Why 10 million Americans will have to switch careers after the pandemic

When pundits discuss the state of the economy (especially lately) they often omit the relevant emotional contributors. Stock market performance, GDP, and job growth aren’t the only determinants of a healthy economic system. They’re reliable ways to gauge a country’s standing on the global stage no doubt, but we have to review more intimate indicators to determine the stability of the everyday American laborer.

We have to take things like suicide and depression rates, unemployment, homelessness, and comorbidities into account.

You might have read somewhere that this past May was the best month for job growth ever recorded in The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ eighty-year history.

The same analysis reported that total separations decreased by 5.8 million to 4.1 million.

While that’s true, only a few key industries enjoyed this surplus.

Moreover, because workers were incorrectly listed as “employed but not at work,” as opposed to unemployed on temporary layoff in census reports, unemployment rates are actually higher than previously suggested.

When assessed correctly, the unemployment rate in the US  was actually around 19.2% in April and 16.1% in May (excluding seasonal adjustments.)

Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin conceded that the real unemployment rate could already be at 25% this past Sunday. Mnuchin expects this number to increase dramatically in the coming months.

In any case, in addition to careers that allow workers to work remotely, like accounting, legal services, and programming, below are the jobs that are currently expanding:

Restaurant and bartenders 

Added 1.4 million jobs in May  

Construction workers

Added 464,000 in May

Retail workers

Added  367,800 jobs in May  

Factory workers

Added 225,000 jobs in May 

Delivery and laundry workers

Added 182,300 jobs in May 


added 68,400 jobs in June

As benefits provided by the CARES ACT come to a close (July 31st), hospitality and retail industries will begin to lose customers in droves.

We have to think about the underrepresented groups that occupy these positions. African American, Hispanic and lower-class populations will undoubtedly endure the worst of the looming economic downturn.

“The fastest reallocation of labor since World War II” and causing the elimination of millions of jobs. It finds that “42 percent of recent layoffs will result in permanent job loss.” -The Becker Friedman Institute of the University of Chicago

Roughly, 15,242 preliminary claims were filed by black workers in the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) compared to the 12,336 filed by white workers and 4,715 from other people who chose not to identify their race.

Laura Goren, research director at VEC, is concerned about the similarities shared between are burgeoning job crisis and the ones reported during the Great Recession. “Black workers lost jobs at a very high rate and it took a long time for the unemployment rate to come down for Black workers to normal levels,” Goren explained, “Much the same is happening now.”

Already unemployment rates are skyrocketing for everyone, nationwide.

In California, employment in medical offices decreased by 159,300 jobs (18%) from February to April.

Nationwide, employment in outpatient care fell by roughly 1.3 million jobs, from February to April, and in June also remained 7% below pre-crisis levels.

According to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, ten million American workers will need to find a new line of work before the Covid-19 crisis comes to an end.

Fifty-percent of jobs have been lost since March and many of these are unlikely to return in the near future.

Research has shown that the longer people remain unemployed, the less likely they are to search for work.

“The exhaustion of UI benefits may cause a jump in just how discouraged people are about finding work, leading them to exert less effort on it.  “Noting that recent research from the French labor market found a similar dynamic,” Jason Faberman, senior economist at the Chicago Fed explained in a release.