In addition to people who already have jobs losing them, the coronavirus is likely going to set the stage for the worst hiring season for new college graduates since the 2007-2008 global financial crisis.
Newly graduated students like Claire Bradshaw, highlighted in a recent CNBC article, were previously confident in getting jobs coming right out of college. Bradshaw was banking on being a news anchor and securing a job when networks came to visit the school. Then, the newsroom recruiters cancelled.
Bradshaw said: “So many Mizzou seniors get jobs from the weekly recruiter interviews. This is how we start to build up our network and start our careers.”
Meanwhile, other publishers like BuzzFeed were announcing salary cuts across their operations, including for their CEO. Leo Rocha, another senior at the University of Missouri-Columbia studying journalism said: “I am worried about not finding a job, because we’ve never experienced an event like this.”
This week, Zero Hedge reported on the largest jobless claims ever recorded in the U.S. at 3.2 million claims.
Platforms like Handshake, which had been used extensively over the last decade for hiring, are seeing massive trend shifts. Christine Cruzvergara, vice president of higher education and student success at Handshake said: “The job search for 2020 graduates is going to be different. It’s not going to be what their peers had experienced even just a year ago or five years ago.”
But people running career centers at colleges are trying to remain optimistic.
Christian Garcia, executive director at Toppel Career Center at the University of Miami, said: “We saw a lot of students just gave up in 2008. Now I am preparing my staff to get ahead of that. Yes, it might be tough, but there are a lot of tools students have on their side, especially technology, freelance and gig jobs.”
The University of Miami and Santa Clara University are working on making virtual alternatives to job fairs where students can interview and drop off resumes virtually.
Dr. Farouk Dey, vice provost for integrative learning and life design at Johns Hopkins University, said: “Our greatest challenge right now, beyond just the initial panic and anxiety about college students getting jobs, is really the mismatch between talent and where the sudden industry needs are.”
And make no mistake about it, there are definitely jobs popping up for those who are willing to work and who aren’t afraid to take on some manual labor during the snowflake generation. Amazon, for instance, is hiring 100,000 warehouse and delivery employees.
Walmart is also seeing a need for new employees, alongside names like Kroger, who has already hired tens of thousands of new employees over the last several weeks.
Of the 129,000 hiring announcements in March, many come from grocery stores and retailers who are trying to keep up with demand. Pepsi is hiring 6,000 workers and Domino’s is hiring 1,000 new delivery drivers. GE and 3M, who are working on making PPE, are also seeing a need for new workers.
“Companies are definitely still hiring right now. The methods may be a bit unusual, as companies are prioritizing speed during the hiring process,” said Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the oldest outplacement services firm in the U.S.
Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed said: “There’s been a big decline in the trend of job posting in hospitality, tourism and aviation, but we have seen a big increase in job postings in warehouse and grocery workers. The problem is that these new jobs are ones college graduates are not necessarily looking for.”