A snapshot of who’s hiring now, plus a warning about employment predictions in an unknown COVID-19 recovery.
America’s job market added 2.5 million new jobs in May, as the economy began to wake up from what one economist called a “medically induced coma.” The new jobs are clustered in people-facing companies that have started to hire back workers they’d furloughed, so in reality many aren’t so new. We’re talking about places like bars and restaurants, hair salons, medical offices and car dealerships.
Spot a trend? Yep, it’s the service sector, the heart of the modern American economy and the epicenter of the recent jobs earthquake. A record 20.5 million jobs evaporated in April, some losses coming in surprising areas like nursing. We’re in a unique recession, prompted not by a housing bust or a market crash, but a virus with an unpredictable course. Sure, we have data from the 1918 flu pandemic, but it’s of limited utility for projecting jobs in e-sports or Starbucks. To be sure, jobs are growing right now in key spots we highlight below, but beware of forecasting too far out. As one economic expert warns us, don’t rely on economic experts. “The leading economic indicator is the virus,” energy scholar Sarah Ladislaw told us weeks ago.
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