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April 2020 Jobs Report

April 2020 Jobs Report: Jobs Fall by 20.5 Million

In April, another 20.5 million jobs were lost because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This decline is the biggest loss since the Great Depression and a massive leap from March’s loss of 870,000 jobs. This surge in job losses comes as no surprise as more than 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment claims since the end of March. The unemployment rate also ticked up 10.3%, for a total unemployment rate of 14.7% in March. This unemployment rate is the largest month-to-month increase since the BLS started tracking these statistics. Here is a brief overview of the April Jobs Report.

April 2020 Jobs Report Summary

These job losses are over double the losses recorded during the 2008 financial crises and the steepest decline since the government began recording this data in 1939. After the 2008 Financial Crises, the U.S. added 22.8 million jobs in a decade, but sadly, the Coronavirus has wiped out (at least temporarily) a decade’s worth of gains.

The industries hit the hardest last month was Leisure and Hospitality (7.7 million), Education and Health Services (2.5 million), Professional and Business Services (2.1 million), Retail Trade (2.1 million), Manufacturing (1.3 million), Government (980,000), and Construction (975,000).

Despite all of the job losses, average hourly earnings increased by $1.34, to $30.01 an hour. This increase is the result of essential workers earning hazard pay and lower-paid workers, unfortunately, losing their jobs.

Job Gain Revisions

In both February and March, total nonfarm payroll employment was revised down. In February, job gains revised down from +275,000 to +230,000, and in March, job losses revised from -701,000 to -870,000. These combined changes were 214,000 jobs lower than previously reported.

Light at the end of the tunnel

There is no disputing the stark outlook based on statistics from the BLS over the last three months. However, on a more positive note, we should hopefully start seeing a comeback in several states. In fact, 19 states are now only in a partial lockdown and are beginning to reopen. In states like these, thousands of Americans will thankfully get back to work and return to a little normalcy. Some of the businesses that have been hit hardest, such as restaurants, dental offices, and construction, can open back up. That is a significant step in the right direction for our country.

The curves are starting to flatten in many states; it finally feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are all in this together and must continue to be patient. We will overcome this and come out stronger and more united as a nation.

How To Prove Your Value During Tough Economic Times

How To Prove Your Value During Tough Economic Times

With unemployment claims topping 43+ million in the United States alone, there’s no doubt that we are weathering some challenging economic times. If you are fortunate enough to be still employed, but you’re concerned about job security, this article is for you. Here are four steps you can take now to prove your value and increase your job security starting today.

Demonstrate Flexibility

The number one value-added skill you can have during uncertain times is flexibility. Being adaptable day by day will allow you to fulfill needs wherever and whenever they arise. As a result, long-term projects that you had been planning may need to be put on the back-burner. Weekly meetings may need to be virtual if you’re practicing social distancing. Some business practices may need to be streamlined with a slim workforce. Show that you can go with the flow by being flexible in all areas of your job.

Brainstorm New Ideas

Difficult circumstances are an excellent breeding ground for innovation. Think outside the box and voice your ideas whenever possible. Even if it doesn’t concern your job or even department, everyone appreciates an outsider’s perspective. Collaboration will continue to be how we weather challenging times.

Add Relevant Skills

A foolproof way to ensure job security is by increasing your value as an employee. One great way to do this is by acquiring some new skills in your downtime. Take your lunch hour to listen to industry-related podcasts, or complete an online course on helpful software. Even just do a few extra Google searches to improve your proficiency in the programs you already use!

Go Above And Beyond

Now is not the time for “that’s not in my job description.” (Not that there ever was a good time to say that!) Just like you, your employer and your coworkers are facing new challenges daily. Take this opportunity to step up and help someone who is struggling to complete a project or a task that has gone uncompleted for a while.

While you certainly are a valuable team member all the time, difficult circumstances may require you to shine a little brighter and prove your value to ensure job security. Keep doing everything you’re great at, and be on the lookout for opportunities to excel.

You Need To Interview Differently, Starting Today

You Need To Interview Differently, Starting Today

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has changed the hiring landscape. The effects of this pandemic will be felt throughout organizations for years to come, and it will permanently change how we do business. One thing you can start changing now is how you interview. By making a few adjustments, you’ll be able to continue hiring talented candidates during uncertain times. Try incorporating these three things into your interview process while hiring for your next role to get ahead of your competition!

Be Open To Long-Distance Hiring

Gone are the days of flying candidates across the country to interview for a position. We do not know how long the effects of the Coronavirus will last. Even after the threat of COVID-19 has passed, it will be good practice to limit exposure as much as possible. In order to hire top talent before your competition, we are coaching our clients on how to hire virtually. Over the phone or via a video conference, you can still get a thorough understanding of whether someone will be a good fit for the position or not. It all comes down to asking the right questions.

Stop Grilling Candidates About Employment Gaps

With unemployment claims now reaching over 33 million, there will be just as many gaps on resumes. It’s time we stop judging candidates on resume gaps or presumed “job hopping.” Instead, focus on the value they can add to your team. To ensure that they are in it for the long haul, be sure to ask questions about why they want this position, and where they see themselves in the future. (It’s okay to press for more in-depth, realistic answers to these questions to make an accurate assessment!)

Be Upfront About PTO & Benefits

In the past, it was considered in poor taste for candidates to ask about PTO and benefits during an interview. However, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, these policies have become more than just “work perks.” Moving forward, candidates will want to ensure that they can take adequate time to heal and recover or care for family members. They will also be comparing company benefits such as healthcare, 401k matching, and wellness initiatives. It will work to your advantage to explain your benefits package during the interview. As a result, candidates can make an informed decision about the next step in their career.

For more articles on the Coronavirus and how it is affecting the job market, head here.

digital toolkit

Upgrade Your Digital Toolkit

With COVID-19 forcing the majority of professionals to work remotely, the workplace has become much more digitally focused. The digital trends that are directly stemming from the Coronavirus outbreak include a 40 percent spike in e-commercenearly a third of Americans currently working from home, and a mindblowing 70 percent increase in internet usage! As a result, hiring is more digitalized than ever before. This trend is introducing remote hiring, video interviews, and more! Our society is embracing these technologies as millions are working remotely, and this trend will likely not cease. Now, more than ever, it’s time to spruce up your digital arsenal. Here are four ways to upgrade your digital toolkit to launch your job search.

A Quality LinkedIn

With the increase in online hiring and job searching, it is essential that your LinkedIn is accurate, clean, and professional. This is often your first impression for potential employers, so make sure that your profile picture is professional, your experience is accurate, and your skills are neatly displayed on your profile.

A Personal Website/Portfolio

Having a personal website or online portfolio will set you above your competition. It’s like a digital resume that shows off more of your personality and skills, while also showing off examples of your work. This is an excellent way to illustrate your skills and convince a hiring manager to hire YOU! Utilize any of the free website creation platforms like Wix, GoDaddy, or Squarespace to quickly and easily build an online portfolio or personal website.

Digital Skills

Along with this digital shift emerge a few essential skills you must hone. Some skills you can gain through online resources, like your local library or online tutorials. Other skills, you can only build through actual field experience. Overall, in this digital world, digital skills are no longer a plus; they are an expectation. Take some time during quarantine to increase your digital literacy and readiness. Take a free course in web development or learn the basics of Photoshop to add some useful skill sets to your digital toolkit.

Video chat capabilities

Video chat has become the new norm for how we meet and interact; it makes us feel like we are actually getting that human connection we are accustomed to. With that being said, your laptop, phone, or tablet must have a video chat function. You can utilize apps like Facetime, Zoom, Skype, or any other face-to-face technology. Video interviewing is becoming normalized, so you’ll need these capabilities to foster those meaningful conversations! And if you don’t have any of these technologies, be sure you have a friend or family member that is nice enough to allow you to borrow for any upcoming video interviews!

If you’re looking for more resources to bolster your digital toolkit as you commence your job search, check out our Career Kickoff Series. We have tons of helpful tips and advice to help you with this next phase of your career!

Should You Accept Any Job

Plan B: Should You Accept Any Job?

Due to several states indefinitely extending their stay at home orders, another 3.84 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits, according to the Department of Labor. That brings the total of unemployed workers to over 30 million in just six weeks. As a result, many Americans that are out of work are considering pursuing a side gig or temporary job with an essential employer. However, numerous workers contemplating this career shift are skeptical because they are worried about explaining it to a new employer down the road. And on the other foot, some workers are feeling obligated to accept an “odd job” because they are worried about having an employment gap on their resume. Here’s a brief overview discussing if you should accept any job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers are less concerned with unemployment woes

Back twenty or thirty years ago, having an employment gap was a red flag to employers. If you were out of work for a few months, it drew concerns with hiring managers. Fast forward to today, employers are less worried if you have a gap in your work history, to an extent. We are all in this together. If you are out of work for a few months because of COVID-19, that is perfectly acceptable, and most employers will understand as they, too, were impacted by the virus. As long as you can explain your employment gap in an interview, you will be fine. If the question arises, keep your answer positive and honest. If you were laid off due to the coronavirus and decide to take a few months to hone a skill and think about a new career path, that’s great!

Don’t fail to pursue a temp job out of fear

Many Americans are paranoid about pursing a temp job at a grocery or hardware store during this time because they are concerned about explaining this shift in their career to a future employer. That’s just nonsense! Don’t let an old stigma prevent you from what’s doing what’s right for you and your family. If you need the money or want to lend a helping hand during this pandemic, pat yourself on the back. You should put yourself above what a prospective employer thinks. If you need a job to pay the bills, accepting a “plan b” job is 100% appropriate, given the global pandemic we are all going through. Again, we are all in this together. So, almost every employer will understand your decision to take on a new role temporarily to provide for your family.

If an employer is not cool with you doing what’s best for you, you probably don’t want to work for them anyway. And on a positive note, accepting a job out of your comfort zone to pay the bills will be a testament to your character. It illustrates resiliency, adaptability, and a solid work ethic. So, don’t be afraid to accept any job during this pandemic.

We can help during these difficult times

So, should you accept any job? That answer is completely up to you and your current situation. There is still a lot of uncertainty right now. Some states are beginning to open back up, but others are extending their closure indefinitely. If you are curious about pursuing a new role during these challenging times, check out our job board. We have hundreds of job opportunities with employers that will be grateful for your service!

Industries Hiring During the Pandemic

Five Industries Hiring New Grads During the Pandemic

The Coronavirus is affecting everyone, from how we work to how we play. Yet, for new grads, it’s transforming even more than that; it’s changing the next exciting post-college chapter. The pandemic has delayed and abruptly canceled post-graduation trips, senior year events, athletic seasons, and, on top of all of that, it has changed the job search. Some companies are still hiring while others are on a hiring-freeze, so landing a job right out of college may be more complicated than it appeared to be at the beginning of the year.

While the post-graduation unknown can get you down, the most important thing to do is not panic. You are not alone; students everywhere are facing the same adversity as you. But, if you want a job right out of college, you might have to alter your career path slightly. Plenty of job opportunities still exist, and while it might not be exactly what you thought you’d be doing, it’s a great way to gain invaluable experience, hone some new skills, make a living, and get your foot in the door. So many industries are still hiring, and some are even kicking their hiring up a notch. Here are five industries that are hiring new grads during the pandemic.

Information Technology

It’s no surprise that IT is hiring right now. The information technology space, including software engineering, hardware engineering, and tech support, are hiring like crazy with the increased reliance on remote work. During the pandemic, many companies have been struggling to convert and support the technological needs of their remote teams. As a result, thousands of employers are adding IT Professionals to their teams.

E-Commerce

Online shopping and shipping/delivery companies are more prominent now than ever, with millions of Americans staying home in quarantine. E-commerce sites are booming as more shoppers purchase everyday items online to safely remain at home. In fact, transaction volume has seen a 74 percent increase! This growth expects to continue throughout the pandemic in all aspects of e-commerce, from home products to groceries. And as a result of exploding online sales, fulfillment and delivery jobs are soaring. For example, Amazon is looking to hire of 175,000 new workers globally to keep up with demand.

Grocery Stores

Grocery stores were deemed an essential business during quarantine, and they definitely need a helping hand. These stores around the world have experienced a massive increase in hiring. Large companies have claimed they are hiring more than 800,000 employees during this time, and that’s not even taking into account local stores and other large companies that have not released numbers. This is an excellent opportunity to get some experience to gain substantial customer service experience in high-pressure situations.

Online Learning/ Tutoring

If you are receiving an education degree, this might be an excellent opportunity to expand your skills to the online market. Getting a job at an online learning studio or tutoring company will make a difference while students are unable to attend school. Shifting your career path toward online tutoring during this time illustrates your passion for teaching and helping others, even during times of agony.

Healthcare

Healthcare is one of the largest industries hiring during the pandemic. These professionals are absolutely essential to combating this crisis. Forbes claims that “healthcare-related workers are in the most demand with the highest level of job openings on the professional networking platform.” Moreover, the job in the highest demand right now is a registered nurse (RN), according to Glassdoor. So, if you are graduating from med school or a nursing program, now is a great time to be thrown into the field because you will get once in a lifetime healthcare experience while doing your part to help others during COVID-19.

Put your skills to good use

There are dozens of industries hiring during the pandemic, more than you may think. Being a new grad in this situation can be tough to navigate, but the route of your career path is not always straight and may experience quite a few bumps and turns. If you remain flexible and patient, you will come out of this pandemic more hirable than before. You can gain skills employers are looking for, like adaptability; so, hone some of these skills by utilizing your talent in unexpected industries.

Make New Employees Feel Welcomed Virtually

How to Make New Employees Feel Welcomed Virtually

As challenging as it is to picture, companies are still hiring during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, for many employers, it’s business as usual. Therefore, you may find your team hiring new employees at a time when, according to LinkedIn, roughly two-thirds of employees are now working from home. Here are three things you can do to make your newest team members feel welcomed virtually.

Send them a care package

On a typical first day of work, you walk into your new workspace and find a friendly welcome package. Maybe it’s a company-branded coffee mug and t-shirt, or perhaps a notebook, pens, and other office supplies. Regardless of what you gift your new employees, it’s always a nice touch to make them feel welcomed on their first day. So, instead of hooking them up with some company swag at work, send them a little care package with some fun items. This will make them feel part of the team and put a big smile on their face. You can even include a hand-written note to express your excitement for them to join your team and make them feel welcomed virtually!

Schedule a team meeting (virtually)

Another thing you can do to welcome your new co-workers is to schedule a team meeting with everyone on their first day. Usually, on the first day at a new job, you get to walk around the office to get a lay of the land and meet everyone. Well, this is clearly more challenging when most of us are working remotely, Instead, set up a Microsoft Teams or Zoom meetings so everyone can get acquainted with the new folks. Have your team spend a few minutes introducing themselves and explain their role at the company. This will give your new workers a better feel for the office environment and make them more comfortable with their new team.

Employee spotlight

Another easy way to make your new employees feel welcomed virtually is to write up a little employee spotlight on them. Take a few minutes to interview your new teammate and ask them a few questions. Ask them questions that give the rest of the team a little background on their career and their interests outside of work. You can also add a link to their LinkedIn profile and encourage your team to connect with them. Then, you can send out this spotlight to the rest of the team and allow them to “meet” the new employees.

Want to see some examples? We have tons of employee spotlights on our great staff members at JSG!

Hiring new workers is difficult during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, these are three simple things you can do to make your new employees feel welcomed, even if their first day is remote.

April 2020 JOLTS Report

April 2020 JOLTS Report: 6.9 Million Job Openings

The April 2020 JOLTS Report was released this week, and on the last business day of February, there were 6.9 million job openings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Throughout the month, hires and separations held steady from January with 5.9 million and 5.6 million, respectively. The quit rate was also consistent at 2.3%. Clearly, these numbers do not reflect the full effect of the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s good to note that the labor market was holding firm before the virus hit the labor force.

Overview of April 2020 JOLTS Report

  • Job Openings: 6.9 million
  • Hires: 5.9 million
  • Separations: 5.6 million
    • Quits: 3.5 million
    • Involuntary: 1.8 million
    • Quit Rate: 2.3%
  • Net Employment Gain: 2.4 million

February picked up where January left off

February 2020 continued the hot streak from the month prior. Before the COVID-19 outbreak was in full swing, Americans continued to show their confidence in the labor market by voluntarily leaving their jobs to pursue other opportunities. This is demonstrated through a consistent quit rate from month-to-month (2.3%) in February. Involuntary quits were also little changed, illustrating that furloughs due to the virus had yet to take effect on American employers in February.

Net employment change

Over the last year (ending in February), hires totaled 70.3 million, and separations equaled 67.9 million. As a result, the net employment gain as of February was 2.4 million. If you pair this with February’s impressive job gains of 275,000, the labor market was humming along nicely in the first two months of 2020.

Obviously, these numbers will look much starker in the following reports from the BLS as more employers furlough their employees during social distancing and shelter in place orders. However, there are still jobs out there, and many employers are in desperate need of essential workers, especially healthcare organizations. If you are searching for a new opportunity at this time, don’t give up hope. Take a deep breath and reach out to our recruiting team. We can help you get back to work during these trying times. We have hundreds of job opportunities across the country with employers that are ready to hire quickly. And if you’re an employer struggling to control your staffing shortage, reach out to us today. We have the reach to help you find the talent you need during these difficult times. At Johnson Service Group, we work hard, we work together, and we work for YOU.

March 2020 Jobs Report

March 2020 Jobs Report: Jobs Fall by 701,000, Unemployment at 4.4%

In March, jobs fell by 701,000, showing the wreckage caused by the coronavirus crisis. Last month is the first time the BLS has reported a loss in jobs since September 2010. This is no surprise as unemployment claims spiked to 6.6 million (from March 22-28) as Americans struggle to cope with the economic impact of COVID-19. As a result, the unemployment rate surged to 4.4%, the highest rate since August 2017.

Let’s take a brief look at the March 2020 Jobs Report

The industry that was hit the hardest from the COVID-19 pandemic was the Leisure and Hospitality industry, with a loss of 459,000 jobs. That’s nearly two-thirds of the total job losses for March. Most of these job losses are from bars and restaurants that are sadly forced to close during the shutdown to help flatten the curve of the virus. However, as soon as these establishments can open up their doors again, the majority of these jobs will return.

Other industries hit hard by the virus were Healthcare (-61,000), Professional & Business Services (-52,000) Retail Trade (-46,000), and Construction (-29,000). Employment for the Federal Government actually rose by 18,000 jobs as the U.S. prepares to facilitate the 2020 Census.

Despite all this negativity, average hourly earnings continued to rise with an $0.11 increase to $28.62 per hour. Over the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1%.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic

Before the pandemic sweeping the world, the labor market was holding steady, with jobs gains averaging +243,000 jobs over the prior three months. And in February alone, job gains clocked in at a mind-blowing 275,000 jobs. The unemployment rate was also sitting pretty at 3.5% – a 50-year low. And in 2019, average monthly job gains equaled 178,000 jobs. In other words, the economy and job market were humming along strongly until the pandemic.

Stay calm and stay patient

Yes, there is no disputing that these numbers are devasting. And this is just the begging as economists believe the March 2020 Jobs Report is only an indication of what’s to come in April. But social distancing is working. Data from California and Washington state show that “Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders are helping to flatten the curve of new cases. The sooner we overcome this virus, the sooner we can all go back to work. Yes, this virus is keeping people from working, but if we take the proper precautions, we can overcome this battle and return to our everyday lives.

Candidate Experience

How To Hire Virtually & Offer A Great Candidate Experience

Across the globe, millions of people are finding themselves in a new working environment: their homes. Over 158 million workers are now working from home under quarantine due to the coronavirus. As a result, recruiters, hiring managers, and talent acquisition professionals must adjust their hiring strategies as they continue to hire new employees virtually. Here are a few ways your team can generate a great candidate experience while working remotely.

Be clear about your hiring process

There is a lot of uncertainty right now, and things are constantly changing every day. It’s essential now more than ever to be clear about your hiring process with your candidates. You can start this communication as early in the process as the job description. Many companies are already doing this by adding a blurb in the job description that clarifies their process.

For example, if you’re willing to hire remote at this moment and want the candidate to transition on-site once we are over the hill with COVID-19, state that in the job description. Or, if you hire now but wait a few weeks to onboard due to a state-wide “stay at home” order, clarify that in the job description. It’s crucial to be clear about your intentions with your candidates.

And if there are any changes in your hiring process (which are likely to happen), communicate that with all of your candidates. A great example is an email Google sent out to all their candidates about switching to video interviews:

“In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and to protect our candidates’ and interviewers’ health and wellbeing, we will be conducting all Google interviews globally virtually via Google Hangout (or BlueJeans for applicable countries) for the foreseeable future.”

Be opened minded about hiring over video

Speaking of video interviews, many companies are finding themselves switching to virtual interviews instead of face-to-face. This may be a regular step in your hiring process or a brand-new concept. Either way, your team should be open to hiring over video at this time. Many companies have policies in place against hiring over a video call.  However, during these trying times, we suggest permitting hiring over video. It may feel a little weird or uncomfortable, but we don’t know when we’ll overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is no reason to halt your hiring efforts over this. If you need the staff now, take a step out of your comfort zone, and hire candidates virtually. This will help ensure you don’t miss out on great talent that will likely move on to another opportunity that’s willing to hire virtually.

Showcase a positive candidate experience

During these times, it’s crucial to showcase your company culture to your candidates. When you host face-to-face interviews, a candidate can get a sense of your company’s culture. However, over a video interview or phone call, it’s more challenging to show off your team’s culture. In other words, you must go out of your way to make it easier for a candidate to get a glimpse of your culture. For example, send them a video of company events to demonstrate your company culture or links to your social media that may give them a feel for your brand and team.

And if your new hires work remotely for a few weeks because of the coronavirus, send them a care package. Include some company swag, a welcome card, a coffee mug, or other items along these lines. Small gestures like this go a long way with offering a positive candidate experience.