Seeing what others miss: how to assess the pandemic's impact with job postings data

With nearly every large company posting job openings on their own websites and those of third-party aggregators, tracking this data may not look easy. Yet, we see great value in doing so. Businesses know more about their internal conditions and customer demand long before external buy-side and sell-side analysts do.

We have looked at the active job postings data by LinkUp to assess the pandemic's impact on some of the key economic sectors.

After analyzing the applied materials sector in March 2020, we have concluded that tracking job postings data can provide you with actionable insights, making you see what others miss and act faster.

In early to mid-March a number of active job postings for AMAT began to disappear, declining from around 1,600 to approximately 1,300 – roughly a 20% reduction. That would be our red flag.

It wasn’t until March 19 that we saw the first of the 20 analysts citing the potential impact of COVID-19 and lowering the mean revenue estimate.

How did the pandemic crisis affect hiring processes in the financial industry? There were 6,767 fewer active job postings in May, compared with the end of February 2020 (a 381% decline).
What about communication services? There were 7,103 less active job postings available on May 15, 2020 - that’s a 198% decrease over 3 months.

Should we also attribute it to the changing resource management practices?

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The energy sector, one of the most affected by the crisis, has seen a 272% decrease in job postings over the course of 3 months, with 1377 fewer job openings as of May 19.
Unsurprisingly, the consumer staples sector has seen one of the smallest declines - 9%, with 4233 less job openings appearing on the web.
Last, but not least, the healthcare sector, which will continue to undergo major changes, has seen a 60% cutback, with 27,951 fewer jobs posted in late May.
The financial and energy sector are those most affected by the crisis, which goes in line with the global trends and is reflected in their hiring behavior. Besides, the communication services sector is also going through drastic changes. Should we partly attribute these changes to the evolving approach to building work processes? Apparently, time will tell.

As the world is entering a new, post-crisis era, tracking the job posting data - alongside other alt data sets - is something that can put you ahead of the game. Getting actionable insights earlier and seeing what others miss is turning into a major competitive advantage in this fast-moving environment. 

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