A surge in new business formation suggests that the coronavirus pandemic has created a landscape in which entrepreneurs and startups can thrive and new innovations can break ground.

“This time has been really fertile. We’ve seen a huge increase in new businesses since the pandemic started,” said Julia Pollak, the chief economist at ZipRecruiter. “There are more opportunities out there.” 

Government data show a record gap between the number of job openings and the number of unemployed people — 11 million versus 7.4 million. While that’s a headache of epic proportions for hiring managers and human resources directors, economists and labor market experts say there is a significant silver lining.

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