University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies Releases Whitepaper Detailing COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on the U.S. Job Market

 University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies Releases Whitepaper Detailing COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on the U.S. Job Market

PHOENIX–()–University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies has released a whitepaper outlining impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on American careers in major metropolitan areas. Analyzing findings from the University’s first annual Career Optimism Index™ study, the whitepaper also looks at barriers to career advancement and worker perceptions toward the future of their careers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many aspects of American workers’ lives disproportionally, including by geographical location,” said Mansureh Kebritchi, Ph.D. and Ryan Rominger, Ph.D. of the College of Doctoral Studies at University of Phoenix. “A critical purpose of reviewing these findings, was to understand how higher education institutions can help American workers overcome their career barriers by learning about their needs and providing support.”

The labor market shock of COVID-19 was larger than the 2008 global financial crisis. By April of 2020, 15 percent of the U.S. job market was gone as compared to 6 percent during the Great Recession. Although economic recovery has been faster than previous recoveries, it is not complete as only about 52 percent of lost jobs have returned, and the pace of recovery slowed as COVID-19 cases dramatically increased during the fall of 2020 requiring additional closures and restrictions.

The study found that the disproportionate economic impact of COVID-19 on various geographical regions was dependent on the dominant industries in those regions. To examine the career status of American workers, the paper looks at six of the most impacted industries: restaurants and bars, travel and transportation, entertainment (e.g., casinos and amusement parks), personal services (e.g., daycare providers and barbers), sensitive retail (e.g., department stores), and sensitive manufacturing (e.g., aircraft and car manufacturing).

The states most impacted were Nevada, Hawaii, Florida, and South Carolina, all with over 23 percent of their employment in these highly impacted industries. On the other side of the spectrum, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Minnesota and Washington D.C. were the least impacted, with less than 18 percent of employment in these sectors.

The strain put on workers also varied in different metropolitan areas in terms of work environment, career derailment, work-life balance, and job replacement fearfulness. For example, workers in San Francisco (41%) and Miami (40%) were most likely to say their careers were derailed as a result of COVID-19. Metropolitan areas where workers said their work-life balance was impacted the most were Miami (63%), New York City (61%), Houston (60%), and San Francisco (59%). Areas where workers were most concerned about their jobs being replaced with technology were Washington D.C. and Miami (both 30%), Orlando (28%), Houston (26%), Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City (all 24%).

“To address the challenges facing today’s workforce, there is a serious need for skill development and support,” said Kebritchi.

About 35 percent of Americans said they don’t have access to opportunities to develop new career skills. The lack of access to resources for new skill development was felt highest in Sacramento (37%), Philadelphia and Houston (both 36%). Access to the right resources to achieve career goals was also a concern, with Phoenix (32%), Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco, San Jose, and Orlando (all 27%) having the highest need. The type of career support most commonly cited as being needed were, connecting with others in desired field (55%), finding a mentor/advocate (54%), seeking out training programs (52%), and creating/updating resumes (50%).

To read the full whitepaper, visit:

About the College of Doctoral Studies

University of Phoenix’s College of Doctoral Studies focuses on today’s challenging business and organizational needs, from addressing critical social issues to developing solutions to accelerate community building and industry growth. The College’s research program puts students in the center of an effective ecosystem of experts, resources and tools to help them prepare them to be a leader in their organization, industry and community. Through this program, students and researchers work with organizations to conduct research that can be applied in the workplace in real time.

About the Career Optimism Index™

The Career Optimism Index™ study is one of the most comprehensive studies of Americans’ personal career perceptions to-date. The University of Phoenix Career Institute will conduct this research annually to provide insights on current workforce trends and to help identify solutions to support and advance American careers. For the first annual study, more than 5,000 U.S adults were surveyed about how they feel about their careers at this moment in time, including their concerns, their challenges, and the degree to which they are optimistic about core aspects of their careers, their advancement in the future. The study was conducted among a diverse, nationally representative, sample of U.S. adults among a robust sample to allow for gender, generational, racial, and socioeconomic differences and includes additional analysis of workers in the top twenty media markets across the country to uncover geographic nuances.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life™ help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit

Published at Thu, 23 Sep 2021 18:56:00 +0000

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