Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /bitnami/wordpress/wp-content/themes/the-newspaper/theme-framework/theme-style/function/template-functions.php on line 673

The United States is currently in the midst of a puzzling supply-and-demand situation: while there are near-record numbers of jobs available, most go unfilled because of the dearth of available workers. 
The latest “American Opportunity Survey,” conducted by McKinsey and Co., published on 13 December and reported on that same day by Al Jazeera, attempts to explain why 11 million jobs went unfilled in October— just shy of the 11.1 million record set in July—while, at the same time, 4.2 million quit their jobs; see “‘THE GREAT RESIGNATION’: WILL JOBS COME BACK?” (16 Nov 2021).  
Of the 5,000 workers surveyed, 30 percent cited physical health issues as reasons for their unemployment, while 15 percent said their health issues were mental. Another 12 percent cited their need to care for children or elderly relatives. These numbers reflect that lack of access to healthcare, mental health care and childcare are seen as barriers to full employment. 
Despite the statistical plethora of available jobs, unemployed survey participants said that limited job availability was the biggest barrier they faced. McKinsey said its findings suggested that some workers were passing up available entry-level jobs while seeking those with higher pay and more flexibility. 
Workers are, in general, now being paid more, with wages up 4.8 percent in November, but inflation is rising faster, with consumer prices up 6.8 percent. That may be why workers tend to be more optimistic about their opportunities in the short term, but less so about the next five years. The survey breaks this down by ethnicity, and finds that African-American, Latino and Asian respondents suffered the greatest declines in optimism, along with those from lower-income households.
The disparity between jobs and workers has given workers more bargaining power to demand better pay and benefits; many are taking advantage of this by organizing; labor unions are undergoing a resurgence; see “LABOR UNION COMEBACK” (30 Nov 2021).
TREND FORECAST: Again, one of our Top Trends for 2022 is Unionization. The labor unionizing trend will continue, and employers who wish to incentivize and retain workers will, whether under pressure from unions or otherwise, try to keep parity between pay rates and inflation, and may offer childcare and additional physical and mental healthcare benefits.

Comments are closed.

Skip to content