How COVID-19 is impacting hiring around the world

Today, LinkedIn's Chief Economist, Karin Kimbrough, shared a post about the impact of COVID-19 on hiring globally. We’re sharing her full post here as well:  

Countries around the world are in different stages of managing COVID-19, and we are beginning to gain an understanding of how economies are responding to the sudden disruption of the pandemic. 

LinkedIn's hiring rate gives us early insight into how the labor market is responding and what might lie ahead for those who are just beginning to feel the impact of COVID-19. We also know from conversations on LinkedIn that some companies have been adapting interview processes that may slow the time-to-hire, while we may see others delay start dates for the time being. 

As we looked at our hiring data in two of the most impacted countries -- China and Italy -- we noticed a pattern. Shortly after each country issued mandatory quarantines, national hiring plummeted. 

  • About two weeks after we saw hiring growth contract in China, it plummeted to a low of -45% YoY. Hiring has slowly started to rebound as containment of the virus takes effect, but it is still hovering at -26% YoY even as people go back to work.
  • In Italy, we saw a similar trend: three days after the country went on lockdown, hiring growth dipped below zero. And one week after the initial dip, hiring growth plummeted to a low of -40% YoY.  

Based on the hiring trends we’re observing in China and Italy, we anticipate hiring growth in the U.S. will begin to show a similar sharp decline as soon as next week. A preview of our monthly hiring rate shows a slowdown as major cities like Seattle, New York and San Francisco mandate social distancing policies, and many companies in the U.S. that are able to are moving their workforces remote. Initial claims for unemployment insurance, the earliest publicly available labor market indicator in the U.S., also surged by 70K the week of March 8-14, reaching their highest level since September 2017.

Based on early trends in China, we’re hopeful that economic activity can resume once the virus is contained. With China’s hiring numbers beginning to move in a positive direction, we’ll continue to monitor our data there, and globally, to see what we can expect as the impact of the virus makes its way around the world. 

I've shared more about what this snapshot of the labor market might mean in a conversation with LinkedIn Editor George Anders. And looking ahead, our monthly U.S. Workforce Report on April 2 will provide a more complete look at hiring trends in the U.S. during the month of March, with a view into specific industry trends and a snapshot of hiring across 20 major cities.