Data Shows Which Workers Are Looking at Jobs More Since COVID-19 — and Which Are Looking Less

May 5, 2020

Photograph of firefighters hats and jackets hanging from hooks on wall

COVID-19 has impacted every sector of the economy, and it's beginning to affect how often professionals look at open jobs. Compared to last year, LinkedIn data shows that all industries across the world have seen a decline in job views.

But while the impact has been felt everywhere, it hasn’t been felt equally by everyone. By looking at recent job seeker behavior on LinkedIn, we can get a sense of which workforces have changed their habits the most: Who is looking at jobs more often than usual, and who is looking less. 

For those looking to hire, it may be easier to attract talent from the workforces who have increased their job seeking (and harder to recruit those who have lowered their job seeking activity). With that in mind, here is what we found. 

In impacted industries, workers have upped their job seeking since COVID-19 

While some members are looking at fewer job posts, workers in a handful of industries are looking at more. For companies looking to hire, reaching out to employees in these industries may be a good idea — they tend to be more available than those in other sectors, and are more likely to be actively looking for work.

Even if your company wouldn't normally source from these industries, this could be a good opportunity to diversify your team with people who have different backgrounds and skills — not just those with experience in your industry.

Public safety workers have seen the biggest shift in job seeking — they’re looking at jobs 28% more than they were last year, a bigger increase than workers in any other industry. 

Those in public safety are often first responders: some of the most common occupations are police officers, firefighters, and soldiers, along with other people at government agencies (e.g., health departments or departments of emergency management).

While we can’t say exactly why these employees are looking for jobs more at a time when most people are looking less, we can offer a few hypotheses. It may be that these essential workers are looking to help out in a time of crisis. Or, since many of the jobs require employees to be in public or crowded spaces, they could be looking for jobs that allow them to work safely from home. Another explanation is that employees in the military and government who are on fixed-year contracts may be coming back on the job market.

Those in education — not just teachers, but also administrative and custodial staff, among others — may be looking at more jobs in response to widespread school shutdowns

The third-most impacted employees are those in the recreation and travel industry — and unlike those in public safety, a good portion of them are probably looking at jobs because they’ve been furloughed or laid off. In fact, less than 6% of the jobs they’re viewing are for companies in the recreation and travel industry, compared to 14% in November 2019.

Some workers have slowed their job hunting more than others 

The workers who decreased their job seeking behavior the most tend to be in industries that may be better positioned to weather the changes brought by COVID-19.

As part of the general decline in job seeking we’re seeing, people may simply be focusing on their own wellbeing more, allowing career opportunities to take a back seat. It also might feel like an uncertain, risky time to jump into a new job.

But while job seeking behavior overall has declined for the moment, those in these industries — hardware and networking and finance, especially — have slowed their job hunting considerably more than everyone else.

The industries here may not be as subject to major shake-ups — they’ll still be impacted by COVID-19, of course, but perhaps less than other industries. Many play an important role in keeping the world connected in the age of social distancing — like hardware and networking or transportation and logistics. As such, the workers may feel like they have greater job security where they are.

In fact, people in the four industries reducing their job seeking the most (hardware and networking, finance, transportation and logistics, and public administration) are also feeling more confident about their job stability and access to opportunity than the average worker, according to LinkedIn’s recent Workforce Confidence Index survey of workers in the U.S.

For companies hiring, it may be harder to attract employees from these industries. On the other hand, if you’re a recruiter working in one of these industries, you may be able to sell candidates on the relative stability you can offer. 

Final thoughts 

Workers in industries that have been very impacted — especially public safety, education, and travel and recreation — may be more receptive to job opportunities. Those in industries like hardware and networking or finance may be harder to peel away. 

This may be the time to look for talent outside your typical sources. Public safety workers — veterans, for example — have plenty of skills to offer businesses outside the public safety industry. Pursuing these candidates can be a win-win for everyone: your company may find it easier to hire, and you’ll be helping those workers severely impacted by COVID-19. 


This analysis is based on a random representative sampling of 50 million members across the world and all of the jobs they viewed. The industries listed represent which industries members are currently working in; therefore, the changes represent how the job seeking behavior of people in that industry have changed. This analysis does not reflect the industries of the companies posting the jobs, only the industries of the people viewing them. Industries are ranked by the relative year-over-year change in job views for members of those industries.

In the two data points that do mention the industry of the company posting the job (i.e., members are viewing fewer jobs for roles in every industry globally; only 6% of the jobs viewed by employees currently in recreation and travel are for jobs at companies in recreation and travel), the analysis only includes paid job posts, which represent the majority of job posts on LinkedIn.

To receive blog posts like this one straight in your inbox, subscribe to the blog newsletter.

*Photo by Matt Chesin on Unsplash