GOBankingRates

Industries Set To Bounce Back in 2021

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kali9 / Getty Images

With promising vaccines on the horizon, the world is finally catching a glimpse of light at the end of the long, dark coronavirus tunnel. That’s welcome news for everyone, but for the millions of Americans whose jobs or businesses fell victim to the virus, a return to normalcy has been an especially long time coming. The pandemic didn’t affect all industries equally. Now, some sections of the economy that took an especially hard bruising early on are showing real signs of life heading into the new year. 

Find Out: 25 Companies Making the Most Money From Coronavirus

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, GOBankingRates identified eight industries that are poised for a comeback in 2021. They’re among the industries that suffered the biggest spikes in unemployment in the spring months at the start of the pandemic but that were making big strides toward a rebound by fall. The study examined data from January through October, with April being the high-water mark for unemployment in the United States. See which industries could make a comeback sooner than later.

Last updated: Dec. 9, 2020

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Information

  • January 2020 unemployment rate: 2.3%
  • April 2020 unemployment rate: 11%
  • January-April % change in unemployment: 378.26%
  • October 2020 unemployment rate: 5.8%
  • January-October % change in unemployment: 152.17%
  • April-October % change in unemployment: -47.27%
  • Class of worker within industry primed for a bounce back: Publishing (except internet); motion picture and sound recording
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Construction

  • January 2020 unemployment rate: 5.4%
  • April 2020 unemployment rate: 16.6%
  • January-April % change in unemployment: 207.41%
  • October 2020 unemployment rate: 6.8%
  • January-October % change in unemployment: 25.93%
  • April-October % change in unemployment: -59.04%
  • Class of worker within industry primed for a bounce back: N/A

Read More: Industries That Made Their Mark in 2020

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Leisure and Hospitality

  • January 2020 unemployment rate: 5.9%
  • April 2020 unemployment rate: 39.3%
  • January-April % change in unemployment: 566.10%
  • October 2020 unemployment rate: 16.3%
  • January-October % change in unemployment: 176.27%
  • April-October % change in unemployment: -58.52%
  • Class of worker within industry primed for a bounce back: Accommodation and food services and drinking places
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Wholesale and Retail Trade

  • January 2020 unemployment rate: 4.7%
  • April 2020 unemployment rate: 17.1%
  • January-April % change in unemployment: 263.83%
  • October 2020 unemployment rate: 6.5%
  • January-October % change in unemployment: 38.30%
  • April-October % change in unemployment: -61.99%
  • Class of worker within industry primed for a bounce back: Retail trade

Find Out: Old-School Services That Have Returned During the Pandemic

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Education and Health Services

  • January 2020 unemployment rate: 2.4%
  • April 2020 unemployment rate: 10.9%
  • January-April % change in unemployment: 354.17%
  • October 2020 unemployment rate: 4.2%
  • January-October % change in unemployment: 75%
  • April-October % change in unemployment: -61.47%
  • Class of worker within industry primed for a bounce back: Educational services; hospitals, and health services, except hospitals
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Government Workers

  • January 2020 unemployment rate: 2.1%
  • April 2020 unemployment rate: 9.3%
  • January-April % change in unemployment: 342.86%
  • October 2020 unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • January-October % change in unemployment: 52.38%
  • April-October % change in unemployment: -65.59%
  • Class of worker within industry primed for a bounce back: N/A

See: Handshakes and More Office Rules Changed by COVID

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Service

  • January 2020 unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • April 2020 unemployment rate: 23%
  • January-April % change in unemployment: 521.62%
  • October 2020 unemployment rate: 8.3%
  • January-October % change in unemployment: 124.32%
  • April-October % change in unemployment: -63.91%
  • Class of worker within industry primed for a bounce back: Membership associations and organizations; repair and maintenance
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Durable Goods Manufacturing

  • January 2020 unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • April 2020 unemployment rate: 15.1%
  • January-April % change in unemployment: 371.88%
  • October 2020 unemployment rate: 4.6%
  • January-October % change in unemployment: 43.75%
  • April-October % change in unemployment: -69.54%
  • Class of worker within industry primed for a bounce back: Machinery manufacturing; computer and electronic products; miscellaneous manufacturing

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: In order to find the industries set to bounce back in 2021, GOBankingRates used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Unemployed persons by industry and class of worker, not seasonally adjusted” historical data to find the following factors across all 15 industries tracked by the BLS: (1) January 2020 unemployment rate; (2) April 2020 unemployment rate; (3) October 2020 unemployment rate; (4) percent change in unemployment from January to April 2020; (5) percent change in unemployment from January to October 2020; and (6) percent change in unemployment from April to October 2020. Factors (4) through (6) were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Only the top eight industries were deemed to be set for a bounce back. For these eight qualifying industries, GOBankingRates used the BLS “Unemployed persons by industry, class of worker, and sex” data to find (7) class of worker within each industry primed for a bounce back as supplemental data. In final scoring, factor No. 4 was weighted 0.5 times, and factor No. 6 was weighted 2 times. All data were collected on and up to date as of Dec. 2, 2020.

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