The Atlanta-based staffing firm Randstad released a recent survey looking at the COVID-19-influenced labor market. Despite record numbers of unemployment nationwide, Randstad Senior Vice President Jennifer Seith said it’s becoming hard to fill some new positions driven by the pandemic.
She told “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress that nonexistent jobs, or ones that weren’t in demand before, are now highly sought-after.
“So contact tracers, medical screeners obviously have come into demand. Those were jobs that didn’t exist a few months ago,” Seith said.
“We’re also seeing a massive increase for demand in loan processors and underwriters, in finance and accounting jobs. Then you really get into the manufacturing and logistics. As you can imagine, people who are working from home, shopping from home, there’s a lot more need for delivery.”
She said one of the most interesting results to come out of the pandemic is that there’s not enough of an applicant pool to meet that demand. She believes that is directly related to the federal CARES Act and stimulus packages and unemployment benefits households have relied on for months.
“We’ve seen a dramatic drop in people applying for lower-wage and blue-collar positions,” she said.
Seith noted despite many open positions in the job market, one of the biggest barriers is child care, and parents becoming overwhelmed during the pandemic. Randstad data reveals that many are grappling with whether or not they should think about bouncing back into the job market right away.
“Any of us who are parents understand we’re all trying to figure out what normal looks like,” Seith said, adding that after the pandemic the market will face a surge of millions of new applicants.