The crisis provoked by the global pandemic has affected many areas by hitting the global economy and the labor market as its part. The pandemic has shaken all areas of business, regardless of their size, changing the way people make money, reducing (or sometimes increasing) the level of salaries, and leaving a lot of professionals unemployed. After the lockdown, it seems that the world is starting to recover and everything is returning to its usual course. But is it really so in the context of the labor market outcomes?
The Current Situation in the Labor Market
If we generalize the picture of the world labor market, then everything is far from recovery, as experts believe. The great share of global efforts towards improving has been reduced to zero in just a few months of the reign of COVID-19. The tourism sector was hit worst, the healthcare faced an unbearable load of those infected, and the labor market changed unprecedentedly. Here are the main labor market changes that are observed not only in the United States but throughout the world.
- Massive Job Losses
Almost 40 million people lost their jobs due to the pandemic in America only. It would seem that only recently there was a historical period of US economic growth the Great Recession of 2009. During this period, about 20 million jobs appeared, and the country managed to reach the lowest level of unemployment in a decade.
But Covid-19 decided to nullify all this, and everything achieved for decades was destroyed in just a few months. For example, the unemployment rate as of early summer (June) was 11.1%. This figure is considered the highest over the past 70 years.
- Some Workers Were Less Fortunate than Others
According to the research, young professionals with almost no experience, elder people, and women were the most vulnerable because of the pandemic-caused job cut. There is also a list of 10 occupations that hit hardest during the pandemic.
Also, the digitalization and innovation adoption is beginning to eliminate the need for those specializations that were previously in high demand and did not require experience or specialized education. They are service and sales workers, entertainments, and office workers.
- A Global Switch to a Digital Workspace
A lot of companies are not going to return to the office-centric working model. The quarantine period has given many businesses the benefits of remote work. Many owners have experienced savings in office rent and wages. Also, the transition to online mode gave rise to the emergence of demand for remote specialists, and the emergence of new digital positions.
4.Working Poverty Is Going to Increase
According to the research, there will be 20-35 million people in working poverty worldwide in 2020. The world economy is going through a serious crisis, and the poverty line of the population affects business. Most of the goods and services remain undemanded, but nevertheless, the demand for cheaper goods and services is increasing. Such a chain reaction will create more and more new conditions in all industries.
There is also an opinion that the pandemic forced people to become more thrifty in relation to purchases and the environment. Perhaps this is the beginning of a revolution in consciousness that will end the consumer society, and make business more ethical. This means that it will have an impact on the level of demand for certain specialists, and especially people who are ready to support new values.
- Utilizing More Technology Instead of Human Labor
This is the trend that was relevant even before the pandemic. After it, companies will continue looking for ways to automate routine tasks and replace human workers with robots, with the issue of safety in mind. An elementary proof of this process is chatbots adoption, which has replaced the need for online customer service specialists. More and more automated equipment is developed, which makes more and more human impact on labor. For example, the adoption of the robotic workforce in stores and delivery services eliminates the need for consultants and couriers.
- New Occupations Appearance
According to the expert opinion, there will be a lot of new jobs related to the prevention of the next outbreak. Despite the fact that the pandemic has eliminated some positions, the new conditions have become the impetus for the creation of new professions and directions. According to CNBC research, the following positions can be expected to be in high demand in the labor market of each country:
- Online communication technical support specialists. The popularity of the Zoom platform has grown tremendously during the pandemic as it was used for personal and business communication, remote learning, and even remote patient diagnostics. The demand for technical support specialists for such platforms is expected to increase.
- Mask manufacturers. Many countries have experienced a shortage of protective masks and demand is expected to increase. At the moment it is not known for how long humanity will need to wear protective masks and this generates demand.
- Manufacturers and installers of protective structures. Today, most public places have structures that will create a safe environment for a crowd of people. But the requirements will change, which means that the demand for both the manufacturers of the plexiglass and their installers will also continue.
- Pandemic rules violation specialists. In some countries, people are hired for this purpose, and in others, these powers are given to government officials. Either way, it can become a separate job in the labor market.
- The New Hiring System
The approach to hiring has changed a lot. Most companies have moved on to the following recruiting process:
- Telephone interview. This method of the initial recruitment process has been used in the past but is now commonplace everywhere. Now the telephone conversation is taken more seriously than the initial interview method.
- Video interview. This method was widely used both during quarantine and after. Many companies have switched to an online screening of potential candidates for employment.
- Online testing. If earlier large companies resorted to this method, then small business owners also switched to it, when a vacancy implies the presence of certain skills and knowledge.
All of the above stages of work are already being used by large corporations that set global trends in corporate cultures. We are talking about Google, Twitter, Amazon, and many others. This means that even in the post-pandemic world, these hiring methods may remain and even spread around the world as a new recruitment scheme.
The Final Words
The conditions of the pandemic have two sides to the coin. One side is tragic for the labor effect, as evidenced by statistics and forecasts. On the other hand, these conditions created new positions and automated many work processes. The path the labor market will take depends on the measures taken. Governments are now striving to provide labor protection, stimulate labor market demand, and maintain employment.