Job Seeker Interest in Contact Tracing Falls As Job Postings Pick Up
As coronavirus continues to devastate the US, contact tracing — identifying people who may have been exposed to coronavirus — has become both a buzzword and potential solution to eventually returning to normal life. Job seekers are highly aware of this and have been looking for opportunities to fill these roles. Searches for contact tracing job openings peaked in late May, with searches jumped nearly 180% from May 1 to May 28. However, as businesses start to reopen and the pandemic is no longer at the forefront of everyone’s minds, interest in contact tracing jobs has fallen 24% just from June 1 to June 5.
While job seeker interest started to take off in mid-April, job postings for these positions only started to substantially tick up in early- to mid-May. Since then, the share of contact-tracing-related job postings per million postings has increased swiftly. As of June 5th, the share of contact-tracing-related postings increased by 959% compared to May 1. Despite this, the number of contact tracing positions remains very small — well below what health experts are saying is needed to safely open the country. As more of these jobs will need to be filled in coming weeks, hopefully job seeker interest will buck the current downward trend given these contact tracer jobs are critical for exiting the social distancing era.
As coronavirus continues to impede daily life, we’ll keep an eye on job seeker searches and employer demand for contact tracing changes.
Contact tracer searches are defined as those that contain the keywords “contact”, “covid-19” or “covid” and “trace”, “tracer” or “tracing”. Contact tracer job postings are defined as those that contain “contact”, “covid” or “covid-19” and “trace”, “tracer” or “tracing” in the title of the job posting.
AnnElizabeth Konkel is an Economist on the Indeed Hiring Lab who focuses on the US labor market. She previously worked at DAI, an international development company. AnnElizabeth holds an M.A. in International Economics at American University’s School of International Service and holds a B.A. in history from Mount Holyoke College.