Global hiring declines slow, workforce confidence remains moderately optimistic

Every corner of the globe is navigating a slightly different stage of managing coronavirus: in China, the workers have been back in the workplace for nearly a month; in France, lockdowns are expected to begin lifting in the next few weeks. Here in the U.S., we’re closing out the second month where we’re really feeling the impact. 

As we look ahead to May, we’re continuing to see hiring be impacted around the world as a result of the coronavirus. We’ve also begun to measure the confidence of our global members to understand how they’re feeling about their job stability, financial status, and career growth. Consumer confidence has historically been a key indicator of the economy, and as LinkedIn we’re in a unique position to measure how people feel, what challenges they’re facing, and finding solutions.

China continues a steady hiring rebound, and Italy begins its recovery 

The larger trend of hiring decline persists in many places around the world, but it’s worth noting that many of these rapid hiring declines that we were seeing globally have started to slow. 

  • China continues its quick hiring rebound, closing in on 30 percentage point improvement in the growth rate between March 13 and April 24. You’ll see in the graph below that China did see a slight dip at the start of April, which is due to the country’s Qingming Festival.

  • The United States and Singapore were steadily declining through the end of March and beginning of April, but hiring decline appears to be slowing through the end of April. It’s worth noting that country holidays tend to have a brief, but material impact on hiring, so we suspect the Easter bank holidays contributed to the sharp dip around April 14 and rebound shortly thereafter. 

  • Australia, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy continue to experience steep and steady declines, though we’re seeing a similar holiday-related dip and rebound in hiring around April 14. 


Looking ahead, I’m paying closest attention to the ripple effects that we’re seeing across the global economy. Our earliest insights showed that hiring was hit hardest in countries and sectors of the global economy most directly affected the virus, and later by social distancing and public health measures. But even as public health officials manage the outbreak of the virus, we’re beginning to see the ripple effects across the global economy -- in industries like software & IT, hardware & networking, and finance -- that make the realities of an economic slowdown increasingly evident. 

Members in certain industries, jobs feel more confident than others

The latest insights from our Workforce Confidence Index continue to underscore the uncertainty workers across the globe are feeling about these changes, and can help business leaders and policymakers understand how to support workers navigating them.

In the U.S., industry confidence is beginning to shift, reflecting the difference between industries that are on the front lines of coronavirus and those who may be experiencing a “pause” in hiring or activity. Confidence within Transportation & Logistics and Construction industries has surged from two weeks ago, while the Education and Corporate Services industries are actually less confident than before.


When we look at confidence by job function, we’re seeing similar divides emerge based on how easily roles are able to transition to remote work and how resilient they are to budget cuts. Software engineers and sales professionals are most confident, while marketing and media professionals -- where hiring slowdowns are higher -- are feeling least optimistic. 

We’re also seeing a few interesting trends emerge: Human Resources professionals are not only relatively confident about job security or prospects, they’re also the most confident about their future career progression. In IT roles, one of the most common and well-paying jobs for non-degree holders, we’re seeing workers are anxious about their finances and future career advancement but remain confident about job security in the near term. 


There are some more bright spots I’m keeping a close eye on as we look ahead: members who are looking for a job right now are slightly more optimistic than they were two weeks ago about the number of new jobs available increasing, likelihood of hearing back from a recruiter, and number of interviews scheduled. 

I’ll share our next update on global hiring and workforce confidence on May 14. In the meantime, follow LinkedIn Economic Graph and LinkedIn Editors for LinkedIn’s latest data and insights.