2020 Labor Market Review: Talroo Insights™ Infographic Series

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This year, the world has changed in unimaginable ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has changed the way we live daily life in many ways, and its impact on the economy and job market fundamentally altered life for many Americans. Through it all, Talroo has published real-time data, labor market insights, and analysis of the monthly changes we all went through.

Our award-winning business intelligence tool, Talroo Insights™, enables us to analyze job market data on two fronts: both on the job seeker side and the employer side, identifying job seeker behavior trends, talent supply data, and competitive analysis by industry. This two-sided marketplace, as well as our extensive research on the ongoing pandemic, has allowed for a deep-dive into monthly nationwide changes, state- and city-level analysis on COVID's effects, access to job seeker opinion, and more. Here is our year in review of 2020, a time none of us will soon forget.

Talroo's 2020 Labor Market Infographics recap

In our first infographic of the COVID series, we shed some light on the changing economy and U.S. job market at a time filled with panic and uncertainty. In April, this meant job seeker and job posting activity down in every state. We walk through the states, industries, and city – New York, at the time – most affected by the onset of the pandemic. 

In May, we created a timeline of notable COVID events. From the disease's inception and case growth to job seeker (in)activity to pop culture moments and more, this three-month timeline shows how we got to the highest number of jobless claims since the Great Depression.

This nationwide analysis explains how early May numbers gave people a reason to be cautiously optimistic as unemployment went down while job seeker activity increased in 33 states. At this point, two months into the pandemic, all 50 states in the US had re-opened at least partially. Georgia and Texas were among the first to do so, and they were two of the states who saw increased job seeker volume because of it.

Our analysis of the three largest states by GDP – California, Texas, and New York – details what job posting and searching volume looked like with 19 million people unemployed, over double the unemployment rate of the Great Recession just a decade earlier. We also walk through which companies and industries were hiring at the beginning of the summer.

July was the first time that we went beyond what our two-sided intelligence tool could tell us. We ran a job seeker survey of over 10,000 hourly workers that asked things like when people thought they could get back to work, if they expected to be returning to their old jobs, and whether they'd be comfortable being back in the workplace without a vaccine. This industry-segmented analysis also detailed June's nationwide changes and rising cases affecting the economy as a whole.

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The CARES Act, passed in March, increased unemployment benefits to $600 a week at a time when jobless Americans desperately needed help. These benefits, which expired in July, had major implications for the job market, such as decreased job seeker activity due to many feeling safer getting money at home than risking their lives on the front-line for the same amount (or less) than the government was offering. We walk through the news and another job seeker survey in this month's infographic.

Metropolitan Changes: City-level Labor Market Trends

At this point, almost 6 months into the pandemic, we found that COVID was not only affecting how people live, but where they live. As many virtual workers realized they could work from anywhere and hourly workers struggled to afford urban rent, we saw people flocking to the suburbs. Our city-level analysis of Chicago reveals deeper trends and implications for workers in the nation as a whole.

Warehouse & logistics professionals, delivery drivers, and gig workers fit the description of what we mean when we say "the last mile" – the people who do the work of getting those packages and food to people's doorstep. The pandemic sharply increased our already growing reliance on e-commerce, majorly affecting the type of jobs that constituted this year's holiday hires. We examine the growth of the previously mentioned sectors and analyze other trends at work in a holiday season unlike any other.

By November, anyone in the world would have an understandable reason for feeling utterly exhausted. Job seekers especially were at a low point at this time, with over 60% of them saying they had been searching for a job for over a month. We surveyed about 1,000 people looking for work and gained insights on the factors that were contributing to the labor market's difficulties. We also looked at how states of different political affiliations are seeing a difference in job seeker activity.

To close out 2020, we thought we'd move away from COVID and reach out to a group we hadn't gotten to yet: recruiters. We surveyed over 150 talent acquisition professionals and got their thoughts on major trends in recruiting, their favorite technological advancements in the space, the biggest challenges coming up in 2021, and more, as well as a year-in-review of Insights™ job seeker activity.

2020 wasn't easy for anyone. We hope that our COVID-19 infographic series has helped keep you informed with illuminating research and analysis throughout the pandemic.Our recruiting intelligence tool, Talroo Insights™, normally used to help our clients plan their recruiting strategy, was a great asset to us in a year where job seeker and employer activity was affected by a variety of factors, and changing on a daily basis.

Here's to a happier and healthier new year – for job seekers, employers, and the world.

Topics: Data Insights

Updated December 15, 2020