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Key Points:

  • Transportation: Automotive industry hiring is strong as might be expected. Airline industry hiring is surprisingly strong.
  • Personal Protective Equipment hiring is not as strong as one might expect. They seem to have done much of the hiring from their boom, and are now coasting.
  • Luxury hiring in manufacturing and supply chain is not strong in the U.S, but there are still many support opportunities.

Recruiters: U.S. Recruiting Opportunities in Manufacturing and Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The pressures on the manufacturing and supply chain industry due to COVID-19 cannot be overstated. To put it bluntly, the industry is undergoing the same upheaval as the rest of the world, but they are closer to the sources of this upheaval than any industry save medical. In this article, we will look at three highly-affected subsets of manufacturing and supply chain, and identify any trends that can assist you in helping your customers.

Transportation: Planes, Bikes, and Automobiles

With many people having fled the city for the suburbs, as well as attempting to avoid public transit, one might expect an increase in demand from automotive manufacturers. Let’s see what their job boards say. The top three U.S. Manufacturers currently have a total of 722 U.S. jobs posted. Of these, 198 or 27% are in manufacturing. U.S. Manufacturers seem to have their COVID-19 safety procedures well established, as only 0.69% of these jobs are in safety or health. However, it does seem that remote work is still creating plenty of opportunity, as 13.43% of these jobs are in IT. Where are these jobs? Unsurprisingly the vast majority are in the South, West, and Rust Belt states. One of the discussed U.S. Automotive manufacturers had some jobs in New York State, however.

Meanwhile, despite demand, the number of open jobs for bicycle companies is significantly lower. Two top U.S. Bicycle Manufacturers only have 8 U.S. Supply Chain jobs between them and no manufacturing jobs. This may be due to the fact that, unlike automobiles, most mass market bikes are manufactured overseas.

Meanwhile, one would expect the U.S. Airline industry to be in a complete stall. True, only 11.5% of U.S. jobs in three of the top airplane producers are in manufacturing or supply chain directly, but this is out of a total of 3983 jobs total! They may be hurting, but they are hardly dead.

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Personal Protective Equipment

Surely with the increased demand in PPE, PPE companies must need manufacturing recruiters now more than ever. Not exactly. Two of the largest PPE manufacturers have nearly 1500 jobs available between them, but only 6.19% of these are in manufacturing and only 6.26% in IT. However, there are slightly more opportunities for PPE in supply chain and procurement, with 206 jobs or 14.18% in this area. Once again, the PPE industry seems to have its COVID safety policies in place, with few jobs, if any, related to health and safety. For at least one of these manufacturers, these jobs appear to be distributed over the entire U.S.

Luxury Goods

The picture is a bit more complicated with luxury goods, and the patterns are a bit more difficult to find. Is the demand for luxury goods reduced due to COVID-19 recession? Indeed, of the 1560 North America jobs posted by three top luxury goods manufacturers, only 3% (47) are in manufacturing and only 4.74% (74) are in supply chain/procurement. Nor is there much hiring in the IT and health & safety roles supporting these manufacturers. Only 2% of these jobs are IT, and only 2 (not 2%, but 2) appear to be in health and safety.

However, it is unclear if demand hiring is low due to COVID-19, or due to the fact that the United States is not competitive in the global market for the manufacturer of luxury goods. With 1560 jobs in support and administration, it might be the latter. At the very least, the closure of many borders does not appear to have brought luxury goods manufacturing jobs back to the United States.


Since unemployment in manufacturing has climbed from 3.6% in August of last year to 7.6% August of this year, now is the time for your recruiters to build their relationships with workers. There are plenty of opportunities for recruiting companies in manufacturing and the supply chain industry. Automotive is strong, and airline and luxury are stronger than they should be. PPE manufacturers seem to have found a new normal, but they may want to use temporary workers for future roles, since their boom is likely to be temporary.

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