- The novel coronavirus has cooled the U.S. labor market, according to March 27 data from Indeed. In occupations impacted heavily by the pandemic, job postings have changed dramatically compared to last year.
- Job listings generally increase throughout the spring, but postings are down 15.2% this year compared to 2019. The slowdown has increased recently, Indeed said; the gap was 7.2% as of March 21.
- The downward trend has manifested outside of the U.S., as well. Postings dropped more sharply in the U.K. (which exhibited the highest drop, at 33%), Ireland, Italy, Canada, France and the Netherlands. It was less extreme in Germany, Singapore and Belgium.
While the new coronavirus sparked a surge in hiring for employers such as CVS, Walmart and Lidl, it devastated others. Many retailers have furloughed workers in response to the virus. Macy’s, for instance, furloughed most of its workforce, it announced March 30. Gap Inc. and Kohl’s announced similar measures the next day.
The effects extend beyond household brands, of course. Half of 10,000 small business owners responding to a survey said their businesses "will only be able to continue to operate for 0-3 months," according to the March 19 results from Goldman Sachs. Three-quarters reported business impact from fewer sales.
It follows that hiring is a likely casualty of greater business disruption, as Indeed indicates. Delta and American Airlines, for example, both instituted hiring freezes as they cut flights due to low demand, according to CNBC. Meanwhile, 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, and nearly 10 million are out of work, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.