U.S. Employment and Hiring Trends During COVID-19

Just a few short months ago, the staffing industry was facing a tight labor market and historically low unemployment rates. Now, almost overnight, the industry faces the opposite conditions. Unemployment rates are some of the highest the U.S. has seen since the Great Depression, and the supply of jobs has dropped dramatically, particularly in the entertainment and hospitality industries. Below are relevant employment trends based on data gathered in April by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

U.S. Unemployment Trends:

  • The unemployment rate has risen to 14.7%
  • The number of those who work full time declined by 15 million
  • The number of those who work part time declined by 7.4 million
  • Employment in leisure and hospitality dropped by 47%
  • Employment in retail declined 2.2 million
  • Employment in manufacturing declined 1.3 million

Hiring has also significantly decreased. Below are hiring trends based on statistics from ADP and the CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI).

U.S. Hiring trends:

  • Hiring has declined by 9.43%2
  • 42% of small businesses (defined as 300 employees or fewer) reported a decrease in staffing2
  • Sectors reporting the most substantial declines in hiring are: Non-Profits, Professional Services, Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Retail2
  • The private sector reported job losses of 20 million, surpassing the job losses of the Great Depression1


  1. ADP
  2. CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (SBEI).