Research Outline

Job Search Behavior - Pre-and Post-COVID-19


To provide data and statistics showing how job search behavior has changed since COVID-19 (starting from March 17, 2020) by job type/industry. Specifically, answer the following questions:
  • What are the before and after changes in job search behavior (specifically, increase/decrease in job searches and if job seekers are still searching by location) pre-and post-COVID-19 pandemic within the US (separately), Canada (separately), and globally, broken down by the following industries: Healthcare, Retail-Hourly, Hospitality-Hourly, Administrative, Banking/Financial Services, Sales, Oil & Energy, Insurance, Manufacturing/Operations, Med Tech, Pharma, Technology/Software Engineering, Industrial Automation, Aviation/Aerospace, and Defense & Government.
  • Have searches for "remote", "telecommute", and "work from home" increased?
  • Which industries have seen the biggest shift in job seeker search behavior?
  • Which industries have had the most companies come out publicly stating their new policies for remote work?
This information will help in providing strategic recommendations for building career websites. It will also inform changes to a technology that powers job search capabilities for career websites.

Early Findings

  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around 5% of workers in the US worked from home in 2017, up from over 3% in 2000.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 29% of the US workers had the option and ability to work from home in 2018.
  • Glassdoor reports that its remote job openings increased by "28.3% from a year ago, even while overall listings are down 23%."
  • Estimates by the staffing firm, Manpower, indicate that over 1 in 4 jobs posted in the US specify no location, up from 1 in 10 in January.

Job Searches by Industry — Hospitality

  • Data released by Glassdoor Economic Research in May 2020 indicates that job searches by restaurant servers in the US have pivoted toward roles that are less impacted during the pandemic, but require similar skills. Searches for “Amazon”, “driver”, “warehouse” and “supply chain” jobs on Glassdoor increased sharply among restaurant servers, ranging from 150% to over 600% compared to a year ago.
  • In addition, job searches for “remote” and “work from home” also increased by 301% and 95%, respectively. Moreover, searches for “medical assistant” increased by 126%.
  • This data further indicates that job searches for HR roles among restaurant servers on Glassdoor are down 87% while searches for “server bartender” and “restaurant server” are down 63% and -60%, respectively. "Searches for other in-person service jobs are down sharply as well including “flight attendant” (-57%), “event coordinator” (-36%), “banquet server” (-32%), and “bank teller” (-27%)."
  • Additionally, job searches without any location and searches for any full-time role are up 66% and 253% respectively, compared to a year ago.

Summary of Findings

  • In the initial research, we were able to provide some before and after statistics on remote work in the US.
  • We have also provided statistics on job search behavior in the US for the hospitality (restaurant) industry.
  • However, preliminary research indicates that finding data related to the before and after changes in job search behavior (specifically, increase/decrease in job searches and if job seekers are still searching by location) within the US (separately), Canada (separately), and globally, broken down by each of the given industries will be difficult and likely not readily available.
  • We tried simplifying the process by using Google Trends and comparing the search term "healthcare jobs" in Canada in two time periods i.e., from March 17-August 12, 2020 and from March 17-August 12, 2019. The resultant graphs can be used to compare the "search interest" on different dates. If this method is acceptable, please select the research options below and we can perform a similar analysis for the US, Canada, and globally, for all of the given industries.
  • We have provided this information for the healthcare industry in Canada in the shared spreadsheet.