Fight against COVID leads to vaccine-related job spike, study shows

NOW: Fight against COVID leads to vaccine-related job spike, study shows

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Area Technical College has taken their job fairs to zoom.

The MATC CareerHub connects graduating students with today’s jobs. Their meeting Wednesday, March 24, was for respiratory therapy.

“They are delivering breathing treatments," MATC Student Employment Director Jenny McGilligan said. "They are monitoring the ventilators and making those adjustments for patients that are on ventilators.”

McGilligan said health care jobs to fight the virus are in demand during these virtual meetings.

“We had five health care employers on that platform today. And we’re consistently doing them every week.”

That is in line with a study by the hiring company ZipRecruiter that found there are 50,000 COVID-related job openings posted online right now. ZipRecruiter Labor Economist Julia Pollak said in a statement vaccine-related jobs "have grown far faster than average over the past 12 months. As of mid-March, they were up 59% year-over-year, whereas U.S. job postings overall were only up 28%. There's been a particularly large spike since January."

It’s not just lab techs and pharmacist jobs opening up. The study shows truck drivers are also in demand.

QPS Employment Group said vaccine demand has also increased openings in transportation, pharmaceutical packaging and sometimes manufacturing.

“PPE or anything with masks, or plastic or vials, that’s actually probably the easiest one," QPS President Ryan Festerling said. "But when you think about all the machining components and the extra products that may even be related to that, it’s actually an interesting list.”

The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce said there are now large groups of job openings that need to be filled.

The group said hospitality is opening back up, but workers haven’t returned.

“We’re competing with the couch in a lot of cases," MMAC Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Steve Baas said. "Those are jobs that are on the lower end of the wage scale, and in some cases, right now they can’t compete effectively with government assistance to not be working.”

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