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May 2020: Coronavirus Job Market Impact Report

This post is accurate as of May 4th, 2020. We will continue to keep our finger on the pulse of hiring and job search behavior throughout the coronavirus crisis with regular updates and insight into the global labor market.    

Job vacancies and U.S. hiring activity has fallen by 50% over the last 8 weeks 

The U.S. has seen a 50% drop in advertized jobs over the last 8 weeks and hiring activity is down more than a third compared to 2019, according to our latest research. It’s likely too early to tell, but a small uptick in advertized jobs during the week beginning 27th April may indicate that America is finally going back to work. 

U.S. Hiring Behaviour – Nationwide job vacancies January – May 2020

Who’s still hiring? May 2020 U.S. Vacancy Distribution

Despite hiring dropping so precipitously over the last 8 weeks, there are a few bright spots in this week’s data: millions of job vacancies remain unfilled across the U.S. within the Healthcare, Social Services, and Scientific sectors. The west coast currently has over 200,000 live jobs, with metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, San Francisco & Seattle holding a large percentage of these open roles.  


Sector level insights – May 2020

Despite the lockdown easing across most states, hiring activity has hit record lows with sectors such as Hospitality & Catering (-83%), Sales (-82%) and Administrative work (-79%) suffering the most. While companies like Amazon have made it clear that they will continue to bring on new staff during the pandemic, it’s clear that overall, logistics and warehouse related jobs across the country are suffering. 

With U.S. unemployment claims hitting 30 million in April and the unemployment rate set to exceed 15%, we’re seeing a record number of new jobseekers hitting the market and subsequently competing for far fewer jobs. The graduating class of 2020 will find job hunting particularly challenging – the most recent Adzuna data shows drops of over 70% in hiring of 18-24-year-olds in April 2020. 


Global outlook

From an international perspective, looking at the 16 countries across 6 continents that Adzuna is present in, the U.S. is the second biggest casualty globally with a 50% reduction in advertized job vacancies. The U.K.’s overall picture is a fraction worse than the U.S. and Australia is the third-worst affected market with a 48% drop in jobs. Poland, Brazil, and Germany’s job markets have held up surprisingly well in recent months with 10% (or less) drops in vacancies. The chart below shows the overall change in ‘job stock’ by country between January 1st and May 1st, 2020. 



Job search behavior – the fastest-growing job search terms in May 2020

Job-search behavior has changed dramatically in recent weeks. As well as huge shifts towards remote work, logistics and grocery store jobs, we’ve also observed a notable swell in the number of Americans looking for work in healthcare, government, and education.

Highest growth search terms on May 4th, 2020:


Andrew Hunter, Co-Founder of Adzuna, comments; ‘Key sectors in the U.S. job market have taken another hit this week. The U.S. has now lost over half of all advertized positions across the country as economic uncertainty continues to grow and job security continues to fall.  The hospitality industry has fallen to its lowest levels since we started recording data and is likely to continue into 2020. All this said, the advertizing figures we are seeing in the first week of May are giving us some hope – it’s possible we will see a flattening followed by hiring growth from here.’ 

We will continue to produce these job market insights on a regular basis.


To measure the trends in job postings, we calculated the 7-day moving average of the number of U.S. job postings on Adzuna. The first 7 weeks of the year (pre-Covid-19 crisis) are benchmarked against week by week in data in March, April & May. State by State distribution numbers are accurate, according to, as of 4th May 2020.