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Steve Isenberg

Employment vs. Unemployment: What’s Ahead for 2021

Posted on: March 4, 2021

By: Steve Isenberg

We’ve come a long way, baby, but there’s still progress to be made, work to be done. Or rather, we wish there was more work for the American wage earner. While we’ve made tremendous strides since Depression-era unemployment rates prevailed in April and May of 2020, the unemployment rate for January of 6.3% remains well above the 3.5% rate we enjoyed a year ago. A fifty-year low in the number of jobless gone overnight. Ouch.

So, while we clap and cheer for the job market’s progress towards recovery, our breath catches at the reality of an economy boasting nearly 10 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic. Big ouch. What began as temporary layoffs has morphed into permanent joblessness. And unfortunately, alarmingly high numbers in the job-loss column continue to plague various sectors, places, and people.

What will the employment picture look like in 2021? As has been the case from day one of this health crisis turned economic crisis, the job market will continue to take its cues from the course of the COVID-19 virus. As we inch toward herd immunity, our forever-changed labor force will take on an unprecedented image. The “new normal,” the term we’ve grown weary of hearing, continues to emerge. Weariness aside, embracing the changes, facing the realities, and moving forward with resilience and determination will be key for staffing agencies as we journey into the new frontier of the 2021 job market.

Some of the trends that fell into place in 2020 are expected to continue through 2021.

  • A strong demand for healthcare support roles, including nurses, CNAs, patient care technicians, health care assistants, pharmacy technicians, dental assistants, home health aides, and a plethora of other people who support healthcare services and healthcare professionals.
  • A growing need across nearly every industry for technology-related jobs such as web development, software development, video editing, cybersecurity, SEO, and data visualization, to name but a few fields under the technology umbrella.

LinkedIn has identified other sectors that experienced high year-over-year growth between April and October in 2020 as “Jobs on the Rise.”

  • E-commerce professionals
  • Loan and mortgage experts
  • Business development and sales professionals
  • Workplace diversity experts
  • Digital marketing professionals
  • Educational professionals
  • Digital content creators
  • Professional and personal coaches

The good news: There are jobs out there. The not-so-good news: it will take radical, outside-of-the-box thinking and ingenuity to fill the job openings in these growing industries with pandemic-displaced workers –folks who are eager to be back to work so that they can support their families.

But that’s what the staffing industry does, right? While this employment crisis is unlike any to explode on the scene in recent history, it is not the first storm this resilient industry has weathered. Firms will flex their adaptability muscles. Staffing specialists will secure their thinking caps. Recruiters will pound the pavement. And they will continue to make right-fit connections between talented candidates and hiring businesses, whether they fall into the striving-to-return or pandemic-induced-boon category, because that’s what the staffing industry has always done.

While you re-write your firm’s processes and procedures to fit this new day, ASJ Partners wants to assist your efforts with comprehensive marketing solutions that will elevate your brand to new heights. Give our team a call at 610.930.5300 or shoot us an email at weneedhelp@asjpartners.com to see what ASJ can do for you.



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