E-commerce has grown two to five times faster than before the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted labor markets globally during 2020. The short-term consequences were sudden and often severe: Millions of people were furloughed or lost jobs, and others rapidly adjusted to working from home as offices closed. The pandemic pushed companies and consumers to rapidly adopt new behaviors that are likely to stick.
For example, many consumers discovered the convenience of e-commerce and other online activities during the pandemic. In 2020, the share of e-commerce grew at two to five times the rate before COVID-19. Roughly three-quarters of people using digital channels for the first time during the pandemic say they will continue using them when things return to “normal”.
Other kinds of virtual transactions such as telemedicine, online banking, and streaming entertainment have also taken off. These virtual practices may decline somewhat as economies reopen but are likely to continue well above levels seen before the pandemic. This shift to digital transactions has propelled growth in delivery, transportation, and warehouse jobs. In China, e-commerce, delivery, and social media jobs grew by more than 5.1 million during the first half of 2020.