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Survey: 62% Of New England Companies Are Still Hiring Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

A job applicant looks at job listings for the Riverside Hotel at a job fair hosted by Job News South Florida, in Sunrise, Fla, June 21, 2018. (Lynne Sladky/AP)
A job applicant looks at job listings for the Riverside Hotel at a job fair hosted by Job News South Florida, in Sunrise, Fla, June 21, 2018. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

While many companies have laid off workers during the pandemic, several businesses in the region are still hiring, according to a new survey.

Boston-based career management firm Keystone Partners found that 62% of businesses in New England are hiring during the coronavirus outbreak.

The companies that are hiring mostly fall into three categories: Tech, finance and frontline jobs — such as in the medical, delivery and supply chain sectors.

According to the survey, 45% of companies are filling frontline jobs, while around a third are filling middle management roles and 23% are hiring executives.

IT jobs represent 31% of the positions being filled while accounting/finance represent 29% and engineering represents 27%, the survey found. And 39% of the jobs being filled also require operational skills, according to the survey.

Elaine Varelas, the managing partner of Keystone Partners, said it's encouraging that companies are still hiring — and that will be key to any economic recovery after the pandemic.

"If we can get one person in the state back to work, spending money, supporting their family, then this kind of recovery will have that grassroots power," Varelas said. "The federal government can provide money. The states can provide money. But individual companies are the long-term play for people to have economic security."

Keystone Partners surveyed more than 100 companies in the region.

The survey results also highlight how the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately impacted different sectors of the economy. While tech, healthcare and some services deemed essential are seeing strong demand, many service industries have been gutted during the pandemic.

Some of the positions employers are seeking to fill now were in demand before the public health crisis, Varelas notes. But the demand has continued as the pandemic has created even more of a need for technology, health care, delivery services and manufacturing, Varelas said.

"We've talked to organizations who have said they've never hired a person without meeting them face-to-face. But the demand is so high right now that they need to take that risk," Varelas said.

Companies are hiring people already within their industry as well as people outside their industry who have transferable skills, according to Varelas.

Related:

Zeninjor Enwemeka Twitter Reporter
Zeninjor Enwemeka is a reporter who covers business, tech and culture as part of WBUR's Bostonomix team, which focuses on the innovation economy.

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