20 Jobs Where COVID-19 Has Impacted Long-Term Growth

Man at work with belongings after being fired
baranq / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.

While many economists believe that the U.S. economy will return to pre-pandemic levels by late 2021, they are less confident that the job market will bounce back as quickly.

According to February data from the National Association of Business Economics, 82% of economic forecasters surveyed expect real GDP to return to pre-COVID-19 recession levels sometime in 2021.

By contrast, only 59% of respondents anticipate the total number of workers (excluding farm workers) will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 or later.

As Americans scramble to boost their savings and map out their job prospects during the pandemic, SmartAsset analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 720 occupations to project the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the job market.

We compared pre-pandemic and strong pandemic impact projections to determine the jobs that could be affected most positively or negatively by COVID-19. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our findings, check out the data and methodology section at the end.

Here are the jobs most likely to be positively affected by the pandemic, followed by those most likely to be negatively affected.

1. Epidemiologists

Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 4.6%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 31.0%

Strong Pandemic Impact: 31.2%

Difference: 26.6%

2. Medical Scientists

Female lab scientist using microscope
Likoper / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 6.1%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 28.9%

Strong Pandemic Impact: 30.7%

Difference: 24.6%

3. Information Security Analysts

Information security analyst
leo_photo / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 31.2%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 42.1%

Strong Pandemic Impact: 43.0%

Difference: 11.8%

4. Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers

woman software developer working from home
Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 8.0%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 18.8%

Strong Pandemic Impact: 19.3%

Difference: 11.3%

5. Biochemists and Biophysicists

sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 4.0%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 12.1%

Strong Pandemic Impact: 14.7%

Difference: 10.7%

6. Network and Computer Systems Administrators (Tie)

setting up home Wi-Fi wireless network and router
Casezy idea / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 4.3%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 14.1%

Strong Pandemic Impact: 14.5%

Difference: 10.2%

6. Computer Network Architects (Tie)

Network
chanpipat / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 5.0%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 14.5%

Strong Pandemic Impact: 15.2%

Difference: 10.2%

8. Microbiologists

science photo / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 3.1%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 11.1%

Strong Pandemic Impact: 12.3%

Difference: 9.2%

9. Biological Technicians (Tie)

Female lab technicians operating machinery
SeventyFour / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 4.9%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 9.3%

Strong Pandemic Impact: 10.8%

Difference: 5.9%

9. Database Administrators and Architects (Tie)

nullplus / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 9.7%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 15.3%

Strong Pandemic Impact: 15.6%

Difference: 5.9%

Jobs Most Likely to Be Negatively Affected

Woman in office receives document, looks shocked.
Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

Job growth estimates dropped more than 10 percentage points for 12 jobs.

Notably, there are large differences between the moderate and strong pandemic impact scenarios for many of the jobs likely to be negatively affected.

Following are the jobs most likely to be negatively affected by the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects.

1. Restaurant, Lounge & Coffee Shop Hosts and Hostesses

A 15-year-old girl working at a coffee shop prepares morning brew for customers
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 8.2%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: -10.8%

Strong Pandemic Impact: -18.0%

Difference: -26.2%

2. Bartenders

santypan / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 5.9%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: -2.1%

Strong Pandemic Impact: -13.8%

Difference: -19.7%

3. Waiters and Waitresses

Restaurant worker in a mask
Norenko Andrey / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 3.7%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: -5.6%

Strong Pandemic Impact: -12.9%

Difference: -16.6%

4. Reservation & Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel Clerks

Travel agent
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: -2.9%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: -11.2%

Strong Pandemic Impact: -19.1%

Difference: -16.2%

5. Hotel, Motel and Resort Desk Clerks

Hotel reception desk bell
Dmitry Kalinovsky / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: -6.9%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: -10.9%

Strong Pandemic Impact: -22.0%

Difference: -15.1%

6. Receptionists and Information Clerks

Hotel concierge on phone.
Gabriel Georgescu / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 3.6%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: -2.2%

Strong Pandemic Impact: -10.4%

Difference: -14.0%

7. Flight Attendants

Airplane flight attendant
kgarinKhun / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 17.3%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 9.2%

Strong Pandemic Impact: 3.7%

Difference: -13.6%

8. Cashiers

Aleksandar Malivuk / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: -7.3%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: -14.1%

Strong Pandemic Impact: -19.7%

Difference: -12.4%

9. Restaurant Cooks

Cooking
dotshock / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 23.1%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 13.9%

Strong Pandemic Impact: 10.9%

Difference: -12.2%

10. Transit and Intercity Bus Drivers

Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

2019-2029 Projected Growth Rate Pre-Pandemic: 9.3%

Moderate Pandemic Impact: 2.7%

Strong Pandemic Impact: -2.6%

Difference: -11.9%

Data and Methodology

A man studies financial data at his computer
NicoElNino / Shutterstock.com

Data for this report comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) employment projections. We considered initial 2019-2029 projections that do not account for COVID-19 along with two alternate scenarios: a moderate COVID-19 impact scenario and a strong impact scenario.

The alternate scenarios identify occupations whose employment trajectories are subject to higher levels of uncertainty. The BLS does not intend them to be precise estimates of employment change over the projection period.

To rank the jobs most likely to be positively and negatively affected by COVID-19, we compared pre-COVID-19 pandemic and strong pandemic impact scenario projections for a total of 720 occupations. We calculated the percentage point difference between those two projections.

A positive difference indicates that strong pandemic impact projections are higher than pre-COVID-19 pandemic projections and that those jobs are more likely to be positively affected. A negative difference indicates that strong pandemic impact projections are lower than pre-COVID-19 pandemic projections and that those jobs are more likely to be negatively affected.

Though we did not use the moderate impact scenario numbers in ranking occupations, we used them qualitatively to evaluate less-severe lasting effects of the pandemic on certain jobs.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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