April 2020 Jobs Data: New Jobs Are Up, Applications Are Down

After weeks of new jobs disappearing from the job boards, job postings are starting to trend back upwards. However, applicant volume is not following suit. 

Industries we partner closely with at CareerPlug — including Fitness, Hospitality, and Restaurants — were heavily impacted by the pandemic. Most have had to temporarily close their doors and many had to make tough decisions to furlough or layoff staff. As unemployment climbs and some companies shut their doors forever, the impact of COVID-19 on hiring is undeniable. 

We’ve kept an eye on hiring traffic, and we’re beginning to see a story emerge that tells us not only how employers and job seekers reacted when the crisis began, but how they’re approaching hiring in the near future. 

What the data says about new jobs

We took a look at new jobs posted from our clients, as well as the number of applicants they received each week and compared those data points with the job and applicant volume for the six weeks prior to the drop-off initiated by COVID-19. 

The decline in both new jobs posted and applicant volume began six weeks ago when the social distancing and stay-at-home orders began in most places across the country. Employers acted quickly to freeze their hiring while applicant volume went down more slowly as the situation developed. In the following weeks, jobs and applicants continued to trend downward as more businesses shut their doors and people have stayed home.  

For the first time since mid-March, we’re seeing an increase in new jobs posted over the last two weeks. After a low point nearing 30% of the average jobs posted, new jobs rose to 65% of the average during the week of April 20th. Some employers are reengaging and preparing to open their businesses again and hire or rehire employees. 

New job postings by week vs. pre-COVID-19 average

New Job Postings March 2020 to April 2020

This varies by industry. Fitness centers, for example, appear optimistic and have quickly posted job opportunities in anticipation of reopening their doors, climbing from a low of 13% of their average new job postings up to 71% in the last two weeks.

Fitness industry: new job postings by week vs. pre-COVID-19 average

Fitness New Job Postings March 2020 to April 2020

On the other hand, restaurants and hospitality businesses may not be ready to ramp up their hiring as rapidly yet. Restaurants have moved just eight percentage points (from 17% to 25%) and Hospitality only one percentage point (from 10% to 11%) in the last two weeks. 

Restaurant industry: new job postings by week vs. pre-COVID-19 average

Restaurants New Job Postings March 2020 to April 2020

What the data says about job seekers

Interestingly, job seekers haven’t followed employers’ lead. Applicant volume took longer to decrease at the start of the crisis and now is lagging on the upswing. Despite employers’ growing excitement to hire up, job seekers aren’t yet ready to return to the market. 

Applicant volume by week vs. pre-COVID-19 average

Applicant Volume by Week March 2020 to April 2020

Typically, employers might predict a higher applicant volume in correlation with a high unemployment rate (the current unemployment rate has reached over 20%), but employers should be prepared for a more difficult market than expected as job seekers continue to exercise caution before returning to the workforce despite the availability of jobs. 

What employers can do now

The situation is developing quickly as federal, state, and local governments navigate the uncertainty of reopening businesses amidst a public health crisis to provide guidance to employers and job seekers alike. For now, here are a few things employers can do to prepare and aid in their hiring efforts: 

  • Share what you’re doing to protect employee and new hire health and safety in your job postings and in your promotion (careers page, social media, etc). This can help address some logistical concerns job seekers may have in the near term.
  • Prepare for remote hiring practices to allow you to make hires ahead of the time you need them on-site. 
  • Optimize your job postings sooner rather than later. Do your research to see which job titles resonate best with job seekers in your industry. Write high-quality job descriptions so that when your ideal candidate reads it, they’ll be compelled to apply.
  • Having fewer applicants on the job boards means you need to do more to stand out to great candidates. Check out a few ways to improve the candidate experience
  • If you plan to rehire laid off or furloughed staff, stay in touch and communicate openly with them as your timeline develops. 

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Kacie was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2012 with a degree in Anthropology.

Kacie joined CareerPlug as an intern while still in college in 2012. Post-graduation, she joined the CareerPlug team full-time as a Talent Specialist on the Recruitment Services side of the business, eventually working her way up to be the Recruitment Services Manager. From there, she learned her passion for the internal processes of what makes the business tick and explored other roles at the company, including Internal Support, Implementation, and Quality Management, before eventually finding her home in Design. She is now building a Creative Design branch off of the Marketing team.

Outside of work, you can find Kacie walking her dogs Bixby & Bean along Buffalo Bayou, hanging out with friends (and their pets), and tending to her 40+ house plants.

Jenny Leman


Native to Texas, Jenny graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 and joined CareerPlug in 2017. She retired her first career path as a Registered Dietitian after 10 years, and has found her true belonging in business operations.

As CareerPlug’s President, Jenny leads all teams to an aligned effort toward achieving our vision. She works to build healthy and scalable internal systems to equip and empower the CareerPlug teams to bring their best for our clients. She loves contributing new ideas and rethinking the status quo. Jenny really connects with the company’s core values, but especially with our intent to “Keep Growing.”

In her non-work life, Jenny enjoys time with her family, playing drums and performing with the Austin Samba School, and finding excuses to be on the lake.

Chris Igou

Vice President of Sales

Chris accidentally started a 20-year career in franchising when he was 18 years old and took a job painting houses for College Pro Painters. That job turned into the ownership of his first franchise (a house painting franchise). While at Monmouth College in IL, he operated his business, played on the varsity football team, and studied to become a teacher.

The taste of entrepreneurship and desire to coach others led Chris deeper into franchising, working with a few franchise brands helping them grow their businesses. He lived in the Chicagoland area his entire life until recently moving his family to Austin, TX.

In his free time Chris coaches youth sports, especially youth football, and spends as much time as he can with his wife and 2 children.

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Originally from small town in central Texas, Ashley Johnson graduated from Texas State University in 2013 with a degree in Business Administration. She was hired by CareerPlug as a Talent Specialist in 2014, and moved up to ultimately lead the Recruitment Services team. From there, she pivoted to Implementation, and is now the Implementation Manager.

As the Implementation Manager, Ashley and 3 direct reports function as a transition between Sales and Partner Success in helping our clients get set up and established in our software. She spends her free time raising her 2 dogs, playing cornhole, and perfecting the art of charcuterie.

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Use our templates to create an attractive careers page and job posting. Then promote it through our job board partners, as well as directly with your employees, customers, and social network.



Use our notifications and automations to be the first to respond to qualified applicants. Send texts and emails from directly from CareerPlug to convert applicants to scheduled interviews.



Use our prescreen questions and assessments to identify the best applicants. Then use our interview questions and scorecards to evaluate for the right things consistently.



Once you think you have found the right person, use our reference and background check resources to verify them. Then, send an electronic offer letter from CareerPlug to close the deal!



Hiring is hard, but partnering with us makes it easier. From posting jobs to scheduling interviews, CareerPlug allows you to automate certain parts of the process to improve your results and save you time.


Polly Schandorf

Engineering Manager

Joe Lepis

Engineering Manager

Clint Smith

Founder & CEO

Clint founded CareerPlug in 2007 with the simple idea that there was a better way to help employers connect with quality applicants. Today Clint works every day to fulfill CareerPlug’s mission: Make Hiring Easier. Leading by example, Clint loves spending his time developing new ideas and teaching others.

After graduating from the University of Florida, Clint worked in investment banking and strategic marketing; both experiences influenced the development of CareerPlug. He also spent a year away from the business world teaching 5th grade in Boulder.

Clint is passionate about helping others succeed and is involved in numerous mentoring programs. He and his wife, Sarah, are also foster parents. Clint enjoys family time, beach volleyball, and outdoor adventures.