While many jobs were put on hold during the pandemic, there are a few that may not come back—ever.
Glassdoor’s Workplace Trends 2021 report
finds that job postings for discretionary health services—or those that are elective and can be postponed during a pandemic—are down dramatically. The most at-risk job is that of an audiologist, for which job listings on Glassdoor declined 70% during the pandemic - Forbes reports
Angela Shoup, president of the American Academy of Audiology, says she’s heard reports of audiologists being placed on long furloughs, as well as some who’ve closed their private practices and retired early this year. Many recent graduates looking for jobs in audiology have been told that larger practices are not hiring, she says.
Job postings for opticians and physical therapists saw a similar fate, down 61% and 40%, respectively. There’s also been a shortage of administrative and lower-skilled office roles. Jobs for event coordinators are down 69%, making it the second most at-risk job post-pandemic. Similarly, openings for executive assistants are down 55%, human resources generalists are down 37% and receptionists are down 35%, as most offices have been closed.
Unsurprisingly, positions for personal services workers have also plummeted. Beauty consultants took the hardest hit, with jobs down 53%. Jobs for valets were down 51%.
“[These are jobs] where Covid-19 is in the driver's seat,” says Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist. “People are not going to return to their nail salons or get discretionary LASIK eye surgeries or go to in-person events until the virus is under control.”
Discretionary healthcare, event, and personal-service jobs won’t disappear altogether after the pandemic, but they will certainly be slow to come back, he says. However, he thinks it’s possible some jobs may be lost forever.
For example, Chamberlain says, administrative assistants’ days may be numbered, as many of their responsibilities have been automated. Brand ambassadors may also be a thing of the past, as consumers have relied on e-commerce during the pandemic and will likely continue to buy online.
The good news? Employers in front-line industries that have been hiring throughout the pandemic will likely continue to pad their headcounts in 2021, Chamberlain says.
Warehouse worker job postings, for instance, were up 174% from a year ago, while registered nurse roles were up 51% during Covid-19.
Some of the jobs deemed least at-risk
are those that can be performed remotely, such as
customer service representatives and IT specialists. However, those working for companies that have adopted full-time remote or hybrid work arrangements may see their pay adjusted should they relocate to less expensive zip codes. Chamberlain suspects tech workers, for instance, who leave pricey metros such as San Francisco and New York, could see their salaries adjusted down 5% to 30%.
And yet, in an effort to attract and retain talent, he expects employers may resuscitate another casualty of the pandemic: office perks. “It’s just a way to get more creativity and serendipity out of people,” he says. “After a year of work from home where everyone is feeling isolated . . . perks will be an important way to rebuild the culture.”