The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the world. Data from Worldometer, which analyzes, validates and aggregates COVID-19 figures from around the globe, indicates that, by early February 2021, the virus had claimed more than 2.3 million lives and infected nearly 108 million people since it first began to spread in late 2019.
The human toll of the virus has been devastating, and many people also have felt the economic impact of the pandemic. It’s difficult to determine a global unemployment rate, but sources including the International Monetary Fund and the World Economic Outlook Database have estimated that the unemployment rate in the United States by October 2020 was more than 5 percent higher than it was at the end of 2019.
Though many people who lost their jobs during the pandemic remain out of work, certain industries have grown during the pandemic.
Health care: The health care industry has been stretched thin during the pandemic, and that’s led to increased opportunities. In addition, industry forecasters have long pointed to a potential nursing shortage in the years to come. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that as many as two million nurses are expected to retire by 2022. Those figures should lead to even more opportunities in a profession that is already facing a shortage of qualified candidates.
Technology: Many businesses transitioned to remote work during the pandemic, and that’s created opportunities for skilled technology professionals capable of facilitating such transitions. Recruiting industry professionals note that such positions may be offered on a contract-only basis, particularly by companies that ultimately want to return to in-office work after the pandemic has ended. However, some companies have extended their work-from-home policies into fall 2021, and some, including Google, have announced plans to support remote work indefinitely. So demand for skilled technology workers capable of helping companies run remotely could very well continue even after the economy has recovered from the pandemic.
E-commerce: The e-commerce industry did not need the pandemic to give it a boost. But e-commerce has certainly been relied on more heavily in the wake of social distancing restrictions and overall consumer hesitancy about in person shopping. Professionals with experience in web development and e-commerce may find their skills are in need, while online retailers like Amazon may be in need of workers to help with fulfillment and logistics.