After a long pandemic lock down, people are assessing their employment situation. Many were fortunate to be able to work from home. They experienced the ease of meeting on Zoom, watching the kids at home without having to hire childcare, and no commuting in traffic.
Many realized that job duties can be accomplished from working at a remote job instead going to an office every day. Remote work is here to stay for many, and people can work from anywhere remotely.
As offices start to open and people get back to work there are a lot of job openings and new opportunities for job seekers. As companies look for new workers, the say they are having a problem finding qualified workers. Job seekers see the opportunity to jump ship to another firm with a higher salary. Strong hiring demand could benefit workers, but this may be temporary, as more get vaccinated, unemployment ends, and workers must get back to work.
Still, 15.4 million Americans remain on unemployment benefits in the U.S and approximately 11.6 million people have to rely on COVID-19 pandemic programs created by the CARES Act.
“For hourly workers and lower-salaried positions, location is one of the biggest — and often underestimated — drivers of effective recruiting. Research has shown that minor geographic differences in available talent and open jobs, even in the same city, can lead to higher unemployment.” Reports The Harvard Business Review.
The research report published Indeed said those seeking jobs rose dramatically after public announcements of broad-based wage increases, though interest faded over time. Companies are raising wages. Amazon announced to raise pay, and Bank of America said that it would raise its minimum wage to $25 by 2025.
The number of job openings reached a series high of 9.3 million on the last business day of April, the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires were little changed at 6.1 million. Total
separations increased to 5.8 million. Within separations, the quits rate reached a series high of 2.7
percent while the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to a series low of 1.0 percent. This release
includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm
sector, by industry, by four geographic regions, and by establishment size class.
The Harvard Business Review also reported, “Adjusting your salaries to the cost of living is a good starting point. Since 2020 alone, real average hourly earnings have decreased by more than 3%. One organization we worked with had been offering their service representatives the same salary of $30,000 annually for the last 20 years. The organization’s CEO was shocked to realize that the current inflation-adjusted salary would be $45,000 and increased these wages to precisely that number. In the past months, some large employers like Amazon, Bank of America and McDonald’s have followed a similar approach, and by our estimates increased the salaries of well over 500,000 workers.”