Global Employment Snapshots

May 19, 2020
By Mary Anne Thompson, Founder and President, GoinGlobal, Inc.

As many countries around the world inch toward fully opening back up and building their new normals, areas of job promise come to the fore.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the job landscape in many countries around the world. At a time when optimism was high, and many economies were growing or stabilizing, the global health crisis has paralyzed or temporarily derailed them. It is difficult to know how or when economies will return to the places they were before this crisis. But, as countries begin to open for business again, even in modified ways, we are beginning to get some clarity on growing job opportunities in major countries around the globe. Here, we explore six major countries that show multiple areas of job promise.


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, US employers had an optimistic outlook on employment, with only 3% planning to lay off employees. Industries with the strongest employment outlook included leisure and hospitality, transportation and utilities, wholesale and retail trade, and professional and business services.

While millions of Americans are now out of work, some industries are less affected than others. Health care and tech jobs are among the most in demand right now. Many employers are also hiring in management.

Nursing has the most new job postings nationwide, comprising 11.2% of listings. Other in-demand health care positions include pharmacists, medical technicians, and personal care and home health aides.

Thanks to their remote-friendly nature, tech jobs are in high demand. Software development is a hot area right now, but it’s not the only position employers are looking to fill. Other in-demand tech jobs include:

  • WordPress developer

  • Systems integration engineer

  • SAS analytics programmer

  • Database engineer

  • Software engineering manager

Some industries have seen a major uptick in job growth, thanks to limitations placed on the retail sector. Instead of being able to go to department stores and malls, many Americans are turning to e-commerce for their shopping needs. Since the country went into lockdown, online sales are up 25%. It’s no wonder that jobs in related sectors are growing, including:

  • Logistics/warehouse: +156%

  • Retail: +15%

  • Transportation: +12%

  • Grocery: +6.5%

Still, the biggest shift will come in remote work, which is expected to comprise a quarter of jobs by the end of next year. Sectors that are expected to transition toward permanent work-from-home positions include:

  • Education

  • Professional, scientific and technical services

  • Business management

  • Finance and insurance

  • Information services

Whether you end up working remotely might depend on where you live. Some areas of the country are more equipped for remote work than others. Areas best prepared for work-from-home employment include:

  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California

  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia

  • Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina

  • Austin-Round Rock, Texas

  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California


Before COVID-19, the fastest-growing job sector was professional, scientific and technical services. Business confidence was high.

Industries that have been less affected by the pandemic are utilities, public administration, finance, insurance, real estate and food manufacturing.

Employment has been stable for most health care jobs, especially at hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities. However, it has dropped in other health care areas, such as physician and dentist offices and medical laboratories.

Certain industries, mainly those in areas deemed essential, are thriving under the pandemic and are hiring. For example:

  • Health care organizations such as Alberta Health Services, Apotex, Dialogue, Umano Medical and Babylon Health.

  • Engineering and tech companies such as FNX-INNOV, Slack, Shopify, 24/7 Intouch and Nordia.

Notably, Ottawa-based Shopify is now Canada’s most valuable public company. Many businesses have turned to this e-commerce company to help them sell their goods and services online during the pandemic.

Food production is an essential service and is in need of highly-skilled workers, particularly those with digital, leadership, business and communications skills. Agricultural wages and benefits have seen above-average growth over the past two decades. The Agri-jobs site has more information about careers in the industry.

The Labour Market Information Council/Conseil de l'information sur le marche du travail (LIMC-CIMT) maintains a list of essential services and jobs during this period. These include jobs in health care, public safety, supply chain, wholesale and retail, food services, utilities and transport.

The following positions are currently in demand:

  1. Developers

  2. Sales representatives and account managers

  3. Retail clerks and cashiers

  4. Nurses and health care workers

  5. Transport truck drivers

  6. IT consultants

  7. Call center representatives

  8. Civil engineers (construction is considered an essential service in some provinces)

  9. Retail supervisors

  10. Advertising and marketing managers

  11. Administrative assistants

  12. Accountants and financial professionals

  13. Inventory control specialists

  14. Help desk and IT support

  15. Janitors and cleaners

  16. HR specialists

  17. Laborers (assemblers, line workers and quality control staff for goods manufacturers)

  18. Warehouse workers

  19. Business development specialists

  20. Manufacturing engineers

Source: Randstad

The U.K.

The UK has a booming tech industry, and the COVID-19 shutdown will likely lead to more jobs created in this sector, with subsequent effects in retail, pharmaceutical research and other industries. ‘Telemedicine’ software has been increasingly put into use during the crisis for online consultations. The technology has been available for years, but wasn’t widely embraced until now because of worries about patient privacy. This trend should lead to increased job demand for medical professionals in all types of preventive medicine, as well as software developers, online teachers, and others in fields related to medicine.

In addition, because the crisis created the necessity for online meetings, any person who can demonstrate online communication skills may be able to find work in the financial, health care and retail sales industries. London has a good number of financial technology start-ups, and Cambridge has become a hub for pharmaceutical research and medical technology companies. About a fifth of retail sales are online in the UK, compared to a tenth in the US.

Here are some of the most in-demand occupations in the UK:

  • Health care (support, nursing, nursing assistants)

  • Teachers and teaching assistants

  • Customer service agents and managers

  • Account managers

  • Business development managers

  • Sales managers

  • Corporate lawyers

  • Accountants

  • Maintenance engineers

  • Production employees

  • Child care workers


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, IT experts were very much in demand across every industry. This included professionals with experience in UX and UI, data management, artificial intelligence, business intelligence, analytics, development and cybersecurity.

Thanks to an investment in infrastructure, the demand was also high for civil, electrical and mechanical engineers, project managers and professionals in ancillary sectors.

While some sectors such as business investment and residential construction will be sluggish through 2021, others such as IT, engineering and finance will likely look for professionals this year.

Some of the occupations estimated to be in high demand this year:

  • Finance analysts and accountants

  • Compliance, risk and relationship managers

  • Project engineers

  • Rail systems engineers

  • Asset managers (energy sector)

  • Digital marketing managers

  • Sales managers

  • DevOps engineers

  • Cybersecurity professionals

  • Data analysts / scientists


Just before the virus hit, hiring intentions had finally risen after falling consistently for a year, according to Manpower Group. Banks, finance and insurance firms in particular had stronger hiring intentions. Other areas that showed good hiring intentions were chemicals and pharmaceuticals manufacturers.

Currently, open positions are overwhelmingly in the health care sector. Employers are also seeking skilled workers, who are constantly in demand here. In particular, engineers, scientists, mathematicians and IT experts are needed.

Germany spends more than any country on pharmaceutical R&D and is Europe’s top pharma location. Many pharma and biotech firms, including CureVac, BioNTech, Vaxxilon and Bavarian Nordic, are working to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

IT and digital industries are thriving during the pandemic. High-tech companies are still hiring, including multinationals such as Microsoft, Google and Salesforce. Companies that specialize in remote work, such as Zoom, Slack, Asana and Trello, are also hiring.

Other promising industries are online learning companies, digital entertainment (movie and games providers such as Netflix) and e-commerce companies.

The need for data specialists (e.g., data analysts and data scientists) and digitalization and e-commerce specialists is expected in the near future.

The government is providing massive aid to start-up businesses, including a special 2 billion EUR package to help them. They are considered crucial to Germany’s economy and future.

Going forward, the government does not plan to lose sight of the need to take climate action. It will continue to invest in sustainable technologies and move away from fossil fuels. Germany is a global leader in clean-tech and renewables, including bioenergy, photovoltaics, solar thermal and wind energy.


The economic recovery may take some time to gain momentum. The government recently streamlined visa approvals so that industries experiencing shortages could hire foreign nationals with less bureaucracy. IT and digital experts continue to be in high demand.

France is a hub for pharmaceutical research. Sanofi S.A., a French multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris, is partnering with the U.K.’s GlaxoSmithKline to develop and test a vaccine for COVID-19. Overall, medical, pharmaceutical and biotech professionals are in high demand.

In Paris, teachers, pre-school teachers, teaching assistants and school administrators are sought-after as schools and daycares open their doors.

Also in demand are accountants and financial planners, particularly if they are bilingual and have global expertise in taxation, legal issues and economics.

Some of the most in-demand sectors in the country are:

  • ICT analysts and experts

  • IT programmers

  • Project managers

  • Accountants and financial planners

  • Digital marketing specialists

  • AI experts

  • Engineers

  • Electrical engineers and electric draftsman

  • Teachers, pre-school teachers, teaching assistants, school administrators

  • Logistics and delivery experts

  • Physicians, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, home healthcare aides, pharmacists and research chemists and biologists.

  • Domestic workers and maintenance technicians


The employment trends in these six countries and others will surely continue to evolve with the COVID-19 pandemic and the world’s race toward a vaccine. The areas of job promise explored show where the biggest employment needs are now and for the foreseeable future. Many countries are hiring in a variety of job sectors, and this is a positive situation for those who have lost jobs as a result of the pandemic or are newly entering the job market.