Present State of the U.S. Job Market: Information for Job Seekers

Whether you are thinking about applying for a new job or have lost your job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a good idea to stay aware of the state of the U.S. job market as you consider your next career move.

While the start of the pandemic saw uncertainty in the job market with a series of layoffs and staff being forced to work from home, current job market data shows that the U.S. market is bouncing back, which is great news for job seekers.

The latest economics news release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a positive overall outlook. The number of people on temporary layoff peaked at 18 million in the earlier stage of the COVID-19 outbreak in April 2020. However, this number has changed drastically since then, with only 1.2 million on temporary layoff as of July 2021.
Total employment rose by 943,000 in July of this year, with the unemployment rate declining 0.5%. This is great news for anyone looking for their next job, as it means that companies are still actively hiring and that there is a demand for workers of every skill set.

However, the ongoing presence of COVID-19 and the subsequent Delta variant have had an impact on hiring and retention in various ways. With more than half of all Americans now fully vaccinated, companies are starting to show a clear preference for vaccinated workers, workers wearing PPE to work, or both.

Despite the high levels of vaccination, the Delta variant has forced companies to reinstate a mask mandate. This has been seen in large companies such as Amazon, JP Morgan, and Walmart. Further, some companies have taken a zero-tolerance approach to vaccination, with CNN firing three employees who went into the office unvaccinated.

If you’re currently job hunting, make sure you ask about company preferences where you are applying and how they will handle any potential closure to make sure you make a decision that works for you. If you haven’t been vaccinated, make sure you ask whether or not vaccination is mandatory, and make sure you ask what your options are if you are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons. Despite all the COVID-19 complications, employment is projected to grow by 6 million additional jobs by 2029. Is it about time you started to consider your next career move?

Although the current pandemic represents an ongoing challenge on multiple employment fronts, there are still opportunities for you to pursue that dream job. This new environment brings with it the challenge of remaining competitive. Make sure you stay ahead of your competition by fine-tuning your resume and preparing to ace your interviews and aptitude test well in advance.