COVID-19 Job Trends: Week of April 19, 2020

Posted on May 1, 2020 by Greg Chmura

As many states begin to open up, job postings from business are on the rise. In addition to food service and retail jobs, both office-related and engineering positions have seen a pronounced upturn.



After reaching a trough the week of April 5, online job ads have risen the subsequent two weeks. With new ad volume of close to 435,000 the week of April 19, job posting activity was the highest it had been since mid-March.  

Variation in Demand by Occupation



Service-related jobs were especially hard hit by restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak, and the uptick in food-preparation and serving related jobs the last two weeks is indicating that employment in these jobs may be headed back up.

We’ve also seen a decline in new job ads for white-collar positions, even though many of these jobs can be worked remotely from home. New ads for these positions, however, have turned upward as businesses are eyeing a more open environment. Office and administrative support ads have risen each of the last two weeks. Architecture and engineering new ads soared the week of April 19 to a volume not seen since February.



Some of the detailed occupations with the largest increase in job ads the last week are common in retail, including retail salespersons, stock clerks, and cashiers. Food prep and serving jobs as well as food supervisory rolls both grew by over 40% the week of April 19 compared with the preceding four-week average. Among office workers, a large increase in new ads were posted for secretaries and administrative assistants.

About the Data

All data above are derived from JobsEQ, the Real-Time Intelligence online job ad data set, pulled from over 30,000 websites and updated daily. Historical volume is revised as additional data are made available and processed. Each week of ads is defined as new online ads that start between Sunday and the following Saturday, inclusive. All ad counts represent deduplicated figures. The relationship between ad counts and actual hires is described here.

Many extraneous factors can affect short-term volume of online job postings. Thus, while the changes noted above should be watched over time to confirm the impacts, such a short-term snapshot can offer an early indication of labor market shifts, especially valuable in this time of unprecedented economic disruption.




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