Not all occupations are recovering employment at the same pace in a generally tight labor market, according to the Richmond Federal Reserve.
Particularly reemployment in personal care services, food preparation and serving, cleaning and maintenance and health care support workers remains much higher than pre-pandemic levels with an unemployment rate almost 6% higher than in February 2021.
“These workers may not have wanted to take a job in their previous field due to health concerns and could be looking for work in other fields,” according to the reports writers. “In addition, COVID-19 may have affected high-contact services occupations in ways that make it hard for some workers to return to work, such as irregular scheduling or extended hours that compete with other needs like child care.”
According to the report employers in occupations that have seen workers drop out may be demanding more overtime, unconventional shifts or greater job duties and technical skills relative to pre-Covid working routine.
“The ongoing rise of COVID-19 variants poses additional risks that employment falls back or that the recovery in jobs continues to be uneven,” notes the report. “So while November’s employment report does contain good news in the top line, things look very different from one occupation to another.”