These 10 jobs could disappear or decline because of COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has upended the labor market like no other U.S. recession, wiping out 22.2 million jobs in early spring as states ordered business shutdowns.

Since then about 12 million were recouped as restaurants and other outlets reopened and brought back furloughed workers.While some of the remaining 10 million lost jobs are expected to return in coming months, many others are likely to come back only after a vaccine is widely available next year. Still others may not return for several years, if ever, as the pandemic reshapes the economy, according to a new report by Glassdoor, the job posting and employee review site.

“COVID is going to change the way we organize work and the way we spend,” says Glassdoor Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain.

Some jobs suffered huge declines in Glassdoor postings last month. Openings for audiologists (who treat hearing disorders) fell 70%, the most of any category, to 2,336 from 7,710 in October 2019. Openings tumbled 61% for opticians, 50% for hairstylists, 41% for pet groomers, 40% for physical therapists and 34% for sales managers.

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Yet while many Americans may be putting off eye exams and cutting their own hair for the time being, they’ll almost certainly resume these routines when the outbreak no longer poses a threat, Chamberlain says. Similarly, he says, companies are likely to ramp up hiring for sales managers when their revenue bounces back to pre-pandemic levels.

But other positions, like office and administrative roles, were already in decline because of long-term trends and the health crisis has accelerated the shift. Others, like restaurant positions, have been hurt by unprecedented damage to the industry that could take years to reverse.

Executive assistants and secretaries could face a tough job market even after the pandemic is over.

Here’s a look at jobs that could be in decline for several years, if not longer, according to Glassdoor:

Chef

October 2020 openings:  6,569

October 2019 openings: 14,844

Decline: 56%

It’s not that Americans aren’t champing at the bit to return to dining out in larger numbers. But nearly one in six restaurants – or a total of about 100,000 — have closed permanently or for the long-term during the health crisis, according to the National Restaurant Association. It will take years for new eateries to launch and replace the chef, server, bartender and other jobs destroyed by the pandemic, Chamberlain says.

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Executive assistant

October 2020 openings: 2,308

October 2019 openings: 5,182

Decline: 55%

The ranks of executive assistants, secretaries and similar office jobs already have been shrinking as voicemail, scheduling software and presentation applications such as PowerPoint supplant their traditional duties. That shift has been accelerated by the pandemic, Chamberlain says.

Receptionist

October 2020 openings: 11,627

October 2019 openings: 17,826

Decline: 35%

About 40% of Americans have been working from home during the outbreak, mostly white-collar employees. Many are expected to continue telecommuting, at least a few days a week, even after the crisis is over. That lessens the need for receptionists. And if a company reduces its office footprint, it will need fewer receptionists, Chamberlain says.

Accounts payable specialist

October 2020 openings: 3,417

October 2019 openings: 5,413

Decline: 37%

Many staffers who pay invoices and other bills already have been elbowed out by automated software that can perform those functions. The pandemic has accelerated the transition, Chamberlain says, as companies continue to reduce costs amid lower sales.

HR generalist

October 2020 openings: 3,314

October 2019 openings: 5,286

Decline: 37%

Employees who email job candidates, schedule interviews and administer skills tests similarly have become scarcer in recent years because of new software and that trend will pick up steam, Chamberlain says.

Product demonstrator

October 2020 openings: 2,567

October 2019 openings: 6,932

Decline: 63%

People who demonstrate housecleaning, personal care or other products in department stores and other locations have fallen in number as Americans increasingly favor online shopping over store purchases. The shift to e-commerce has stepped up dramatically during the pandemic, Chamberlain says. Instead of in-store demonstrations, many companies may offer an online video that can be viewed by millions, he says.

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Brand ambassador

October 2020 openings: 5,925

October 2019 openings: 10.055

Decline: 41%

Like product demonstrators, brand ambassadors tout goods and services but for a particular brand or product. The role is likely to continue to diminish as e-commerce replaces the retail experience, Chamberlain says.

Professor

October 2020 openings: 8,651

October 2019 openings: 14,247

Decline: 39%

Both public and private colleges have seen their finances decimated by the health crisis, squeezing their ability to hire professors, Chamberlain says. The financial strain isn’t likely to ease even after the outbreak ebbs, he says.

Event coordinator

October 2020 openings: 1,723

October 2019 openings: 5,541

Decline: 69%

Event coordinators who arrange meetings, conferences, trade shows and other events have seen job openings disappear as businesses conduct video meetings online during the crisis. Many jobs may return after the pandemic is over, Chamberlain says, but it’s unclear to what extent some companies may shift at least some meetings online for the long term.  

Architect

October 2020 openings: 4,890

October 2019 openings: 6,521

Decline: 25%

The generally stable occupation is likely to face decline as the work-from-home trend prompts companies to build and lease fewer office buildings, Chamberlain says.

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