While 2020 was a disappointing year for many businesses due to the mass layoffs and economic downturn caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Q4 of 2020 showed record levels of both job seeker activity and employer demand, data from Talroo Insights shows.
The daily average of live job postings in the fulfillment & distribution industry on Talroo’s platform increased nearly 400% from March 2020 to December 2020. Daily searches for fulfillment & distribution more than doubled since their lowest point of the pandemic, in May. Perhaps more surprisingly, total job seeker views on these jobs have increased significantly when compared to the same time last year. Q4 job views increased by nearly 20% YoY.
Much of the activity has been for jobs that support delivering goods “the last mile” – the workforce that goes right up to consumers’ front doors and has kept the country running throughout the pandemic: warehouse & logistics professionals and “gig economy” delivery drivers. The number of job seekers looking for these jobs has increased as other previously reliable industries suffered a major downturn, specifically in travel, hospitality, and food & beverage.
“We are seeing more active job seekers and a higher volume of job postings, but the industries have shifted. We’ve really seen a huge labor reallocation, specifically to industries that are providing and supporting e-commerce supply chains and neighborhood delivery services,” said Talroo CEO Thad Price.
The 2020 holiday season challenged many industries to ramp up hiring to a nearly impossible level – as was witnessed by FedEx, UPS, and the United States Postal Service struggling to hire enough people to withstand the holiday surge – even with a 6.7% unemployment rate. Walmart offered an unprecedented starting hourly wage of $15.75 - $23.75 for seasonal workers, and Amazon offered signing bonuses of up to $3,000.
The last quarter of 2020 also saw some bold business moves from big players in the gig economy. DoorDash went public, and Uber acquired Postmates, doubling down on its investment in food delivery through Uber Eats. As the pandemic stretches into 2021, the demand for goods and services directly to consumers’ homes shows no signs of receding.