COVID-19 wreaks economic havoc, spurs health care hiring
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With all the economic carnage that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing, one thing it’s not leading to is trouble in the job market.
So far, there’s no evidence in the data that companies are laying off workers or holding back on hiring while business activity and consumer demand slack off.
The job sites ZipRecruiter and Glassdoor both report a spike in job openings related to the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.
“There is a wide mix of skills needed [and] that is reflected in the income spectrum, as well,” said Daniel Zhao, a senior economist at Glassdoor, who added that the surge in demand includes some highly paid healthcare jobs.
“[From] epidemiologists or virologists to registered nurses, down to call center or front-desk workers who are helping handle the influx of community questions,” Zhao said, as well as foreign language speakers to get public health information out.
April Hansen at staffing agency Aya Healthcare said her firm’s recently had more calls to fill temporary job postings for physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
“Many health systems are setting up more mobile care units — tents in their parking lots to help triage the number of walk-in patients,” Hansen said.
Her firm is also providing emergency workers to clean and disinfect health care facilities.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?
This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.
Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?
India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.
Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?
As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.
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