What ZipRecruiter Sees for the Economy's Eventual Rebound

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

What ZipRecruiter Sees for the Economy's Eventual Rebound

As regions nationwide steel themselves for the oncoming peaks of COVID-19 cases, the U.S. economy continues to stumble. But some emerging patterns suggest certain changes once it stabilizes.

For now, JPMorgan economists forecasted this week a 40% annualized decline in U.S. GDP for the second quarter, and a 20% surge in April's unemployment rate, with 25 million jobs lost. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits in the past three weeks totals 16.8 million.


What could be in store once the economy rebounds?

As a tech-savvy online jobs marketplace, ZipRecruiter has a unique vantage point to monitor and forecast the labor market. Labor economist Julia Pollak spoke with dot.LA about what the latest batch of data signals for the other side of the crisis.

Show Me the Data

"This recession is like no other we've experienced," said Pollak. "People are calling this the Great Cessation."

Some people "will find that during the recovery the economy will have changed beneath their feet."

There is no sugarcoating the gloom. According to figures ZipRecruiter provided to dot.LA, average daily job postings across the internet have been declining for six straight weeks; worse, the rate of decline has been accelerating. In all but four of the 27 industries that ZipRecruiter tracks, job postings have plunged between the weeks ending March 8th through April 5th.

Travel (-51%) and tourism (-31%) have been hit hardest. So have states dependent on these industries, like Hawaii (-25%) and Nevada (-24%). These states and sectors are highly sensitive to nationwide trends, noted Pollak, meaning once things start to rebound, they should see relatively quick recoveries.

Conversely, some job postings are growing fast. These include jobs* in:

  • Transportation: Commercial Flatbed Truck Driver postings are +2,614% over the past four weeks; Truck Driver Trainer +634%
  • Storage: Warehouse Laborer +83%, Warehouse Sorter +62%
  • Finance and Insurance: Claims Adjuster +212%, Financial Sales +93%
  • E-commerce: Distribution Associate +232%, Grocery Shopper +17%
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance: Intensive Care Nurse +188%, Nursing Assistant +184%
*Each with more than 1,000 daily active jobs on average each week.

assets.rebelmouse.io

The best predictor of future behavior...

As for what these foretell regarding the future economic contours, Pollak suggests also looking at past trends.

"All kinds of slow, gradual transformations that we were seeing in the economy before are now going to happen very quickly," she forecasted.

This includes the decline of certain industries, like manufacturing and retail. "Stores will go into bankruptcy much sooner than they might have," noted Pollak.

Other industries are likely to continue their ascent. "The healthcare sector has added 278,000 jobs each year on average over the past 10 years," said Pollak. Expect more growth, especially given pent-up demand for elective procedures (assuming age demographic trends mostly hold).

Meanwhile, workers and consumers are acclimating to formerly peripheral activities now becoming mainstream.

"Some of the growth that's occurring now in e-commerce, distance learning and telemedicine will be permanent," Pollak predicted.

Throughout the economy, "people are learning new technologies (and) interacting with new goods and services that they hadn't used before. And some are enjoying the experience."

Fitter, Happier, More Productive

Firms, too, are adapting to new ways of doing business, which could mean increased productivity in the long run. "Companies have been forced to invest in all kinds of technology that may have been available and would have resulted in huge cost savings, and didn't (invest) because of inertia, but now that they've become familiar (with these technologies) they'll use them to great benefit," noted Pollak.

Reducing headcount, though often painful (and sometimes unceremonious), may also ultimately make companies healthier.

"People get confused when the stock market goes up despite people losing their jobs," tweeted former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang on Thursday. "The truth is that many companies will be more profitable and efficient with fewer employees."

As working from home becomes commonplace, companies will be able to reduce land costs; and those unit costs will likely be cheaper. Some studies suggest a distributed workforce may increase productivity.

Workers on the low-end of the earnings distribution may become more productive, too.

Pollak has found that the federal aid package, combined with unemployment benefits, has left nearly half of all American workers at least as well paid as they were before the pandemic--albeit temporarily. "This offers an opportunity for many low-wage workers to overcome barriers they had to higher-wage employment in better jobs before," she said. There is no guarantee such workers will seize that opportunity, but many now have the time and financial support to train for skills, certificates and licenses that were previously out of reach.

The big question is the extent to which the damage done to the labor market overmatches the positive trends--and how long it will take to close that gap. The longer the health crisis lasts, the worse the problem will become so long as net jobs continue to decline.

In the meantime, actions like those taken by the Fed and Congress will buy the economy time, in hopes of hastening what ZipRecruiter Chief Executive Officer Ian Siegel called the "great American comeback story to come."

https://twitter.com/hisamblake
samblake@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less

PCH Driven: Director Jason Wise Talks Wine, Documentaries, and His New Indie Streaming Service SOMMTV

Jamie Williams
­Jamie Williams is the host of the “PCH Driven” podcast, a show about Southern California entrepreneurs, innovators and its driven leaders on their road to success. The series celebrates and reveals the wonders of the human spirit and explores the motivations behind what drives us.
Jason Wise holding wine glass
Image courtesy of Jason Wise

Jason Wise may still consider himself a little kid, but the 33-year-old filmmaker is building an IMDB page that rivals colleagues twice his age.

As the director behind SOMM, SOMM2, SOMM3, and the upcoming SOMM4, Wise has made a career producing award-winning documentary films that peer deep into the wine industry in Southern California and around the world.

On this episode of the PCH Driven podcast, he talks about life growing up in Cleveland as a horrible student, filmmaking, Los Angeles and his latest entrepreneurial endeavor: A streaming service called SOMMTV that features–what else?–documentaries about wine.

The conversation covers some serious ground, but the themes of wine and film work to anchor the discussion, and Wise dispenses bits of sage filmmaking advice.

“With a documentary you can just start filming right now,” he says. “That’s how SOMM came about. I got tossed into that world during the frustration of trying to make a different film, and I just started filming it, because no one could stop me because I was paying for it myself. That’s the thing with docs,” or “The good thing about SOMM is that you can explain it in one sentence: ‘The hardest test in the world is about wine, and you’ve never heard about it.’”

…Or at least maybe you hadn’t before he made his first film. Now with three SOMM documentaries under his belt, Wise is nearing completion of “SOMM4: Cup of Salvation,” which examines the history of wine’s relationship with religion. Wise says it’s “a wild film,” that spans multiple countries, the Vatican and even an active warzone. As he puts it, the idea is to show that “wine is about every subject,” rather than “every subject is about wine.”

For Wise, the transition to launching his own streaming service came out of his frustration with existing platforms holding too much power over the value of the content he produces.

“Do we want Netflix to tell us what our projects are worth or do we want the audience to do that?” he asks.

But unlike giants in the space, SOMMTV has adopted a gradual approach of just adding small bits of content as they develop. Without the need to license 500 or 1,000 hours of programming, Wise has been able to basically bootstrap SOMMTV and provide short form content and other more experimental offerings that typically get passed over by the Hulus and Disneys of the world.

So far, he says, the experiment is working, and now Wise is looking to raise some serious capital to keep up with the voracious appetites of his subscribers.

“Send those VCs my way,” Wise jokes.

Subscribe to PCH Driven on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeart, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.

dot.LA reporter David Shultz contributed to this report.

RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending