The essential work of fitness and wellness
In addition to total job openings, the CJoF Index also monitors trends in eight job families. Whereas all eight families realized declines quarter-on-quarter in Q2, five families rebounded in Q3 over the prior quarter: Fitness and Wellness (+42.8%), Legal and Financial (+7% ), Environmental (+7%), Work Culture (+5%) and Healthcare (+5%). Three families – Transport (-20%), Algorithms, Automation and AI (-13%) and Customer Experience (-5%) – continued their decline in postings from the second quarter.
In the Fitness and Wellness family, the strong growth of job postings for Home Health Aides (+69.1%) and Caregiver/Personal Care Aides (+49.0%) led the way. Both job categories are considered “essential” due to their provision of care to the elderly or disabled persons, and these workers were able to continue operations under stay-at-home orders. At-home health services are becoming increasingly important for elderly and disabled persons as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. As technology becomes more critical to fitness and wellness, job candidates will require familiarity with the latest digital technology innovations, including remote monitoring and improvements in digital interoperability. These advancements allow caregivers to obtain and actively report vital signs, symptoms and other health information to remote providers or related agencies, which is particularly crucial as telehealth expands further during the crisis.
Over the year, the Fitness and Wellness family continued to lead the families in growth (+155%), galvanized again by the strong year-over-year growth in job postings for Home Health Aides (+294% ) and Caregiver/Personal Care Aides (+290%).
Of the other occupations in the Fitness and Wellness job family, the proxy job Fitness Commitment Counselor (representing a job of the future) saw continued growth over the quarter (+18%) and over the year (+8%). Conversely, Family/Behavioral Therapists posted decreases both over the quarter (-32%) and over the year (-28%). While the mental health crisis arising from COVID-19 and the lockdown has become a topic of political discussion, many clinics and hospitals have restricted in-person delivery of non-emergency health services.
Four other families – Legal and Financial Services (+7%), Environmental (+7%), Work Culture (+5%) and Healthcare (+5%) – realized modest gains in postings over the quarter. However, only two of them – Healthcare (+14.2%) and Legal and Financial Services (+0.6%) – registered year-over-year growth.
Over the year, the fastest-growing jobs within the Healthcare family were Genetic Counselor (+106%), Registered Nurse (+56%) and Biostatistician (+26%). Many healthcare professionals have turned to telehealth to provide vital services to patients during the shutdown. Genetic counselors used telehealth services even before the pandemic, which eased the transition from in-person to remote delivery. Registered nurses and emergency health professionals have worked on the front lines, treating the surge of patients needing care for COVID-19.
Not surprisingly, the Transport family had the largest quarter-on-quarter decline, of 21%, led by the reduction in postings for Aerospace Engineers (-35.1%) and Urban/Transportation Planners (-1.2%). Statewide travel restrictions and stay-at-home ordinances have hurt both public transportation and aviation. Air travel and ridership on public transportation fell sharply at the pandemic’s peak due to restrictions on operations and capacity as well as safety concerns among riders – but have since seen a weak recovery. Potential financial shortfalls of transportation companies and government bodies have contributed to the low total number of job postings for Aerospace Engineers and Urban/Transportation Planners.
Algorithms, automation & AI: down but not out
The Algorithms, Automation and AI (AAA) family, the largest in the index, registered a -13.2% decrease over the quarter. It had declines or no change in job postings in 15 out of 16 occupations. Software Developer/Engineer had the largest over-the-quarter numeric decline (-30,129 job postings), followed by Cyber/Information Security Engineer/Analyst (-4,008 job postings), the proxy job Cyber Calamity Forecaster (-2,997 job postings), Business Intelligence Analyst (-1,853 job postings) and Technology Consultant (-1,072 job postings).
The pandemic has dampened tech hiring for born-digital startups and industry giants, alike. Software engineering job listings at the largest tech companies, including Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, have slowed despite gains for the industry. The slump in job postings for Software Developer/Engineer, the largest occupation tracked in the CJoF Index, has driven the index downward. Software Developer/Engineer declined 14.4% quarter-on-quarter, posting over 30,000 fewer jobs than in Q2 2020 and making up approximately 70% of the total drop in the CJoF Index. Because the Software Developer/Engineering job is the largest job tracked in the CJoF Index, its impact is amplified compared with the All Burning Glass Jobs Index, where this job category represents a smaller share of the total jobs tracked.
The reduction in job postings may also be tied to lower employee turnover in the information sector. New federal data reveals that over-the-year job separations and layoffs within the information sector (-39%) are much lower than in the total private industry (-19%). Because of the pandemic, employees feel less confident leaving their positions to seek new opportunities; instead, they are waiting for better economic conditions and a more favorable job market. This lower churn is, in turn, decreasing the number of unfilled positions and overall postings for tech workers.
COVID-19 has also disrupted the digital journeys of brick-and-mortar companies. While the pandemic is accelerating the rise of a digital-first world, it is paradoxically forcing management teams to postpone their long-term digital plans and concentrate instead on propping up their short-term business and profit margins. It is no wonder that some IT workers report that the rising demand for digital support is increasing individual workloads rather than additional personnel.