Remote jobseekers can feel confident in their March job prospects. During February, U.S. unemployment returned to a 50-year low and employment gains shattered expectations. In this March 2020 Remote Jobs Report, Virtual Vocations examines the latest remote work statistics, home-based employment hiring trends, telecommute jobs news, and internal company data mapping the remote job search preferences of U.S. professionals actively applying to flexible and work-at-home jobs.
March 2020 Remote Jobs Report
Within this report, Virtual Vocations analyzes the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) February 2020 jobs report as well as Virtual Vocations company statistics from February. This aggregate of data, as well as insights from remote work news and studies, showcases the continued growth of flexible and home-based careers as standard work models rather than exceptions to the traditional rules of on-site employment.
March Remote Jobs Outlook
“Employers are just as eager to fill available openings as jobseekers are to find new, high-paying remote jobs. The good news is telecommute-friendly companies and remote jobseekers alike can be confident in the state of remote work during March 2020 and beyond.
—Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations CEO and Co-Founder
BLS Jobs Report Analysis for Remote Workers
On Friday, March 6, the BLS released the “Employment Situation Summary” of February 2020 which outlines the state of employment within the U.S. economy. During the month, 273,000 new jobs were added among nonfarm payrolls.
Combined employment gains in December 2019 and January 2020 were 85,000 higher than previously outlined in BLS reports. These revisions are the result of additional reports received from government agencies and businesses, as well as a recalculation of seasonal factors. Taking into account these revisions, U.S. employment gains since December 2019 averaged 243,000 new jobs per month.
Top-Performing Job Sectors for February 2020
Notable job gains occurred in areas like healthcare and social assistance, government, professional and technical services, and finance.
Employment in healthcare and social assistance increased by 57,000 in February. Health care added 32,000 jobs, with gains in offices of physicians (+10,000), home health care services (+10,000), and hospitals (+8,000). Employment in social assistance increased by 25,000, with a majority of the gain in individual and family services
(+18,000). Over the past 12 months, employment increased by 368,000 in health care and by 191,000 in social assistance.
Government employment increased by 45,000, led by a gain in state government education (+16,000). Federal employment increased by 8,000, reflecting the hiring of 7,000 temporary workers for the 2020 Census.
Employment in professional and technical services increased by 32,000. Job growth occurred in architectural and engineering services (+10,000) and in scientific research and development services (+5,000). Employment continued to trend up in computer systems design and related services (+8,000). Over the past 12 months, professional and technical services has added 285,000 jobs.
Employment in financial activities increased by 26,000 in February, with gains in real estate (+8,000) and in credit intermediation and related activities (+6,000). Over the past 12 months, financial activities has added 160,000 jobs.
U.S. Wages Trends
In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 9 cents to $28.52. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.0 percent. The average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 8 cents to $23.96 in February.
Remote Job Search Preferences of Virtual Vocations Jobseekers
It is important to understand the interests and attitudes of remote jobseekers applying to flexible jobs in real-time. For this February 2020 Remote Jobs Report, Virtual Vocations examined the types of remote jobs our site users applied to throughout January.
10 Most Applied to Remote Work Industries
Within the 40+ remote career fields represented on the Virtual Vocations job board, the following job categories were most often applied to by Virtual Vocations users:
- Information Technology
- Project Management
- Customer Service
- Human Resources
Changes in Remote Jobseeker Preferences from January 2020 to February 2020
Permanent, full-time remote jobs requiring no business travel or on-site work were the most sought-after remote job openings. In addition, we also noted the following changes in job search industry preferences from December 2019 to January 2020:
- Marketing moved up two spots to become the second most applied to remote job category in January.
- Interest in remote administrative positions sharply increased from December to January with administrative positions, including flexible jobs for virtual assistants, moving from the 10th most applied to telecommuting category to the 7th most applied to category.
- The number of human resources remote jobs also increased from December to January, moving from 9th to 5th.
- Graphic design entered the top 10 list of most applied to remote work industries, replacing management as a preferred flexible job category.
- Sales and management remote job openings were not as preferred; management fell off the top 10 list and sales jobs dropped four spots from 6th to 10th.
Downturns in preferences for some remote career categories do not spell disaster for these industries in a broader telework context. January 2020 shifts in the most applied to job fields highlight the diversity of remote job types as well as the dynamic nature of this work model and available employment opportunities.
10 Industries with the Most Remote Job Openings
Among all remote job openings added to the Virtual Vocations job board during February 2020, these 10 career industries were the most prevalent for new remote job openings during the entire month.
1. Information Technology
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): 12% growth
Trending Information Technology Remote Jobs:
- Remote Information Technology Manager
- Telecommute Information Technology Software Engineer
- Remote Information Technology Consultant
- Telecommute Information Technology Customer Experience Manager
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): 14% growth
Trending Healthcare Remote Jobs:
- Remote Behavioral Healthcare Advocate
- Virtual Utilization Review Healthcare Specialist
- Remote Healthcare Research Collaborator
- Telecommute Healthcare Regional Business Office Manager
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): Little to no growth
Trending Sales Remote Jobs:
- Telecommute Technical Sales Engineer
- Virtual Inbound Sales Agent
- Remote Senior Technical Sales Manager
- Virtual SaaS Software International Sales Representative
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): 5% growth
Trending Education Remote Jobs:
- Remote Special Education Teacher
- Virtual Professional Education Tutor
- Telecommute Education Services Instructional Designer
- Remote Education Sector Management Training Coach
5. Account Management
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): Little to no growth
Trending Account Management Remote Jobs:
- Remote Technical Account Manager
- Telecommute Commercial Insurance Account Manager
- Remote Specialty Pharmaceuticals Account Manager
- Telecommute Amazon Account Manager
6. Human Services
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): 13% growth
Trending Human Services Remote Jobs:
- Remote School Psychologist
- Virtual Bilingual School Speech Language Pathologist
- Online K Through 12th Grade Teacher of the Visually Impaired
- Remote School Based Occupational Therapist
7. Customer Service
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): 2% decline
Trending Customer Service Remote Jobs:
- Telecommute Customer Service Advocate
- Remote Promotional Products Order Resolutions Specialist
- Telecommute After Hours Insurance Customer Support Representative
- Remote Customer Happiness Manager
8. Project Management
Project Management Institute (PMI) Industry Outlook (2017–2027): 31% growth
Trending Project Management Remote Jobs:
- Remote Digital Project Manager
- Telecommute Senior Technical Project Manager
- Remote Solutions and Services Project Manager
- Virtual Senior Fintech Project Manager
BLS Industry Outlook (2018–2028): BLS Industry Outlook: 8% growth
Trending Marketing Remote Jobs:
- Telecommute Marketing Vice President
- Remote Associate Paid Media and Audience Growth Director
- Telecommute Partner Marketing Manager
- Remote Facebook Ads Manager
Trending Teaching Remote Jobs:
- Online Elementary Instructor
- Telecommute SAT Math and Verbal Skills Instructor
- Remote Visual Media Adjunct Faculty Member
- Virtual Spanish Teacher
Virtual Vocations in the News
Since the publication of our February Remote Jobs Report, the following media outlets have featured Virtual Vocations content, quotes, and statistics on remote work:
Forbes Human Resources Council
Virtual Vocations CEO Laura Spawn was featured in a Forbes publication on “How To Ensure Compliance With New Regulations: Nine Key Actions.” The article details the most effective actions businesses can take to stay up-to-date on new rules and regulations as business owners. Laura suggests that business owners explore services in their area to notify them of legislative changes affecting businesses. In addition, business owners can engage in annual meetings with a startup consultant as well as use payroll and human resources services to manage key employee matters.
Flexible work arrangements are good options for parents who want to spend more time with family, have experienced a change in priorities, or are interested in cutting childcare costs. In “Unconventional Career Journeys: Beyond Nine-to-Five” for L.A. Parent magazine, Laura offers insight on nontraditional career paths like remote work and how they can benefit working families.
As a contributor author for Business.com, Laura writes about her entrepreneurial experiences and lessons she has learned while owning a business. “13 Things I’ve Learned in 13 Years as a Business Owner” is Laura’s latest contributor article for Business.com. Within the article, Laura discusses some of the most important lessons she has learned since starting her business. From choosing work-life integration over work-life balance to hiring experts and listening to customers, this article is packed with advice and guidance for current and future entrepreneurs.
Americans 65 years of age and older represent the fastest-growing labor group in the U.S., according to AARP. For Thrive Global, Laura explored this topic in a contributor article addressing “6 Reasons Older Americans Should Consider Remote Work.”
Final Thoughts on the March 2020 Remote Jobs Report
The overall rise in available U.S. job openings, the expansion of remote-enabled career fields like healthcare, business operations and travel, and the high-level enthusiasm and engagement from remote workers are only some of the facts supporting February 2020 as yet another strong month for remote work. Looking ahead to March, we project continued growth in the number of job openings posted by remote-enabled businesses and organizations as well as an increased interest in flexible and home-based job options from jobseekers searching for permanent, full-time employment.
Do you have questions about the March 2020 Remote Jobs Report? Did any of the findings surprise you? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to share your thoughts about the March 2020 Remote Jobs Report or the current state of remote work.
Image credits: Virtual Vocations images, Kimberly Back; iStock photos, 1. scyther5; 2. primeimages
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