The United Nations’ International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 225 million full-time jobs were lost in 2020. This estimate comes from the finding that 8.8% of working hours around the world were cut due to the ongoing health crisis. This figure includes the workers whose working hours have been reduced.
In addition, approximately 81 million “dropped out of the labor market” for reasons ranging from pandemic restrictions to social obligations. This means that more than 300 million people have found themselves either unemployed or underemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now more than ever, it is crucial to choose a degree and career that can survive major crises like a global pandemic. Before we look at careers that are thriving even during a pandemic, we will quickly examine which jobs were badly affected.
Industries most affected by pandemic job loss
Personal Care Services. Hairdressers, personal trainers, and childcare workers were greatly affected by social distancing measures imposed by the national government. A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that nearly half of workers in the personal care industry lost their jobs in 2020.
Food Preparation Services. Since restaurants and cafes have been asked to shut down to prevent large social gatherings, around 5 million workers in the food preparation industry found themselves unemployed.
Demographic groups most affected by job loss
Meanwhile, in terms of demographics, Black and Hispanic Americans were disproportionately affected by the job cuts caused by the global health crisis. Across all demographic groups, women lost more jobs than men in the same group. One factor that accounts for this gender-based difference is that women make up the majority of workers in industries badly hit by the pandemic.
For instance, 77% of workers in personal care services and 55% of workers in food preparation services are women. However, the job loss among women is said to have been offset by the gains in another woman-dominated industry: healthcare.
Industries thriving in the pandemic
As mentioned in the previous section, healthcare is a career that has seen gains in employment during the pandemic. No matter how the economy is performing or how long the coronavirus will plague the world, medical workers will always be vital.
Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other workers in the medical field have been hailed as heroes since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted. Citizens have developed renewed appreciation and respect for these front-line workers who have put their lives on the line to make communities safe and healthy.
As they say, there would be no doctors, engineers, or lawyers without teachers. Teaching is a field that will never lose “customers” because education is a necessity. Whether you’re a teacher from a tuition agency, administrators, librarians, guidance counselors, and coaches are still working today, although they mostly work online. The fulfillment of shaping young minds is priceless, but many teachers have warned that this is not the profession for individuals seeking handsome salaries.
Information Technology (IT)
Speaking of salaries, people in Information Technology (IT) industries are among the highest-paid workers, pandemic or not. Database administrators, web development engineers, and digital marketing experts are even more in demand nowadays. This is not surprising since many industries, including education, business, and healthcare, have fast-tracked digitization and automation due to pandemic restrictions.
In short, schools, businesses, and hospitals need IT experts for web design and tech support, among other technology-related needs. Additionally, internet-based jobs are not likely to be less sought-after in the future because most, if not all, industries are going online sooner or later.
Whether the economy is growing or shrinking, financial services are indispensable. Accountants, auditors, insurance workers, and bookkeepers have no trouble finding jobs during a pandemic. In fact, bank tellers even need to report for work every day to serve clients. Insurance salesmen have also seen an increase in the demand for policies.
As more people develop fears of mortality or sickness, they purchase medical or life insurance for themselves and their families. Finance-related workers are needed at all times, so this will remain a lucrative field after the pandemic.
Pet adoption has gone up during the pandemic. People find comfort in having pets to adore and spoil. Visits to the veterinarian are mandatory for any pet. This is an expense that pet owners are willing to invest in even post-pandemic.
If you’re choosing a program to take in college, or you’re transitioning to a new career mid-pandemic, it is best to pursue a job in healthcare, education, IT, finance, or veterinary care. Avoid jobs in personal care or food preparation.