Industry Update
Press Release 1 March 2021

Global hiring a mixed bag in 2021 after the highs and lows of 2020, finds GlobalData

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Global hiring activity witnessed a momentous 2020 with significant changes throughout the year. The pharma and retail sectors saw pronounced hiring, and the active job index for these industries surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels in 2021 - notably with a dip in 2020. Meanwhile, the travel and tourism and automotive sectors reacted sharply with the number of jobs open for recruitment stooping to a low in May 2020. However, the automotive sector has turned the tables with hiring regaining momentum and active jobs at their highest since January 2020, finds GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.


Ajay Thalluri, Business Fundamentals Analyst at GlobalData, says: "Despite the automotive sector seeing a fall in the number of jobs open for recruitment since May 2020, several OEMs resumed production at relatively full capacity in 2021 and the number of open jobs continue to be high."

Nick Wyatt, Head of Research & Analysis for Travel & Tourism, observes: "For many companies in the tourism sector in 2020, cash conservation quickly became the number one priority as many had to focus simply on survival. This not only led to reduced hiring but also job cuts and furloughs, most notably in the aviation space."

The automotive and travel & tourism sectors added the least number of jobs through 2020 with several companies seeing significant job cuts, furloughs and layoffs. Interestingly, the foodservice sector remained relatively resilient and hiring remained unaffected. The technology sector hiring remained strong - adding a significant number of job postings - mostly driven by the reliance of companies on cloud technologies.

COVID-19-induced challenges did not deter retail, pharma or technology companies from making new job postings in 2020 that contributed to about 72% of total posted jobs in 2020. These sectors led the way to faster adoption of direct-to-consumer strategy for products and services as most companies increased job postings for ecommerce, omnichannel and D2C specialists.

Thalluri concludes: "Globally, hiring in 2021 will be positive with substantial increase in job additions especially in the pharma and retail sectors. Job additions in the travel and tourism will be low compared to the pre-COVID-19 hiring trend as the sector reels under stress of new strains emerging."

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