Courtesy of ManpowerGroup
- Becky Frankiewicz, president of one of the largest staffing firm in the US, said the coronavirus pandemic has brought about not only unprecedented job loss, but also drastic changes in the demand for jobs.
- Frankiewicz said workers who got laid off from hospitality and food service sectors possess the soft skills needed for new jobs opening up, like contact tracers and social distancing monitors.
- Women, who made up 60% of those who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, might be uniquely qualified to fill these new roles, Frankiewicz added.
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Millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic — but there are new roles opening up to aid the post-pandemic society.
Though nearly 39 million Americans have lost their jobs in the last nine weeks per the US Labor Department, there are still 5.7 million open roles, according to data from ManpowerGroup, the eighth-largest workforce staffing and recruitment firm in the US.
Manpower data suggests that the pandemic has not only brought about unprecedented job loss, but also drastic changes in the job market, the company’s President Becky Frankiewicz told Business Insider.
When the US first began grappling with the crisis in March, job growth centered around those that would get us “through the crisis,” like healthcare gigs to treat COVID patients and delivery drivers to help families self-quarantine.
Now, job demand has skewed to favor those that will get us “out of the crisis,” such as cybersecurity and cloud engineers that will grow virtual workplaces, Frankiewicz said, citing Manpower data. Plus, companies have created entirely new jobs, like contact tracers who track exposure to COVID-19 across the country.
Some experts predict jobs in hospitality and food services, the sectors hardest hit by the crisis, may never return. Even if that’s true, Frankiewicz argued that may not spell disaster for laid-off workers, as these people have soft skills that are crucial to building the post-pandemic society.
Take some of the new jobs opening up, such as contact tracers and social distancing monitors, who ensure people stay the CDC-recommended six feet apart in public areas. Frankiewicz said communication skills are critical for a social distance monitor, as the role will be a conversational one that requires someone who has dealt with conflict and has communication skills. “Someone in hospitality would be perfect for that,” she says.
“What we’re saying is don’t define yourself by the title that you had, like a front-desk clerk at a hotel,” Frankiewicz added. “Define yourself by your skills and in that way you can go into different fields of work.”
The growth in jobs that require these communications and social intelligence skills can particularly help women, who made up 60% of workers laid off from the coronavirus pandemic, she said. The Pew Research Center finds women on average tend to occupy jobs that require higher levels of social intelligence, meaning they might be uniquely qualified to work contract tracing and other new post-pandemic gigs.
“I’m hopeful for women,” Frankiewicz said. “We have the curiosity and ability to position ourselves, in the communication perspective, for new jobs.”