As job openings begin to rapidly resurface employers are confused by an apparent lack of interest. A decrease in cases of coronavirus and an increase in those vaccinated in the United States have led to the reopening of businesses, but there has been a great struggle to find workers for the re emerging jobs.
While the unemployment rate is currently at 6%, 2.5% lower than it was before the pandemic, jobs are not being filled. Employers are being forced to raise wages, increase benefits, seek out employees directly, and poach workers from other companies. While this has been common practice in the past for high-level workers, it is rare for an employer to fall back on these techniques for entry-level employees.
Jim McCoy, senior vice president of talent solutions at Manpower (a major hiring firm) believes “about half of all professional job openings were filled by job seekers responding to ads or sending out cold applications. Now, he figures, businesses are recruiting about 75% of their white-collar hires,” according to an article published by USA Today.
This confusing development has begged the question: why has there been such a drop in interest? In the past year, some have stopped looking for jobs in fear of contracting coronavirus. Others are unwilling to take on new jobs in an unsteady economy, preferring to stay with the job they currently have even if the salary is lower. It has also been speculated that some are unwilling to work when they could accept the increased unemployment aid and stimulus checks provided by the government.
Jobs that require completely in-person work are struggling the most. Many businesses have started offering fully remote options in order to fill positions. They are willing to allow people to work from their place of residence even if it’s nowhere near their offices. While this strategy has helped, many industries such as airlines, grocery, retail, and meat packaging can’t support a fully virtual option.
“Suppliers are struggling, just as many in our industry are, to hire people to process chicken, thus placing unexpected pressure on the amount of birds that can be processed and negatively affecting supply of all parts of the chicken in the U.S., not just wings,” said Wingstop CEO Charles Morrison, regarding a nationwide chicken shortage due to a lack of workers.
Some view fears of labour shortages as foolish, claiming there has been such a great increase in opportunity it only seems like less jobs are being filled. Seeing as 900,000 employment opportunities were created in March this is a very real possibility. This does not excuse the fact that businesses are struggling to fill positions, further pushing back a return to “normalcy.” Time will reveal the severity of this issue, but for now it festers.