job Ads

Posted on March 27, 2020 by James Stinchcomb

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly spread across the world and in particular the United States, surpassing 90,000 confirmed cases in the US as of March 27,  according to data from John Hopkins University.[1] Chmura has been monitoring the impact the pandemic has had on real time job ads with JobsEQ RTI, looking at national trends as well as the local impact on Washington state, the first state in the United States to be hit by the pandemic.

In this blog we are looking at the impact COVID-19 has had on additional states. The chart below shows the weekly totals of online job ads over a five-week span,[2] from the week ending February 23rd through the week ending March 22nd, for the states of California, Texas, New York, Ohio, Washington, and Arizona.

Over this five week span, each state has seen large decreases in online job ad volume, with a five week change ranging from a decline of 39.3% in Ohio to a decline of 22.5% in Arizona.[3] Interestingly, Washington is the only state of the six examined here that saw a decline in volume each week over the entire five week span. Although we cannot say definitively, this may be a reflection of the fact that Washington was the first state impacted by the pandemic. California, Texas, and New York all saw increases in volume in the second week before declining each of the following weeks, while Ohio saw a drop in the second week followed by a modest increase in the third week. As an outlier, Arizona saw an increase in volume in the second and third weeks and didn’t fall below the first week’s volume until the fifth week.

The changes in volume seen in each state may be a direct reflection of the response each state has taken towards combating the pandemic. Ohio, for example, saw the largest drop in volume of these six states despite not having infection levels seen in other states, like New York and Washington; however, Ohio has been one of the most aggressive states in taking early preventative action to combat the virus, with the Ohio governor being praised for his proactive response. On the other side are states like Texas and Arizona, where statewide action has been slower and much of the response has come at the local level rather than from the state.

Monitoring online job ads volume is allowing us to gauge the potential economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in real time, before official data are released, making for a very useful tool in understanding how to best respond in order to bolster the local economy as we all go through this extremely difficult time. Chmura will be continuing to monitor the impact at both the national and regional levels, posting frequent updates to our blog.



[2]Weekly totals are the total number of job ads posted from Monday through Sunday of the specified week. Data exported from JobsEQ RTI on March 26-27, 2020

[3]These declines were measured from the first to the last week. Alternatively, measuring from the peak week to the lowest, Ohio still has the largest decline while Texas has the smallest – a 31% decline from a peak volume in the week ending March 1st.



This blog reflects Chmura staff assessments and opinions with the information available at the time the blog was written.