Posted-on October 2021
The past year has proven challenges for the US labor market. Prior to the pandemic which hit in 2020, 75 percent of American workers had never worked from home. However, due to social distancing measures and strict lockdowns, workplaces were required to adapt or shut down. Thousands of workers were sent home, many of which grappled with switching occupations and careers, while companies pivoted to keep their heads afloat.
How has this period affected labor market trends now that many states have reopened? Keep reading to find out.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Labor Market
As of September 2021, the pandemic benefits offered to workers during the last year and a half are ending and workers are expected to get back to work in some capacity. Despite this, many workers are nervous about re-entering the workplace in person and many are questioning if they want to stay in their prior industry or position. Although there are more workers in the candidate pool for employers, there are fewer high-quality candidates with long-term potential.
Job Insecurity is Decreasing
The headlines can be nerve-wracking and make it seem like the workforce is unstable. However, we know from ongoing research that the current American labor market has steadily continued to improve over the last two decades. Reports from 1995 show that US workers had a 7.3 percent chance of losing their jobs, and today, that number has decreased to 5.8 percent.
Certainly, in the early phase of the pandemic, job loss rates dipped. But today, we are back on trend with decreasing job insecurity which is exciting news for workers.
Employers Struggling to Hire Talent
The current labor market provides workers with ample opportunities. However, for employers looking to hire, there are new challenges in their paths. For one, employees are less willing to work in-person, especially if proper COVID-19 precautions are not in place. To accommodate this, employers need to follow all government-advised rules and policies regarding sanitation and hygiene.
Second, COVID-19 triggered an acceleration of companies’ dependency on AI and other advanced technologies. To manage and operate these technologies, we need employees who are trained in these areas. Finding highly specialized and qualified workers may be challenging for some industries.
To adapt to the changing labor market, employers will benefit from accommodating workers’ needs. Minimum wage positions are less appealing in a country with a never-growing cost of living. Employers should reevaluate their benefits packages, company culture, and, in some cases but certainly not all, place more value on real-world experience than degrees.
Need Help Hiring Top Talent for Your Company?
Morson USA has been placing top-tier talent in companies across the country since 1969. If you are struggling to hire for your roles in aerospace, engineering, technology, or other highly specialized fields, we can help.
Contact us today to learn more.