Retail jobs declining as stores learn ‘to make do more with less’ in pandemic

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Holiday shopping season has in most years meant a big increase for workers in retail as stores hire additional help to meet demand. Latest statistics show that holidays 2021 is shaping up differently even as unemployment drops.

So why the drop?

“Retailers have learned to make do more with less as virus fears and better paying job opportunities elsewhere have shifted workers to other sectors.,” N.C. State economist Dr. Mike Walden tells WRAL TechWire.

Then there is COVID and the fear-striking Omicron variant.

“The biggest fear with Omicron is it will limit people’s mobility, increase their fears and caution, and thereby slow the economy,” Walden explains.

“The job market will be particularly impacted.  Restaurants and personal services could see drops in activity.  The phrase ‘the virus rules the economy’ still – unfortunately – applies.”

Labor shortage: Blame the boomers, not ‘lazy’ millennials

Let’s look at the numbers.

Last Friday, the North Carolina Department of Commerce announced that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in November 2021, down from October’s revised rate of 4.1%. Employment increased across several major industries, including professional and business services (up 5,000 jobs), leisure and hospitality services (+2,400), manufacturing (+1,700), and education and health services (+1,300).

However, the month saw decreases across a few major industries. Most notably, employment in trade, transportation and utilities dropped by 3,700 in November. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this category encompasses four sectors: Wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and utilities. But retail employment, in particular, saw significant declines across the U.S. last month, not just in North Carolina.

Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest national employment data release, employment in retail trade fell by 20,000 in November, with losses spread across general merchandise stores, clothing and clothing accessories stores, and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores. Employment in this occupation is 176,000 lower than pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.

Mike Walden (NCSU photo)

According to NCWorks’ labor market data dashboard, there were 34,610 retail trade job openings advertised online across North Carolina in November 2021. But that number has dropped since then—NCWorks now shows about 21,856 retail trade jobs advertised online as of Dec. 18. Zooming into the Triangle specifically, there are currently 3,176 retail trade openings in the Raleigh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), while the Durham-Chapel Hill MSA shows 1,266 openings in the sector.

These trends are also in line with recent findings from the job search platform, which said in a press email last week that U.S. retail job ads fell 26% over the first week of December. On Dec. 6, the site showed 618,441 retail jobs, compared to 838,399 a week before. This is the lowest number of job ads in the industry over five weeks. Hospitality and catering jobs also dropped by 10.8%. Adzuna said this trend is not associated with seasonality, as the total number of U.S. job ads only dropped 1.1% week-to-week on Dec. 6.

Retail industry aside, there are plenty of opportunities available to job seekers in the Triangle. Today’s Jobs Report highlights the latest openings across several sectors, from finance to biotech to health care to education and beyond.

WRAL TechWire’s weekly Jobs Report compiles the latest information from the region’s top job boards, offering a breakdown of how many jobs are posted, which companies are hiring, and what positions are most in demand. We’ve also included upcoming job fairs, student-centric resources, and a list of Twitter accounts that track local job openings.

Here’s what’s new since last week’s Jobs Report.

National Job Boards

Here’s a look at the total number of local jobs posted on national job boards compared to last week, as of Sunday afternoon.

  • Adzuna:
    • ⇑ Wake County: 43,199 jobs (+230 from a week ago)
    • ⇓ Raleigh: 23,596 (-1,440)
    • ⇑ Durham County: 10,950 (+519)
  • (using the 5-mile radius filter):
    • ⇓ Raleigh: 16,754 (-176)
    • ⇓ Durham: 16,520 (-196)
    • ⇓ Chapel Hill: 16,339 (-181)
  • Glassdoor 36,389 jobs across the Research Triangle Park area (-332)
  • Indeed (5-mile radius filter):
    • ⇑ Raleigh: 17,565 (+33)
    • ⇓ Durham: 10,406 (-1)
    • ⇓ Chapel Hill: 4,149 (-46)
  • InHerSight: Pages upon pages of jobs across the RTP area
  • LinkedIn (using the “exact location” and “0-miles” filters):
    • ⇑ Raleigh: 28,553 (+207), with 6,846 jobs posted in the past week
    • ⇓ Durham: 14,084 (-698), with 2,835 jobs posted in the past week
    • ⇓ Chapel Hill: 2,581 (-43), with 460 jobs posted in the past week
  • Remote Tech Jobs: Several remote jobs offered by Triangle-area employers
  • ZipRecruiter (5-mile filter):
    • ⇓ Raleigh: 28,796 (-69)
    • ⇑ Durham: 15,301 (+354)
    • ⇓ Chapel Hill: 3,824 (-208)

Startup Job Search Sites

Aside from the boards above, job seekers can also find local startup jobs at SimplyHired (268 startup jobs near Research Triangle Park), LinkedIn (9,278 results in and around Raleigh), Indeed (370 startup jobs in/near RTP) and AngelList (job openings in Raleigh, Durham and across North Carolina).

Here’s a look at local and regional job sites, listed in alphabetical order:

AMA Triangle

AMA Triangle, the fifth-largest chapter in American Marketing Association’s nationwide network, aims to be a go-to resource for all things marketing in the Triangle. AMA Triangle provides professional training, free career webinars and a job board offering free resume placement for marketing professionals.

As of Sunday afternoon, AMA Triangle’s job board shows 71 marketing jobs in Raleigh, 23 in Durham and 16 in Chapel Hill (using the 25-mile radius filter).

Two new local jobs were added to the site over the last seven days:

  • Advance Auto Parts added an opening for a marketing field analyst in Raleigh.
  • Hillrom is looking to add a senior software engineer specializing in video communications at its Cary office.

American Underground

Durham-based startup hub American Underground regularly posts job openings on its job board. Job seekers can filter their search by company, location and job function. As of Sunday afternoon, the site shows 226 jobs at 44 companies.

Ten jobs were added to the site over the last week:

  • Health care firm Aledade added four openings for a remote clinical pharmacy manager, a product manager in Raleigh, and a principal product manager and a patient service representative in Durham.
  • Durham-based data science firm NoviSci is hiring a remote senior full-stack software engineer.
  • Insurtech startup Noyo seeks a remote technical recruiter.
  • Insurtech startup Policygenius is looking to hire a lead product designer in Durham.
  • Durham’s ProcessMaker, a provider of workflow automation software, added an opening for a sales development representative in Durham.
  • Wild Earth, a pet food company, added openings for a field brand ambassador and an education marketing director in Raleigh.

Bio Jobs Hub

Earlier this year, WRAL TechWire and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center launched a Bio Jobs Hub platform focused on biopharma manufacturing — one of North Carolina’s largest industries, employing over 26,000 people.

Typical biopharma jobs include process technicians, maintenance and/or instrumentation technicians, quality assurance and quality control associates, process development scientists and process engineers. This industry also offers competitive entry-level salaries, from $42,000 to $60,000.

How to reboot a career: Army vet retools skillset through BioWork program

Scientists, skilled laborers and recent graduates can use the Bio Jobs Hub resource to find career and training opportunities in their area. Users can search by location, job category/activity and region.

Many biopharma companies are hiring in the Triangle, including large employers like Biogen in Research Triangle Park, bioMérieux in Durham, GSK in Zebulon, Merck & Co. in Durham, Novo Nordisk in Durham and Clayton, Pfizer in Sanford, and others.

Leadership Triangle

Leadership Triangle’s job board is packed with local jobs. The site displays 413 openings at 28 companies as of Sunday afternoon.

Here’s what’s been posted in the last week:

  • Bank of America is hiring a relationship banker in Raleigh.
  • Capitol Broadcasting Company (WRAL TechWire’s parent company) added openings for a meteorologist and a strategic account manager in Raleigh.
  • Citrix seeks a senior technical support engineer, a demand management representative, a digital territory manager, a senior sales recruiter, and an associate technical support engineer.
  • Coastal Credit Union seeks a quality control specialist and an indirect processor in Raleigh.
  • Medicago in Durham is hiring a microbiology quality control technician, a manufacturing specialist, a maintenance manager, a system support analyst and a quality assurance senior associate.
  • North Carolina Central University added 10 job openings in Durham, including student services specialist, payroll human resources specialist, assistant music professor, administrative support specialists (two openings), occupation health COVID program manager, counseling center graduate student, administrative support associate, dean of the College of Health and Sciences, and human resources specialist (garnishment, deductions and payroll).
  • The Redwoods Group added an opening for a business analyst in RTP/Durham.
  • Truist is hiring an identity and access management architect in Raleigh.
  • William Peace University in Raleigh seeks a history adjunct professor, an associate head athletic trainer, an assistant women’s lacrosse coach and an assistant director of student involvement.


The North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s extensive jobs board lists open jobs and internships from local life science companies and research organizations. Users can filter by job category, employment type (full-time, part-time and contractor), keywords, postal code and radius.

NCBiotech also touts jobs through its Bio Jobs Hub program.

Dozens of jobs were added to NCBiotech’s board over the last week (since Dec. 13):

  • Research technician, assay specialist scientist, research and development scientist, and vice president of laboratory operations at Altis Biosystems in Durham
  • Analytical chemistry research scientist and microbiology/product safety research scientist at Avazyme in RTP
  • Cell biology research associate, senior research associate and research associate at Cell Microsystems in Durham
  • Lab research analyst and GMP project manager at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute in Durham
  • Utilities instrumentation technician at Grifols in Clayton
  • Scientist/senior scientist in gene editing and cell therapy, engineering manager, technical operations manager and project manager at Locus Biosciences in Morrisville/RTP
  • Merck & Co. added several job openings in Durham, including quality operations laboratory specialist, operations instrument technician, associate maintenance engineering director, associate clean utilities engineering director, learning and development specialist, automation engineer, 2022 vaccine manufacturing full-time co-op, senior site learning specialist, senior continuous improvement manufacturing IT lead, agile manufacturing IT lead, senior quality control specialist, operations associate technician, senior operations technician, senior instrumentation technician, compliance and emergency response technician, senior incoming quality control specialist, operations manager, utilities manager managing medical writer (remote), associate production technician, associate operations technician, production technician and operations technician.
  • Plant pathology research scientist and biology research associate at 5Metis in Durham
  • Assay development specialist at Redbud Labs in RTP
  • Seqirus is hiring for several roles at its Holly Springs facility. Openings include R&D frontline QA specialist, QC stability analyst, lead manufacturing associate, technical services engineer, global senior program manager, senior auditing specialist, frontline QA specialist, cell and molecular analytics scientific associate, HR business consultant, QA principal specialist, manufacturing associate, viral pilot plant MS&T engineer and LIMS administrator specialist/senior specialist.
  • Analytical development research associate, analytical development scientist and supply chain director at Shattuck Labs in Durham

Note: This list does not include openings posted by recruiting/staffing firms.


The North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH) has an interactive job board that you can use to find your next career opportunity. Users can search by keyword, location, category, type (full-time or part-time) and experience level.

Several new jobs were added to the site over the last week:

  • INE, an IT technical training firm, posted several openings for its Cary office, including corporate recruiter, PHP developer, paid social digital marketing manager, associate producer intern, head of people operations, marketing product manager, events planning coordinator, defensive cybersecurity instructor, senior JavaScript developer, product manager, paid search digital marketing manager and account executive.
  • KTL Solutions, a business consulting and software development firm, is hiring a demand generation marketing manager in Cary.


NCWorks, the statewide job search portal run by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, has nearly 100 career centers located across the state. Users can filter NCWorks’ database by keyword, location, occupation group or specific occupations, minimum acceptable salary, education level, job sources and date posted. NCWorks also has a mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

North Carolina military veterans, transitioning service members and spouses can find additional resources on NCWorks’ separate veterans portal.

More than 1,300 resumes were updated on the site in the past week, as of Sunday evening. NCWorks reports thousands of available positions across the Triangle area.

In Wake County, the top employers with the most job openings on NCWorks are*:

  • Wake County Public School System
  • North Carolina State University
  • WakeMed Health and Hospitals
  • UNC Health Care System
  • Lenovo

Here are the top companies/organizations by job openings in Durham County:

  • Duke University
  • Durham Public Schools
  • Duke University Health System
  • Cree Wolfspeed
  • Fidelity Investments

And here are the top employers in Orange County:

  • UNC Chapel Hill
  • UNC Health Care System
  • Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
  • Orange County Schools
  • AHS NurseStat

*Note: This data was gathered through NCWorks’ Labor Market Information portal, which aggregates public job listings. NC Commerce confirmed with TechWire that this search pathway has a thorough process to remove duplicate job listings. Check employers’ websites directly for the latest information.

Raleigh Founded

Raleigh Founded, a startup incubator and coworking space, has its own job board. Job seekers can filter results by company, company size or industry. The site currently lists 168 positions at 30 companies, as of Sunday afternoon.

Ten jobs were added to the site over the last seven days:

  • Astral Consulting Group, a Raleigh-based data and analytics consulting firm, is hiring a business intelligence developer.
  • Levitate, a client communications software firm, is hiring a temporary marketing operations associate in Raleigh.
  • Product design and development firm MedPharm seeks a senior GMP analytical scientist and a quality control technician in Durham.
  • Raleigh software startup Pendo added openings for a business systems manager, a global payroll manager, a corporate sales director and a technical account manager.
  • Raleigh Founded is looking to hire a community fellow.
  • Veeva Systems, a cloud software provider, seeks a senior migration consultant (remote or in Raleigh).

Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster

This isn’t a job board per se, but the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster’s list of job search sources is a helpful resource for job seekers in the clean energy sector. The list has links to career opportunities from the organization’s members and partners.

Triangle Region Job Board

Leadership Triangle, Raleigh Founded, and American Underground recently teamed up to create the Triangle Region Job Board, which synthesizes all of the openings posted on the organizations’ job boards. (Those openings are listed under their respective subheadings above.)

As of Sunday afternoon, the site shows 1,594 jobs at 86 companies. The latest Triangle-area openings (excluding remote jobs) come from the following employers:

  • Aledade (Durham and Raleigh)
  • Bank of America (Raleigh)
  • Capitol Broadcasting Company (Raleigh)
  • Citrix (Raleigh)
  • Coastal Credit Union (Raleigh)
  • Levitate (Raleigh)
  • Medicago (Durham)
  • MedPharm (Durham)
  • North Carolina Central University (Durham)
  • Pendo (Raleigh)
  • Policygenius (Durham)
  • ProcessMaker (Durham)
  • Raleigh Founded (Raleigh)
  • The Redwoods Group (RTP/Durham)
  • Truist (Raleigh)
  • Veeva Systems (Raleigh)
  • Wild Earth (Raleigh)
  • William Peace University (Raleigh)

Work in the Triangle

Work in the Triangle, a Wake County Economic Development program, shares new openings daily through its Twitter feed, @WorkTriangleNC. And the search continues to be intense for talent to fill thousands of open jobs both inside and outside the Triangle tech sector.

Every Tuesday, Work in the Triangle’s #TriangleTuesdays hashtag lists hot jobs.

Posts from last Tuesday (Dec. 14) included openings from:

Scroll through the #TriangleTuesdays hashtag on Twitter for more details on the openings.

New Jobs at Terra Dotta

Chapel Hill-based edtech company Terra Dotta told TechWire last month that it’s continuing to hire in the greater RTP area. After increasing its headcount from 65 to 75 so far in 2021, the firm anticipates another seven to 10 new hires before the end of the year.

Terra Dotta also anticipates an additional boost in hiring in 2022 as the company builds out its global engagement platform, which helps colleges and universities connect all aspects of international programming and campus services.

“With global travel quickly picking back up at colleges and universities, we are in growth mode and anticipate demand to further accelerate in 2022, with the potential for a 30% to 50% increase in our team,” says Terra Dotta CEO Anthony Rotoli.

Terra Dotta’s current job openings span product development, marketing, sales and administrative teams. Read more and apply here.

New Jobs at Mycovia Pharmaceuticals

RTP-based Mycovia Pharmaceuticals told TechWire this month that it’s hiring for several positions in project management, market access and marketing. The late-stage biopharma company is developing drugs to meet women’s health needs.

A Mycovia spokesperson says it plans to add around nine employees through the fourth quarter of 2021. As of September, its current headcount is 21.

Open positions include:

  • Commercial project manager
  • Senior director of pricing and contracting
  • Vice president of value, access and trade
  • Senior product manager

Read more and apply here.

Upcoming Job Fairs and Career Events

NC TECH Virtual Job Expo: Feb. 9, 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (online)

This virtual job fair is designed for candidates seeking tech-related jobs or internships. Local employers can meet with job seekers in virtual booths. Registration is free for job seekers.

NC TECH Virtual Job Expo

Wake Tech Community College Business & IT Spring 2022 Career Fair: Feb. 9, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (online)

In February 2022, Wake Tech will host an online job fair for business and information technology students looking for new career opportunities.

Wake Tech Community College Business & IT Spring 2022 Career Fair

More Job Resources for Local Students

If you’re a student looking for an internship or entry-level position at a local company or organization, your university has resources to help you get started. Quick links below:

Twitter Accounts to Follow

Here are some locally run Twitter accounts that regularly share job openings in the Triangle:

Retail jobs declining as stores learn ‘to make do more with less’ in pandemic