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October 28, 2020 Association Marketing During COVID-19: What Industries are Hiring Now? Sergio Garcia - Marketing Manager

Association Marketing During COVID-19: What Industries are Hiring Now?

There’s no doubt that we’re living in a new normal. Television shows that previously had a live audience now have a backdrop of viewers tuned in through Zoom. The biggest conferences of the year have gone virtual. Seeing a coworker join a Zoom meeting from an office versus a living room is eerily strange. 

So much change has occurred throughout 2020 that it’s hard to keep up. The most significant change that’s taken place is the job market. At the top of the year, the US enjoyed a healthy unemployment rate of 3.6%. 

Fast forward to present day and the US unemployment rate is at an alarming 8% high. A diverse array of industries were left reeling due to social distancing laws meant to protect from further spread of the novel Coronavirus. 

  • Leisure and hospitality: This industry unsurprisingly faced the most substantial impact. A whopping 68.89% of workers faced either a reduction in hours, complete closure, or layoff.
  • Food services: 63.83% of workers experienced closures, layoffs, or reduced hours. Some restaurants were able to remain open for takeout and curbside pickup, but on-premises dining was banned. This meant that most restaurants could only operate with a very small team.
  • Construction: 58.7% of workers faced reduced hours, layoffs, or workplace closures. Non-essential construction was ordered to stop across a number of states and customers discontinued projects due to either financial uncertainty or fear of contracting the virus.
  • Retail: 58% of retail workers were not able to continue doing their jobs, facing reduced hours, closures of stores, or layoffs.
  • Sports and performing arts: Performing arts and spectator sports lost 45.4% of jobs in the early stages of the pandemic. Theaters, orchestra halls, and sports arenas closed to flatten the curve. Some sporting associations have begun airing games with no in-person crowds but still struggle with new cases.

The reality is, the pandemic continues to plague society as new cases are beginning to increase once again worldwide. As various countries, and industries, attempt to adapt to the new normal in an effort to reopen, the spike in new cases has caused more businesses to close their doors yet again. 

Many professionals who were temporarily laid off are now experiencing permanent job loss as companies close their doors or are forced to downsize due to economic pressures. In September, 2.9 million Americans were left permanently unemployed. As of the beginning of October, that number has jumped to 4 million. 

Now this may paint a grim picture for online recruitment, however some industries have thrived during the pandemic. Knowing not only what industries are hiring, but also what specific job titles are in high demand will enable you to identify how to strategically promote your career center to employers. 

Industries Hiring Now

Life in lockdown and social distancing has changed society; how we shop, communicate, the resources we use, entertainment, and so much more. This has allowed certain industries to thrive. 

Here’s a list of industries that are hiring now. You can use this insight to identify whether your organization is in a prime position to target employers for job advertising. 

Hardware and networking

During the job crash of April, when just about every industry cut a plethora of jobs, hiring according to LinkedIn rose a remarkable 2.3% for semiconductor makers, internet service providers, wireless firms and makers of networking gear.

Small biz jobs

The hiring rate for small businesses ticked up 0.4% in May, noting that small businesses initially cut workers in the recession and now may be recovering sooner than predicted. By contrast, larger companies with more than 10,000 workers pared back 39.6%. 


With many hospitals and clinics across the country overloaded, many are increasing staff in key areas. Of course, many healthcare professions require specific training, licenses, or certifications which provides significant opportunities for organizations in this industry to boost advertising sales and have relevant job opportunities for members. 

Warehousing and delivery

Goods delivery companies - from giants like Amazon to your local pet store - are seeing huge increases in demand. They need workers in their warehouses and delivery teams to help meet the increased demand. Some businesses hire their own delivery drivers and some use services such as UPS, FedEx, or the postal service. 


With many people shopping online - and many avoiding public areas - grocery, pharmacies, clothing and related stores are busier than ever. Many are ramping up curbside pickup or delivery options and need more employees to fulfill orders. 

IT support

With so much of the workforce now working from home, businesses across the country are struggling to meet the IT needs of their telecommuters. 

Looking even deeper into available data, LinkedIn shared the top 10 most in demand jobs since the pandemic.

Jobs in demand: 

1. Salesperson 

2. Food Delivery Driver 

3. Registered Nurse 

4. Software Engineer 

5. Store Associate 

6. Cashier 

7. Financial Advisor 

8. Stock Clerk 

9. Training Supervisor 

10. Project Manager

In demand remote jobs: 

1. Software Engineer 

2. Software Architect 

3. DevOps Engineer 

4. Account Manager 

5. Back End Developer 

6. Project Manager 

7. Account Executive 

8. Sales Manager 

9. Sales Development Representative 

10. Full Stack Engineer

Does your membership consist of experienced professionals in this field? If so, you’re in a prime position to boost non-dues revenue by increasing your average order value from advertisers. 

Digital Upskilling, Reskilling, and New careers

The other aspect of knowing what job titles are in demand is that it can help fuel member acquisition.

Professionals in the industries that have been hit hardest are beginning to seek out entirely new careers in fields that are currently in demand.

As the pandemic continues, causing more temporary job losses to become permanent, a small but growing number of laid-off and working Americans in hard-hit industries like food service, retail and travel are switching careers. 

Many are transitioning to sectors that have thrived during the pandemic, such as technology, health care, real estate, banking, warehousing and delivery.

Retail workers are transitioning their customer service skills into medical assistant roles. Front desk clerks in hospitality are becoming loan officers. Oil-field workers are applying for truck driver jobs. 

In fact, 63% of workers who have lost their job due to the pandemic have changed industry and 4% have changed their field or overall career path, according to a Harris Poll survey.

If you look at the list of in-demand remote jobs, the majority require technical digital skills.

Many unemployed professionals are recognizing this and are adapting by taking courses to acquire digital skills.

This is called “Digital upskilling” and to be fair this isn't a new concept. In fact, corporate giant Amazon announced a $700 million initiative to boost the digital skills of its workforce last year. PwC rolled out its own $3 billion program, and a flurry of other corporate giants from Nationwide to Home Depot to IBM are all doing the same. Verizon has partnered with nonprofit organization Generation to close the opportunity gap for American workers and expand access to digital skills.

Digital upskilling may not be new, but what is new is that the COVID-19 pandemic has pressed the fast-forward button, accelerating the tech shift in the workforce. 

The combination of demand from employers for professionals with digital skills and millions of unemployed Americans seeking new careers creates a unique opportunity for associations.

Opportunity: Promoting Your Career Center 

The pandemic has caused changes in how Americans are navigating unemployment.

About 12 million people have had some kind of contact this year with local government career centers, which help the jobless navigate unemployment and job searches. Now, that is up from about 8.5 million last year but well below levels during the Great Recession.

Also, community colleges, which is usually the go-to resource for professionals seeking to retrain for new opportunities, have seen enrollment fall 7.5% this year, according to the The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Typically, enrollment surges during a downturn.

Local government career centers have likely been impacted by Americans’ fear of visiting gathering spots in person. Community colleges have likely been impacted by financial issues, with unemployed Americans being unable to afford, or unwilling to spend on, tuition fees.

Due to this, most of those 4 million unemployed Americans will search online for brand new career opportunities, information on courses to change their skill set, and information on getting started in a new industry. 

Your career center should be the go-to resource for these individuals. You’ll be providing an incredibly valuable resource when they need it most. This can heavily impact your membership growth efforts. 

To make the most of this opportunity you’ll need to ensure your career center is equipped with a comprehensive suite of solutions. You’ll need powerful SEO to make your career center easily discoverable on Google. Your career center should be able to host content that targets relevant keywords.

You’ll also need to ensure your career center shows up on Google for Jobs as more unemployed Americans expand their job search into your industry. 

You’ll also need to provide a suite of solutions for employers like employer branding, skills assessment tools, and much more. 

Final Thoughts

We are already living a new normal. Corporations like Verizon, Amazon, and PwC are aware of it and are bridging the gap with resources. Unemployed Americans are aware of it and are changing their careers to adapt. 

Associations have a rare opportunity to get ahead of the curve by providing a highly valuable member benefit in a career center. As millions of unemployed professionals start searching online for information and resources, consider auditing your career center to see if it's equipped to make the most of this opportunity. If not, then it’s time to see what options are out there.