The States with the Most COVID-19-Related Hirings

Looking for a job in the era of coronavirus? What could be more appropriate than working in a COVID-related role?

The year 2020 will forever be remembered as the time that a novel and contagious pandemic swept across the globe, claiming more than 100,000 American lives and dissolving over 36 million American jobs. As coronavirus spilled into U.S. cities, orders from federal and local officials to stay-at-home and adopt strict social distancing practices completely stalled the food, transportation, retail, and sports industries—among many others. Not to mention the fact that the economic downturn forced many companies to downsize, lay off, or furlough countless employees. Find out the difference between a furlough and a layoff.

However, there is some good news: Despite the many job losses caused by the pandemic, some states have seen more than 3 million COVID-19-related hirings. According to Kathy Morris, Marketing Manager for Zippia, most COVID-19-related jobs are in the healthcare, food services, and sales industries. Here’s where you can find them.


According to data collected by Zippia, Pennsylvania leads the 50 U.S. states with the most COVID-related job listings. Prior to the pandemic, this state had an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent, then by April 2020, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate had climbed to 15.1 percent. Despite the large number of jobs lost, Zippia documents that Pennsylvania now has 3,646 job openings. Many technology companies are currently hiring sales representatives, such as Concentrix and Acceptance Insurance. Before you apply for any job, make sure you know about the surprising quality that could stop you from getting hired!

New Jersey

Calling all New Jersey residents, we’ve got some good news for you! New Jersey ranks second among the 50 states for the most COVID-19-related job openings. With a population of about 8,882,190 people, New Jersey’s unemployment rate has unfortunately soared to 15 percent amidst the global pandemic. Nevertheless, Zippia has identified 2,716 COVID-19-related hirings in New Jersey. Of these available positions, many companies including UPS and Amazon are seeking warehouse workers and drivers to address increased deliveries due to COVID-19.


Massachusetts comes in third place for the most COVID-19-related hirings in the country. The unemployment rate in this New England state reached 15.1 percent during the height of the coronavirus crisis. Despite the many layoffs experienced by residents of Massachusetts, the state now has 2,753 COVID-19-related job openings. Many of these open jobs are sales positions at a wide array of companies.


After Massachusetts, Minnesota is next in line for the greatest number of COVID-related hirings, which is good news for those who are unemployed; the unemployment rate in the state rose to 8.1 percent during the peak of the coronavirus-crisis. However, there are now 1,872 COVID-related job openings in Minnesota. Following the national trend, many of the open positions in Minnesota are in sales, warehouse work, and delivery services, among others.


Next in line for the state with the most COVID-19-related hirings is Indiana, home to the famous Indy 500 horse race, the rolling fields of Amish country, and the beautiful Indiana State Park. The state’s unemployment rate rose to 16.9 percent amidst COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, and now the state is seeing 1,796 COVID-19-related hirings. Many of these job openings are in the food industry, senior living services, and online delivery services.


With a population of 3,565,287 people, Connecticut is one of the states that was hit the hardest by coronavirus, when you look at cases per capita. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the state’s unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent. However, this East Coast location is now home to at least 919 COVID-related job openings, which should help get Connecticut back on its feet. Many of these open positions are in the insurance, baking, retail, delivery, food, and online education industries.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate reached 17 percent in April, as a result of COVID-19. However, the state currently has 489 job listings. Among the job openings in Rhode Island, Amazon is hiring warehouse team members, UNFI has listed various finance positions, and many restaurants and food service companies, including Domino’s Pizza, are seeking new employees. Interested in working in healthcare to help fight the pandemic? Make sure to first read about what it is like for healthcare workers on the front lines.

New Hampshire

Known for its license plate with the slogan “Live Free or Die”—New Hampshire is next in line for the state with the most COVID-related hirings. This state saw unemployment rise to 16.3 percent during the COVID chaos. However, New Hampshire now has 365 COVID-19-related job openings. Many of these jobs are in the retail and food service industry.

Washington, D.C.

Although Washington, D.C. is not technically a state—for this surprising and little-known reason—it is often thought of as one. During the coronavirus crisis, the unemployment rate in D.C. was about 3.3 percent, and the District is now home to 177 COVID-19-related job openings. Grocery stores and foodservice companies are especially prevalent among D.C.’s available employment options.


During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Vermont witnessed an unemployment rate of 15.6 percent. However, there are at least 155 new COVID-19-related job openings, which should help get many residents of Vermont back in the workforce.

For more on this developing situation, including how life might be different post-lockdown, see our comprehensive Coronavirus Guide.

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Carley Lerner
Carley Lerner is a freelance writer and former editorial intern for Reader's Digest. She is a member of the Class of 2021 at Duke University, where she writes for the school newspaper, The Chronicle.