As the pandemic started to wane in the second quarter of 2021 (prior to a July uptick), the US labor market continued to recover, adding 850,000 jobs in June. This recovery pushed up the Cognizant “Jobs of the Future (CJoF) Index” to 1.78, from 1.57 in Q1 2021. This represents 467,324 job postings — an increase of 85,200 postings, or +22.3%, year over year, and +13.0% over the previous quarter.
The CJoF Index tracks demand for 50 digitally enabled jobs of the future identified by Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, capturing the quarterly fluctuations in postings for these jobs. While this strong growth for digitally enabled positions, which broadly represents higher-wage earners and larger investments for firms, signals longer-term economic confidence, the number of postings is still below the CJoF all-time high of 531,135 postings in Q1 2020, just before pandemic lockdowns began.
The CJoF’s growth also significantly lagged that of Burning Glass Technologies’ jobs index, which reached an all-time high of 12.2 million postings for the quarter, above the pre-pandemic peak of 10.6 million postings in Q1 2020. The CJoF lags the broader Burning Glass index chiefly because the current hiring frenzy is primarily focused on replacement positions for brick-and-mortar jobs, largely concentrated in industries hit hardest by the pandemic: service-oriented industries such as hotels, restaurants, bars and retail. These jobs are not typically represented in Cognizant’s digitally oriented CJoF Index.
Growth across the board
In addition to total job openings, the CJoF Index monitors trends in eight job families: Algorithms, Automation and AI (AAA); Customer Experience; Environment; Fitness and Wellness; Healthcare; Legal and Financial Services; Transport; and Work Culture. All eight families showed growth both quarter over quarter and year over year, with Legal and Financial Services and Environmental as the top performers for both.
Some notes on various job families:
Other job families performing well include Work Culture (+15.9% for the quarter and +26.4% for the year) and Algorithms, Automation and AI (+12.7% for the quarter, +17.5% for the year). Customer Experience also saw modest gains for the quarter (+9.0%) but has grown +44.2% year over year.
After experiencing the largest quarter-on-quarter increase in Q1 2021 (+137.8%), Fitness and Wellness had the smallest growth (+2.9%) this quarter, but year on year has seen +65.1% growth. Transport, at +9.0% for the quarter and +6.3% for the year, is trailing the other job families.
Quarterly winners and losers
The fastest-growing jobs in the CJoF Index over the quarter were:
Jobs that posted the largest declines over the quarter in Q2 2021 were:
Annual winners and losers
Turning to the 12-month period that ended with Q2 2021, the fastest-growing jobs in the CJoF Index were:
During the same period, jobs that posted the largest declines were: