Quantifying The COVID-19 Shock On The Job Market: Where Jobs Are Growing And Where They Are Gone

Submitted by Priceonomics,

The coronavirus outbreak has been an unprecedented shock to the hourly job market. The past few weeks have seen huge changes in who’s hiring. Snagajob is the largest site for hourly jobs. Its employers include some of the hardest hit categories like sit-down restaurants. It also helps employers in the grocery and warehouse industries—and these jobs are critical to keeping the economy running during this crisis.

According to Snagajob, overall job postings are down almost 40% from their peak a month ago. In particular, sit-down restaurants, staffing firms and entertainment have been the hardest hit. If you’re looking for a job, hiring is up in warehousing (Amazon), logistics (shipping, i.e. more Amazon), retail, groceries (Whole Foods, so even more Amazon) and transportation (you guessed it). 


Before we start in with the charts, here are a few points to remember. The following data looks at the number of job postings by category and location, before and after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic on 3/11/2020. 

To start, let’s look at overall jobs posted on Snagajob over the last two months.  

You can see that jobs peaked on March 4th, before starting to drop, even before the WHO declared a worldwide pandemic on 3/11. From this peak, job postings have declined 41%. However, compared to the first day of this analysis (2/3/2020), jobs postings are only down 12.6% so far.

There is a  bright spot though. There’s a small uptick in job postings in the most recent dates. There is a complete reordering of the hourly job market, where some categories have disappeared for the time-being, but others are growing.

The world is completely different than before the pandemic, but it’s not all bad news when it comes to job postings. Logistics and warehouse job postings are up over 156% since the pandemic declaration. Retail, transportation and grocery job postings are also up. You can still find jobs in essential services that keep people fed and supplied.

There are still a lot of categories, however, that have seen a steep decline in job postings. Temporary staffing jobs have seen the largest drop, falling 74.1%. Entertainment, hospitality, on-demand and sit-down restaurant job postings have all fallen more than 30%.

Lastly, let’s look at the impact on job postings across America. The chart below shows the decline (or increase) in hourly jobs after the declaration of pandemic.

Of the 122 largest metro areas on Snagajob, 113 of them have seen a decline in hourly jobs—just nine have seen an increase so far.  At the high end, places like Lafayette, Louisiana have seen a nearly 60% decrease in job postings for hourly workers. Of the top 10 most negatively affected cities, seven of them are in Louisiana or Utah. So far, Boston, San Francisco and Seattle have all seen an increase in job postings on Snagajob after the pandemic.


In summary, warehouse and logistics jobs are up over 150% in three weeks. Job postings for grocery stores and retail are also up as people still need to shop for essential items. While job postings may be down overall, the companies that are providing essential services to the country are still hiring. The hourly job market is still in flux and overall job postings are in decline. However, for those who are currently looking for jobs, some employers are hiring more than ever.