Many businesses right now are having a hard time filling open job positions. Just take a walk around your town and you will see all the hiring signs in the windows. Although part of the blame for companies having a challenging time finding workers can be the favorable federal government unemployment benefits in addition to state benefits, I believe there is really something much deeper occurring with the high number of jobs available.
Time and again I hear that people just don’t want to work and therefore it is hard to fill jobs. Even though favorable unemployment benefits are keeping some people at home and not wanting to work, there are several other explanations for the high number of employment positions available. These other factors are not small and might just be more significant than simply people not wanting to work because they are making more money by sitting at home.
If the reason people are not returning to work isn’t due to just making more money on unemployment, why are employers having such a hard time finding workers?
Fear of getting Covid or spreading it is preventing people from returning to work.
It should not come as a surprise that a lot of the open job opportunities that seem to be available are in hospitality or industries that deal on a large scale with the public. Although vaccines are available for Covid, not everyone is vaccinated. Furthermore, there is so much that seems to be unknown with Covid still that even the people that are vaccinated remain concerned with the pandemic.
Because many of the open job positions are in lower-income hospitality or retail, why would someone want to take a chance on Covid if they don’t need to? This should make a lot of sense to just about anyone.
It is easy to say that just no one wants to work when it comes to all the available open job positions. However, if you did not need to potentially put yourself in a position where you could end up with Covid or spreading it to a loved one, would you?
More people are looking for remote work.
With the lockdown of the pandemic, a lot of companies were forced to allow remote work at least on some level. Workers that have never had the opportunity to work a remote job were able to experience what it was like. This included the numerous benefits that come with working remotely which includes saving money on commuting.
As the economy started to open back up and companies have begun to call workers back into the office, more people are making the decision to make their new job one that is remote. Although some businesses have decided to keep a largely remote workforce as a result of the pandemic, the truth is there are not really that many remote positions available. This is particularly the case when more people are looking for work-from-home jobs and there is not enough of them to fill by everyone that wants to work remotely.
The truth is the number of available remote job positions is not going to remain what it has been as a result of the pandemic. Even though more jobs today can be done remotely due to the ease at which technology makes it, this will never happen. The reason for this is control. Companies will pay the expenses of office space and utilities to keep an eye on the people they employ. The amount of open remote work positions is just not enough for the number of people looking for it.
Studies have shown that more people in the workplace want an opportunity for remote work. The fortunate workers that were able to experience it during the pandemic do not want to lose their freedom. Working from home for a lot of people during the pandemic made them realize what is important and often this ended up being not having to work each day by commuting to an office.
Numerous older workers decided to retire during the pandemic.
The lockdowns during the pandemic in combination with an investment market that has been very favorable for some time now certainly moved up the retirement date for some older workers. These people that decided to leave the workforce are no longer available for hire. Some older people that were considering retirement that may have had reduced hours at work or been laid off due to the pandemic made the decision to retire early since their retirement savings have grown quite well over the last few years. Being older in age along with the possibility of catching covid at work probably also helped some people decide to leave the workforce.
The pandemic along with the lockdowns has made older workers, as well as younger ones, reassess many things both financially and personally with their lives. Covid not only physically has an effect by getting people sick but it has also played a role psychologically with everyone. This includes older workers that decided to call it quits early and enjoy their retirement years.
Some younger workers decided to change careers during the pandemic.
Just like several older people in the workplace decided to make changes during the pandemic and retire, some younger workers also are using the time to their advantage and make a change for a different field or career to work. The result of the pandemic is younger people have had time to determine what is important to them and what they might want to do for work. The problem with this is the work they have chosen to replace the job they had before the pandemic is not in the same field. The result is a lot of open job positions in certain areas.
There are also younger people in the workforce that might have decided to go back to school or train for something different with the free time they had and extra unemployment benefits. Thus, the result has been a shift in the open job positions available in the market.
Competition for hiring people is making it difficult for some industries to find employees.
The real issue with what seems to be so many open job positions is the competition for hiring people. This to me is the real likely answer to why it is hard to fill some open job positions. If you look at a lot of the places that are having a challenging time hiring enough people, these are mainly low-paid positions in hospitality or customer service.
Because a lot of employers are having a hard time hiring people, many of them have decided to raise their wages and offer a bonus to go to work. This has made it challenging for employers offering lower pay to find people to work. Workers are looking for the best opportunities right now when it comes to their paycheck and benefits. This has always been the case to some extent but is particularly the situation now more than ever.
Right now, with an economy of high inflation and a reduction in employer-provided benefits for healthcare, a growing number of people are having a difficult time making enough money to provide for their families. Furthermore, the cost of housing and education are making it increasingly problematic for people to get ahead. Although some people would accept lower-paying positions at times just to get a paycheck previously, workers simply can’t afford to work for less and they are searching for the best opportunities even if they are only temporary.
The reason there are so many open job positions isn’t simply due to favorable unemployment benefits. Yes, some people would rather not work because they are collecting more on unemployment. However, this isn’t the only reason for the high number of open employment opportunities that seem to be available.
The employment environment in combination with the current economy right now is forcing workers to look for the largest paycheck. The cost for things, such as healthcare and housing, are making it challenging for workers to not just only look for where they can get the largest amount of money. Moreover, the pandemic has resulted in a shift of the workforce with people looking for more remote job opportunities. Many have also discovered the importance of a work/life balance. This might have included early retirement or changing job industries completely.
I believe most people want to work and not just sit at home collecting unemployment. However, they do not want to work for low wages. It isn’t because everyone believes they should be paid more but most people just can’t afford to be paid what they have been in the economic environment we are currently experiencing.