The coronavirus pandemic has made itself felt across the globe. As well as impacting healthcare, it has had serious implications for the economy, and many sectors are still struggling to stay afloat. Some companies have been unable to operate, due to strict social distancing measures, while others have seen a significant decrease in their numbers of customers. For example, in the UK, around one in seven employees worked in a sector that had to largely or entirely close during the first lockdown. Nonetheless, some companies have been able to adapt and even thrive, which means that there are still opportunities for those seeking employment. So, if you’re looking for a job, then what are your options?
Which sectors are struggling?
First, let’s take a look at some of the sectors that aren’t doing so well – and there are plenty of them! Perhaps unsurprisingly, the travel and tourism industries are among the worst affected. More than 200 countries and territories have imposed travel restrictions, meaning that fewer people are holidaying abroad. It is predicted that the reduction in commercial flights will result in a 55% drop in passenger revenue for airlines from 2019 levels – this is equivalent to $314 billion.
Public transport is another industry that may take a while to bounce back. Many countries are still advising their citizens against using public transport, except for essential journeys. Even where restrictions have been lifted, there is still a decreased demand for such services, as many people no longer need to commute to work, and there are fewer events and amenities available. For similar reasons, Ubers and cab drivers are also struggling.
The charity sector – despite there being more demand for charity services – is suffering from less volunteers and difficulties in raising funds. Many people may also be less willing to give to charities, since their own financial situations are uncertain. Those that do are more likely to focus on charities that are particularly targeting the casualties of the pandemic, meaning that others are somewhat neglected.
Lockdowns and social distancing policies have also led to difficulties for people working in restaurants, hair salons, gyms, and so on. In fact, many businesses offering non-essential, in-person services have been finding things difficult. The entertainment industry falls under this bracket, with theatres, cinemas and sports venues all having been subjected to closures and restrictions. Non-essential retail stores, too, have at times been forced to either shut down or rely entirely on online sales – this has been particularly devastating for smaller, independent enterprises.
Deloitte offer Covid-19 sector heatmaps, covering a number of countries. Using this resource, you can quickly see how different sectors are faring in your area. Be wary of jobs in industries that are still marked in red, as they may be difficult to get and subject to risk.
Which sectors are resilient?
So, now we’ve considered the sectors that are struggling, let’s take a look at those with a more positive outlook. For example, supermarket/grocery retail sales are flourishing. This makes sense, since people have been unable to eat out in restaurants and pubs. In the UK, supermarkets have taken on more than 50,000 workers since the pandemic began – offering both temporary and full-time roles.
There is also an increased demand for warehouse pickers and delivery drivers, as more people have been shopping online. For example, Amazon has created 15,000 more jobs across the UK, and delivery company Hermes is creating another 10,500. Large goods vehicle drivers are similarly needed, as more items are being transported to warehouses and supermarkets.
There are also opportunities for cleaners. In some countries, cleaners were unable to work during the peak of the pandemic, but they are now needed more than ever, both in domestic and business settings. This may be down to the increased emphasis on good hygiene, as a means of preventing the spread of the virus.
Another sector looking to recruit more workers is the healthcare industry, since battling the pandemic takes time, resources and personnel – and many healthcare systems were already struggling, even before Covid-19 appeared. Doctors, nurses and social care providers are all highly sought after. If you don’t have the qualifications or skillset for these positions, you may be able to take on a support staff role instead. Another option would be to join a company that manufactures personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and masks, as sales of these have skyrocketed.
Although many in-person exercise classes have been cancelled, there are opportunities for people willing to host online sessions. The current focus on good mental health, as well as physical health, makes such services popular. Following this train of thought, it fits that manufacturers and retailers of home gym equipment have also seen a booming trade.
As the pandemic drags on, people seem eager to re-establish their old routines, and companies have adapted their services accordingly. Workshops have been moved online, and events have been made virtual. There have also been numerous innovative start-ups, catering specifically for socially distanced audiences. Think about which companies are likely to survive in the current climate and whether your existing skillset can be adapted to better suit a more sustainable career path. Alternatively, this could be your opportunity to think outside the box and start your own business, before larger companies can fully implement new ways of working to suit their customers’ needs.
A final example of an expanding sector is IT and digital technology. Web developers, online security specialists and software engineers are all in high demand, and digital skills are required in all sorts of industries. As mentioned above, the market is changing, and many people would argue that technology is the way forwards. If you have limited experience in this area, then you may still find opportunities, as many tech companies offer a range of non-tech jobs, such as in sales, marketing and finance. Also, it is never too late to retrain, and you may find that you already possess a number of key transferrable skills.
In conclusion, there are still jobs available, but it’s important to consider the present state of affairs as you conduct your search. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has had a devastating effect on many industries and livelihoods, but it has also taught us how to adapt and get creative. Some businesses have even made significant gains, especially those that have used technology to increase their reach and adapt their services. Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that, since more companies are offering remote work, many roles are no longer location dependent. Perhaps this could even be your chance to become a digital nomad. Whatever your qualifications and aspirations, there are plenty of opportunities out there, so keep an open mind and try to stay positive. After all, it has never been so important to pull together and help bolster the economy.