At the end of March 2020, Minnesota saw a precipitous decline in job posts resulting in a 30% decrease in new job postings from the week of March 22-28, 2020 compared to the previous week and a 25% decrease in new job postings compared to the same time-frame last year 1. At the same time Minnesota saw the unemployment rate steadily increase and jump to 8.1% in April 2020 2.
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the economy and on the individuals who make up the workforce. Augsburg University students have not been immune to the consequences of the pandemic. The Strommen Center conducted a student employment survey of day undergraduate students from April 29 through May 11, 2020. The purpose of the survey was to understand how COVID-19 has impacted student employment and experiential learning opportunities for the spring semester and the summer. 151 students completed the survey.
“Currently, I don’t have any money to provide for myself and my parents cannot provide for me as they pay bills, food, basic needs, and my brothers rent. If the career center could help me get a job ( as I am currently unemployed) that would be very helpful.”
Of the students that responded:
- 54% lost a job, internship, or other volunteer experience during the spring semester because of COVID-19
- Only 17% of those that lost a spring opportunity were able to secure a new opportunity
- 46% lost a summer job, internship, or other volunteer experience because of COVID-19
- 61% are now seeking a job, internship, or other opportunity this summer
- Loss of income was selected as a stressor by the most students followed by lack of quiet and secluded space to do work and participate in Zoom meetings and classes
- Lack of quiet space and increased responsibilities at home were stressors selected by the most students that might prevent them from securing a job, internship, or other opportunity this summer
- Mental and emotional well-being programs were selected by many students when asked what programs and services would be most helpful this summer.
In addition to this information students also said they would like self directed ways to engage this summer (44.3%) as well as Zoom or virtual opportunities (46.3%). Only 9.4% said they did not want to engage at all.
The majority of students (51.4%) said they want to engage in programming and resources just when they want to.
“I think overall I’m unsure about my summer employment since that may be cutback more now due parents being laid off and not being able to afford childcare. As well as the impact of how social distancing can affect students in a variety of ways. “
“My internship for this summer was shortened due to Covid and my spring internship was canceled at start of Covid. I am able to work at augsburg library but my original plans are no longer a thing.”
The information students shared in this survey is helping the Strommen Center craft resources, programs, and services this summer. The Strommen Center is in operation all summer and is offering virtual career coaching appointments, workshops, virtual career fairs, and online resources. Students can visit Handshake to make appointments and register for events.
1 COVID-19 Job Market Impact April 3, 2020. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.realtimetalent.org/2020/04/03/covid19-april-3-2020/
2 State and National Employment and Unemployment. (2020, May 21). Retrieved from https://mn.gov/deed/data/current-econ-highlights/state-national-employment.jsp