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These 10 jobs are most at risk in 2021

With the pressure of AI already taking its toll on many careers, a new study has revealed which jobs are likely to suffer the most.

jobs hardest hit by COVID-19

Millions of jobs were temporarily put on hold as the world battled the initial outbreak of COVID-19, but it seems many roles are at risk of not returning.

With the pressure of AI already taking its toll on many careers, a new study has revealed which jobs are likely to suffer the most in 2021.

Glassdoor, an employment website based in the US, found a number of positions across sectors including admin, personal services, discretionary health care and education were dealt the greatest blows by the pandemic.

Unsurprisingly, as non-essential services were forced to close their doors, beauty consultants recorded a 53% decline during COVID-19 while valets dropped 51% and stylists plummeted by 50%.

But the hardest hit were audiologists. In 2019, there were 7,710 open jobs according to the study, but the same time this year there are just 2,336 open positions – a decline of 70%.

“The 2020 recession was very different from past downturns. As will be the recovery,” the study stated. “Because of how the global pandemic has shifted consumer behaviour and workplace habits – shifts that may last years if not decades – there are many jobs we do not expect to return en masse for years, if ever.”

The study analysed jobs within the US with at least 5,000 open job listings in 2019.

On the contrary, warehouse worker job postings are up 174% on last year while registered nurses have increased by 51% during COVID-19.

“The world of work is facing a turning point in 2021,” the study explained. “After a tumultuous year, we already appear to be in the midst of a rapid economic recovery.

“But until COVID-19 is brought under control, the global pandemic will remain in the driver’s seat with workers and employers merely along for the ride.”

Jobs hit hardest by COVID-19*


The discretionary health service (health care that can be postponed) saw the largest decline of 70% within a year.

Event Coordinator

With the world’s biggest events postponed this year, including the 2020 Summer Olympics, event coordinators recorded a drop of 69%.

Product Demonstrator

Sales is unsurprisingly one of the most affected sectors with product demonstrators declining 63% since last year.


The second discretionary health service to make the list more than halved its open jobs this year, dropping from 5,592 in 2019 to 2,208 in 2020.


As restaurants were forced to close their doors or drastically cut hours, it led to a drop of 56% during COVID-19.

Executive Assistant

Just over half of the positions available in 2019 for the admin role are no longer in 2020, plummeting by 55%.

Beauty Consultant

Dropping from 12,845 to 6,065 in a year, the personal services were among those deeply affected in the US during the global health crisis.


With many stuck indoors, there was little need for valets. The study found it declined 51% during COVID-19.


Much like valets, there was also very little need for stylists – which was reflected in the 50% drop of open jobs between October 2019 and 2020.


Not as substantially hit, the personal service was the only role to not decline by half, instead reducing by 47% in the US.

*according to Glassdoor

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