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The Future of Work in the COVID-19 Era

Principal Investigator: Prof. Sigal Alon

ISF: Kol Hamada (description of the project for the general audience; in Hebrew)

Alon, Sigal. 2023. The Measurement of Precarious Work and Market Conditions: Insights from the COVID-19 Disruption on Sample Selection. Work and Occupations, 50(1), 22–59.

              Featured in Work in Progress: Sociology on the economy, work, and inequality.

The COVID-19 recession is unique in its work-related features. Mandatory social distancing requirements, an inevitable aspect of the pandemic, have imposed structural shifts on work, most notably the expansion of work from home, virtual communication, e-commerce, and the disruption, if not complete, hiatus in multiple industries. This distinctive, massive, and global shock, aiming a poisoned arrow right at the heart of the labor market, may accelerate transformations in the nature of work that have gradually emerged due to economic, technological, and globalization changes. In the long run, these shifts will challenge the core values of the work society and the very role of work in individuals’ life and livelihood. The FOW COVID project takes advantage of this natural experiment by adopting a long-term view based on repeated and frequent tracking of the nature and meaning of work and consolidating pre-COVID-19 assessments of work arrangements and orientations in Israel with several COVID-19-era routine follow-up assessments.



This study assesses how an exogenous jolt to the system impinges on individuals’ employment and work orientation. The first COVID-19-era survey, conducted at the peak of the pandemic, serves as a necessary baseline estimate for appraising future shifts in work experiences and the calibrations of work orientation. The timing of T1 is ideal. By September-October 2020, when T1 data was collected via a web-based survey, Israel was in the height of a second wave, the country with the highest rate of new cases and death rate per capita than several developed countries. A countrywide lockdown during this period was long with restrictions stricter than the OECD average, severely disrupting labor market activity. Israel also provides a great case study because of the record jump in unemployment in Israel, from an all-time low to an all-time high.


The nature of work: traditional and nonstandard employment arrangements, underemployment, precarious work history,  work from home, job security, employment security, economic insecurity, job quality,  workers' and non-workers’ human capital, job search activities, and the sources of economic support. Work orientation: work centrality, work values, job satisfaction, work-life balance, solidarity, and government support. Demographic, social and educational attributes of respondent, spouse, and household.


This research was supported by grants from the Israel Science Foundation, Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation. 

Available Positions: Postdoctoral Fellow

FOW COVID project is looking to hire a postdoctoral fellow to engage in research and scholarly publications on the future of work in the COVID-19 Era. Residence in Israel is not required.


Basic Qualifications (required at time of application)

  • Ph.D. in Sociology, Economics, Statistics or related fields

  • Cutting-edge quantitative skills

  • Master of Stata or R

  • Excellent writing skills in English


Send one PDF file to Prof. Sigal Alon   

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Cover Letter (elaborating the fit with the FOW COVID project, specifying quantitative/writing skills)

  • Research Plans for the Postdoc Period (two pages max)


Three letters are required (sent directly to PI)



Tel Aviv University, Israel. Remote work is an option depending on the circumstances



September/October 2023. Applications will be received until 03/15/2023.

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