What’s Happening with Veterinary Jobs in the Midst of the Pandemic?

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

These are definitely uncertain and often tumultuous times, both in the United States and around the world. It is sometimes difficult to know what exactly is happening, and that includes within the employment marketplace and the job market.

On the one hand, it’s relatively easy to tell what’s happening from a big-picture perspective. That’s because the COVID-19 virus and the pandemic it caused has resulted in a recession. Even if it hasn’t technically met the requirements of a recession yet, it is one. I’ve been through enough of them to know.

There are other people who know, too. They include the more than 40 million people in the United States who have applied for unemployment benefits since the pandemic started. The National Unemployment Rate, which was near historic lows as recently as earlier this year, skyrocketed to 14.4% in April before dropping to 11.1% in June and then 10.2% in July.

That, of course, is a reflection of the entire marketplace and economy. What is occurring within the Veterinary profession? Specifically, what is happening with Veterinary jobs in the midst of the pandemic?

Veterinary jobs and the Bureau of Labor Statistics

One of the premier sources of information regarding the economy and jobs is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). After all, that’s the organization that determines the National Unemployment rate. In fact, the BLS releases an array of statistics on a monthly basis. The problem, at least as far as this discussion is concerned, it that the BLS does not release industry-specific numbers in those categories every month. Instead, they typically do so once per year, and they sometimes update the information that they release within certain industries.

Since the BLS does not release industry-specific numbers, including unemployment numbers, on a monthly basis, that includes the Veterinary industry and profession. As a result, it’s difficult to determine a completely accurate snapshot of where the Veterinary industry is at any specific point in time. That’s the bad news. The good news is that we can certainly make an educated guess, drawing upon information from multiple sources.

First, before the pandemic and the recession hit, the unemployment rate in the Veterinary profession was anywhere between 0.5% and 1.5%. As I noted above, the National Unemployment Rate was at a historic low, but it was still above 3%. So before the pandemic, the National Unemployment Rate was still anywhere from two to six times higher than the unemployment rate in the Veterinary profession.

This means from a purely numbers perspective, the Veterinary profession was in a better position to weather a recession than the employment marketplace overall. Still, it did take a hit when the pandemic first started and the lockdowns began. Some practices closed and there were some layoffs and hiring freezes. However, not only was the profession in a better position to withstand the initial shock of the shutdowns, but it has also bounced back more quickly than a lot of other industries, especially those in the hospitality and service industries.

Second, when you check the jobs page of the AVMA website, you can see that there are more than 3,000 open positions on the site right now. I check the website frequently, and I can tell you that’s nearly 500 more jobs than were on it after the initial shock of the pandemic. And that number has been growing steadily over the past several weeks. I think this is a great indication of how well the Veterinary industry and the Veterinary profession has bounced back. There is still a hiring need in the marketplace, and there is still a demand for top talent, as well. Our firm has been very busy filling positions throughout the entire pandemic.

To recap, here are the three things that have been happening with Veterinary jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. The Veterinary profession has been affected by the pandemic and the recession, resulting in some practice closures and layoffs.
  2. The Veterinary profession was still in a much better position than other industries when the pandemic started, allowing it to withstand the effect of the pandemic and the resulting recession better.
  3. The Veterinary industry and profession have started to recover more quickly than other industries, meaning that there are more employers wanting to hire and more jobs from which professionals can choose.

So there is plenty of good news when it comes to Veterinary jobs during the pandemic. Since that’s the case, the question is, “What are you going to do about it?”

Veterinary jobs and working with a recruiter

I have been an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter for more than 20 years. I’ve seen my fair share of recessions, and I admit that the one in which we find ourselves is definitely unique. However, something that I also know is that there is still plenty of opportunity in the marketplace right now. There is opportunity to grow your career by exploring Veterinary jobs, even if you don’t ultimately pursue those jobs. And there is opportunity working with a recruiter.

Working with an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter is a no-lose proposition. A recruiter has the contacts, the knowledge, and the expertise to help you explore other employment opportunities and grow your career in ways that you would not be able to do on your own. This includes during a recession and even during a pandemic.

There are plenty of Veterinary jobs in the marketplace right now. Contact us today to find out more and to position yourself for greater career growth.

You can click here to find out more about our services for employers. Click here to learn more about our recruiting process.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

Copyright © 2020 The VET Recruiter 

The VET Recruiter is The Animal Health Executive Search Firm and The Veterinary Recruiting Firm

Stacy Pursell is an Animal Health Executive Recruiter and Veterinary Recruiter and Workplace/Workforce expert for the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession.