Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a loss of 701,000 jobs in March, driving the unemployment rate to 4.4%. Barclay's US chief economist, Michael Gapen, predicts April will show more losses and that the unemployment rate could be more than 10%.
The February unemployment rate was 3.5%, the lowest in 50 years, but is expected to reach 10% in the second quarter, according to the Congressional Budget Office on Thursday. "What usually takes months or quarters to happen in a recession is happening in a matter of weeks," said Michelle Meyer, chief U.S. economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The coronavirus has changed the employment landscape as we know it, according Job.com co-founder Arran Stewart. Changes job searchers will notice after the economy rebounds include: location won't matter as much; transferable skills will be desirable; and age and college degree will decline in importance.
In an effort to help front-line employers hire the people they need, LinkedIn has waived job posting fees for the next three months for employers in hospitals, nonprofits, supermarkets, package delivery services and warehouses. Additionally, healthcare roles will have a highlighted place on the homepage to get nurse and doctor listings more attention.
The five states with the harshest expected job losses are Nevada, Florida, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Michigan as the tourism industry has shut down, alongside large manufacturers who have shut down to avoid spreading the virus. South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Alaska and West Virginia employment are projected to decline the least.
While the coronavirus might have disrupted hiring for some, job seekers need to make the most of their time now to ease the search later, according to Robert Hellmann. Depending on the industry, many professionals might have extra time to connect with you now, so reach out to form a relationship that could help down the road.
Women face a greater financial loss during the pandemic because they're more likely to stay out of work to care for children and sick family members, a PayScale report says. "Employers should recognize that employment gaps to care for family members may be unavoidable," says Sudarshan Sampath, PayScale research director.
To create real connections at work and be someone colleagues can confide in, use more than pleasantries with them but keep shared information confidential, writes Deborah Grayson Riegel. "Research shows that when employees feel higher levels of authenticity at work, they report greater job satisfaction, engagement, and higher levels of performance," she writes.
Data released Thursday showed 6.6 million US workers filed for first-week unemployment benefits in the week ending March 28, a historic high spurred by the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. It represents a more than 3,000% increase from early March, which economists called "monstrous," "stunningly awful" and "a portrait of disaster."
A report from HR People + Strategy and Willis Towers Watson says chief people officers will be critical to continuously retain the workforce and "to progress from anecdotal to evidence-based thinking," among other objectives, writes Maggie Kelly. "HR executives must be able to lead people in nonhierarchical, fluid work environments and empower talent on the front lines to drive problem solving and innovation," she writes.
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