New study finds uneven recovery rates for industries post-pandemic

Arizona’s wealth of career opportunities is attracting new workers from across the nation according to Skynova, which analyzed Census data and data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2017 to 2021 to gain a better understanding of when, where, and how industries have developed in certain regions of the country. 

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated some trends, and decelerated others. It also caused massive shifts in employment, with some industries recovering far faster than others.

Workforce gain

Arizona is currently ranked third among all states in workforce gain. From 2017 to 2021 Arizona’s workforce increased by 7.8%, with Utah coming in second at an 11.4% increase and Idaho leading with a 13.8% increase. 

Hawaii came in last in this category with a 20% decrease in its workforce, followed by Washington, D.C. with a 9.1% decrease and Vermont with a 7.6% decrease. 

Industry growth

When looking closer at the changing workforce, it is not only changing in size by state but also in specific industries. 

The construction industry is leading the pack with an increase of 7.9%. Following is the professional and business service industry with 3.5%. The financial services industry is close behind with a 3.1% increase. 

COVID-19 took its toll on the leisure and hospitality industry, which saw an 18.7% decline. Despite an uptick in leisure travel, the industry has yet to fully recover as business travel is still sluggish.

The industry’s slow recovery from the pandemic affects states like Arizona, for which tourism is a major jobs generator.

Skynova analyzed the change in the average age of employees in different industries from 2010 through 2021. An industry’s average age of an employee can reveal where it is headed; a younger workforce often shows that that industry will be a focus of the future. 

Of the top 20 industries, real estate rental and leasing have an average age of 46.8, followed by public administration at 45.1, and utilities at 45. 

To better understand the effect the pandemic had on the workforce, Skynova compiled a list of businesses with the most employees unable to work due to the pandemic

Bowling alleys and billiard/pool parlors were hit the hardest out of the businesses studied with 61% of employees unable to work. They were followed by taxicab services at 53% and personal services at 51%.

Flannery Sloan

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