As the economy stages its recovery from the impact of COVID-19, some industries are showing strong signs of a rebound with job ads steadily returning.
While there’s still a way to go to come back from the challenges and job losses seen in 2020, there are encouraging changes emerging.
So, which roles and industries have seen the biggest bounce back in job ads? The Top 10 table below shows growth in job ads in the period September–November 2020 compared with June–August 2020.
Top 10 bounce backs
Recovery looks different across industries
We know the effects of COVID-19 impacted sectors in different ways. We saw demand remain strong for healthcare workers, for example, whereas industries like retail and hospitality were hit hard by lockdowns.
And, like the impacts, the recovery also varies across industries and roles.
Dean Davidson, Executive General Manager, Recruitment Australia & New Zealand at Hudson, says there’s no “one-size fits all for recovery”.
The industries showing the greatest rebound are those that were most affected at the start of the pandemic, such as hospitality.
For others, the rebound is being driven by a return to projects that were paused amid the pandemic. “Some of the large technology projects that companies put on hold in the earlier months of the year have started up, so we have seen growth in IT, for instance, and we expect this to continue,” Davidson says.
Overall, the job market is seeing a steady return. “I think the employment market is holding up better than any of us expected and we’re seeing gradual growth,” Davidson says. “But was it still brutally tough for employees and those looking for work last year? Absolutely.”
Which roles are bouncing back the most in your industry? Click on the interactive table below to find out.
Top bounce backs by industry
A welcome return for hospitality
Hospitality workers were among the first to feel the impact of COVID-19 but the good news is that roles like room attendants, commis chefs and housekeeping attendants are among those making the strongest comeback from their low point earlier in the year.
Peter Jackson, Senior Account Manager specialising in hospitality at TMS Talent, says the bounce back in these roles is a positive sign of recovery for the industry.
“It was dire earlier in 2020, because so many businesses had no choice but to shut shop,” he says. “Now that restrictions have lifted and domestic travel is on the rise, hospitality business is coming back.”
With hospitality roles returning, how can you stand out from the competition if you’re searching for a new role in the industry? Jackson suggests doing some homework on each business or venue you’re applying to.
“Hospitality is a people industry and employers want to feel confident that you can represent their values,” he says. “So, do your research. If you’re going for a job in a bar, for example, visit it and get a sense of the culture and the vibe and explain in your cover letter why you’re a good match and what you can bring to it.”
Retail on the rise
Many retail centres resembled ghost towns at the peak of the pandemic and this had a flow-on effect for job ads. With shops open for business again, roles in sales and customer service are among those making the biggest comeback.
Craig Turton, Senior Manager of Hays Retail, is seeing a speedy recovery across retail.
“A lot of my clients had to close during the lockdown, and now they're seeing strong signs of recovery as people are feeling more confident about getting out and spending,” he says. “There's a growing demand for store-based roles like customer service and merchandising and I'm seeing a lot of retailers moving into growth mode, not just recovery mode.”
This may be good news for you, but how can sell yourself to your next retail employer? Turton says more retailers are expecting you to have a thorough knowledge of their brand.
“One of my clients recently asked candidates to visit the store before their interview and prepare a list of recommendations about what they would change and what was working well,” he says. “This was for a management position, but I do think that more employers will be expecting candidates to show a strong understanding of their brand and why they are a good fit.”
For many people, COVID-19’s impact made facing the job market incredibly challenging in 2020. But with some industries now staging comebacks, looking to where job ads are growing may help you plan your next step.