Industries Making the Fastest Comeback

March 29, 2021

As the U.S. economy begins its recovery, many employers are looking to boost hiring or rebuild their workforce. There are six industries currently exceeding their pre-pandemic employment levels – and in which there has been noticeable job growth. Not only are these industries leading the economic recovery, but they’re also expected to create more jobs.

The recent rise in spending by both consumers and businesses will increase the need for the Warehouse and Storage industry to hire.

The six top-performing industries are:
1. Lending
2. Warehousing and Storage
3. Scientific Research and Development Services
4. Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories
5. Outpatient Care Centers
6. Semiconductors and Electronic Components

While Outpatient Care Centers and Semiconductors and Electronic Components haven’t reached their pre-pandemic employment levels, the persistent demand for their goods and services projects that they will soon surpass February 2020 levels.

The Industry Outlook

Below we explore why these industries have rebounded and the impact on hiring strategies.

1. Lending. This industry’s employment level has increased 7.1% over its pre-pandemic employment level. LaborIQ predicts Financial Activities, which includes Lending, to fully recover in 2022, ahead of many other sectors. Progress has been aided by the Federal Reserve declaring interest rates will remain near zero for the foreseeable future, as long as inflation stays low. There’s already been a huge surge in real estate sales due to low rates, and with more businesses and consumers borrowing money, lending will see a faster recovery than others.

Impact on hiring: Employers and talent acquisition professionals hiring for the Lending industry will need to fill open roles quickly, as the demand to process loan applications increases. Employers may find that passive candidates are the best candidates, as they are already trained, but due to a tight labor market, employers may need to increase compensation and benefits to retain talent.

The Lending sector is experiencing highest year-over-year job growth in these cities:

  • Boise, Idaho
  • Bergen-Hudson-Passaic, N.J.
  • Sacramento, Calif.
  • Austin, Texas
  • Salt Lake City
  • Charlotte, N.C.

2. Warehousing and Storage. As of February 2021, this industry has increased 6.7% over its pre-pandemic employment levels. As the economy continues to reopen, businesses will need to replenish inventory to meet customer demand. Even as the slowly recovering service sector offsets some of the money spent on goods, Warehousing and Storage will benefit from the increased consumer spending and economic activity.

Impact on hiring: Employers and talent acquisition professionals may struggle to find enough workers to fill open positions, especially those for blue-collar roles. Organizations may need to increase wages to attract and retain talent or upskill workers to maintain an adequate workforce.

Cities with the highest year-over-year job growth for Warehousing and Storage:

  • Portland, Ore.
  • Chicago
  • Stockton, Calif.
  • Detroit
  • Denver

3. Scientific Research and Development Services. This industry’s current employment level has risen 4.2% since February 2020. As part of the Professional and Business Services sector, which LaborIQ forecasts to fully recover in 2022, Scientific Research and Development Services has performed well. Though it did lose jobs during the pandemic’s peak in April and May 2020, the reliance on a highly skilled workforce able to work remotely resulted in a relatively small drop in employment levels.

Impact on hiring: It’s a tight labor market for this sector’s highly specialized skill set. Talent acquisition professionals will need to offer generous compensation packages to attract in-demand candidates.

Scientific Research and Development Services’ top cities for job growth:

  • San Jose, Calif. (Silicon Valley)
  • Boston
  • San Diego
  • Detroit
  • St. Louis

4. Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories. This industry increased its YoY employment level in February 2021 by 0.7%. The Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories industry has played an integral role during the COVID-19 health crisis and will continue to do so.

Impact on hiring: As demand grows for vaccinations, many job candidates will be workers ready to return to the field. Since June 2020, hiring in this industry has been on the rise.

This industry is not seeing growth in any specific U.S. job market. Instead, the impact is expected to be felt on a national level, as the pandemic has had a similar effect on Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories across the country.

5. Outpatient Care Centers. Outpatient Care Centers have been impacted negatively by the pandemic. While its February 2021 employment level is below its February 2020 level, the demand for this industry’s services is expected to increase, resulting in more workers hired. As the virus risk decreases, more patients will resume services that were delayed or canceled during the pandemic’s peak. Many of these facilities will also be community COVID-19 vaccination centers.

Impact on hiring: Outpatient Care Centers will need to add back jobs lost in 2020 to meet patient demand and people seeking COVID-19 vaccinations. The bulk of job seekers will likely be those wanting to reenter the field and entry-level workers eager to work.

This industry is not seeing growth in any specific U.S. job market. Instead, the impact is expected to be felt on a national level, as the pandemic has had a similar effect on Outpatient Care Centers across the country.

6. Semiconductors and Electronic Components. Though this industry remains below its pre-pandemic employment level (-1.6% in February 2021), it’s positioned to recover soon. A high demand for consumer electronics during the pandemic, and a rebound of automobile sales, has created a shortage of semiconductor chips.

Impact on hiring: To meet ongoing chip production demands, this industry will need to ramp up hiring. The highly specialized skill set needed for these roles lends to a limited talent supply. LaborIQ expects job growth to steadily increase in this sector through 2021.

These cities have the highest year-over-year job growth for Semiconductors and Electronic Components:

  • Austin, Texas
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Anaheim-Sant Ana-Irvine, CA

LaborIQ by ThinkWhy reports, forecasts and advises on employment conditions and the impact to jobs, industries and businesses across all U.S. cities.