The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the U.S. job market, with more than 36 million people filing for unemployment in the last two months. But a new report brings hope that those numbers may not be as bad as they appear. According to a survey from the Federal Reserve, the vast majority of those laid off or furloughed due to Covid-19 expect to return to their job at some point. In fact, about 90% of those who lost their job said their employer indicated they would come back, but 77% said they don't know when that will happen.
Robert Vaughn, Regional VP at the placement firm Robert Half Technology in Houston, agrees that the current situation is temporary---but he's not sure how temporary. "We're operating out of a playbook that no one has seen before," he tells KTRH. "It's great news that they're expecting to go back (to work), but ultimately we don't know, and don't have those answers yet."
Vaughn predicts many people may be going back to work, but not necessarily back to the office. "Right now, over three-quarters of the actual workforce are working from home, so some new accommodations for future employers may result from this," he says.
In the meantime, for those who are on furlough or out of work altogether, Vaughn recommends making good use of the extra time. "You can continue to update and polish your LinkedIn profile, you can research positions of interest and fill other skill gaps you might be lacking, you can continue to network," he says.
Ultimately, the combination of some companies bringing back furloughed workers while others hire new ones should make for an improved employment picture down the road---whenever that may be. "There are still some pockets of industries that are hiring and looking to move forward," says Vaughn. "I definitely think this is just more of a pause...and I think that over time things will improve."