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How will COVID-19 affect the overall job market?

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Daniel’s Answer

Matti –
Very deep and thought-provoking question. Thank you!

No one knows exactly what will happen. The world will change in dramatic new ways after COVID19. Eventually, the virus will leave society. When the virus leaves, pent-up demand in the world could drive economy improvements to bring the world back to pre-virus levels.

Based on what I’ve read:
• Countries, and industries, will be less isolated and more cooperative in sharing information, innovation and resources.
• “Innovators” will introduce “new” things to society.
• Businesses will be more creative and responsive in driving solutions to world issues, hopefully with less bureaucracy.
• It is very likely that people, students, and businesses will want to do more remote work and internet selling/purchases.
• This will include interviews and meetings.
• Work-life balance will increase as a desired employee benefit.
• Some people will want to start their own businesses or leave their current companies.
• Healthcare business will likely be reviewed for improvements.
• Tele-medicine on the internet will be promoted.
• Supply chain and warehousing will also likely be reviewed for improvements.
• Artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, robotics will be tools to drive improvements in medicine, factories and worker training.
• Factory workers may need to have more computer training in order to use the tools described above.
• Sanitation measures in the world public places and food markets will be driven to tighter standards.
• Healthier life styles will likely be promoted.
• Immigration reviews will likely be tighter.

People that have the skills to recognize and accept change, with flexibility and speed will likely be identified as future potential leaders. These are called “Early Adopters” or "Early Majority". Others will be slow to accept, or resist, change. These are called “Late Majority” and “Laggards”. This is called the “Diffusion of Innovations”, a deep subject on the internet. It is briefly described in this article “Understanding Early Adopters and Customer Adoption Patterns”.

So, those in the job market who can realize quickly the new directions the market will be taking (Early Adopters & Majority) and adjust their career goals should do well in new innovative industries. Others who resist the changes and will want the world to return to its “old” state will have more difficulties.

Final note – Stay positive and be flexible. Keep Calm and Carry On.

Thank you for your response! I agree. I definelty see buisinesses adapting to the “new normal”. I think we’ll see some significant advancements in due time. Matti O.

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Kim’s Answer

Hi Matti!

The thing to remember is that, prior to COVID-19, our economy was strong and the unemployment rate was low. In times of uncertainty, people stop spending money except on necessities. Therefore, various incentives fall into place, to get people to spend money again. Even now, with all the uncertainty, warehouse distribution/mail order companies are currently doing a lot of hiring. The keys are to keep your technological skills current, to understand the concept of "transferable job skills," and to be flexible - open to jobs you may not have previously considered, which can serve as a stepping stone to where you really want to go. Sometimes this means not getting the wages you want - whether you can do this will of course depend on your living arrangements/monthly expenses.

Transferable job skills are those that can be used in more than one position. While the common example is customer service skills, it does not stop there. For example, I had a client with a background in fast food who wanted to work at a doggy daycare facility. Upon studying the job announcement, we saw an emphasis on "cleaning." Both fast food and animal facilities are concerned with the spread of infectious diseases. Once she was able to show, through her resume and cover letter, that she understood what the job entailed and had in fact done similar work, she was suddenly a lot more marketable!

While it is still pretty early, and I am no economist, based on past downturns, what I expect/hope to see is
1. changes to what sectors have the available jobs, but not necessarily a reduction in total jobs available
2. Companies who previously shunned work-from-home opportunities will now learn it's not so bad after all
3. reduced reliance on foreign suppliers, meaning increases to US production

While these times of uncertainty can be scary, it is important to try to stay positive, focus on your studies, and take care of your stress level (diet, exercise, sleep, hydration). This too, shall pass!


Kim - Appreciate the heart-felt response. The optimism and positive outlook is needed at these times. Daniel Indish

Thank you Kim! Hopefully the job market will learn how to adapt during these times. Matti O.

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Palak’s Answer

Thank you for the well written response Kim.
I completely agree with what Kim is saying. Biggest thing is to stay focused, positive, and take care of your health.

The economy typically operates in a bell curve fashion. We will get over this and get back to normality.

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Liyan’s Answer

The coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the world economy.

1) Direct impact on production & Supply chain: With countries having shutdown/ social distancing enforce inside the factory, this will definitely caused enormous backorder to supplies. These will definitely have an impact on the export to other countries.

2) Financial impact on firms: Disruptions of inputs and/or production might stress some firms, particularly those with inadequate liquidity. There will be high possibility of retrenchment/ employees are force to clear or take unpaid leave.

The most important is during this period for those who unfortunately are impacted is to continue learning and never give up. When the economy start recovering, at least you are well prepared with the knowledge and skillset to face the new job challenge.

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Donita’s Answer

I think certain industries will be wiped away but I also believe it will make way to other industries and more companies like Amazon, Google and etc will continue to get stronger because the pandemic will cause for more of a technological revolution.

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Robert’s Answer

I think it is really difficult to answer this question, which makes it a great question. We're all in kind of uncharted territory with this one. People are out of work, furloughed, or just entering a job market that is wildly different than it was just a couple months ago. However, I have faith in the human spirit. We're resilient, and we'll pull through this eventually. It's a self correcting market, which means what's going down will one day come back up. Some industries may operate differently, but it might create more jobs as a result of having gone through this pandemic. One thing is for sure. None of us will be quite the same after having gone through this pandemic. But that's not always a bad thing.

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John’s Answer


Great question. With any major hurdle such as a pandemic like COVID, the job market and the economy both are going to take a hit. Prior to the pandemic, the market was stable but it would take quite some time to speak on each industry individually. Restaurants and entertainment related businesses that were deemed non-essential seemed to have taken the brunt of it. It depends on the industry.

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Celia’s Answer

I support much of what Kim and Daniel have said. Like Kim, I am not an economist. While much of what was said by both applies, a truly rapid rebound is not likely. We have grown to expect things to happen quickly.. Sometimes my internet gets tied up and goes more slowly and I think it is taking too long, but in reality it is taking 20 seconds instead of 1 second.

I do believe there are some small businesses that will not survive , but will be able to come back when the market gets stronger. There are things being done now to prepare for the day COVID is under better control, so that when that happens, businesses can hit the g round running and make up for some of their losses. We can also expect that when people get back to work and can afford the costs of items they purchased before, they will be purchasing them again.

What I have observed in times of market change , downturn and recovery is that people may have to make some adjustments in their job expectations, applying transferable skills like Kim suggests, but stay prepared for when their own expertise market comes back. Stay current on technology. Soft skills are what gets people through trying times. These are the ability to get along with others, stay emotionally intelligent, and flexible as well as cooperative. Networking is a big deal. Don't burn bridges. Maintain contact with past and present supervisors and others whose connections can help.