Who could have predicted how much the job market would change in the past two years? There’s even a new term for the recent shift in employment in America known as The Great Resignation. Business owners have been hoping for signs of change, and we’re starting to see some trends that could alter the job market as we move into 2022.
Keep reading to learn about the latest work patterns, new ways of working, and jobs being created that are affecting the employment market.
Record Numbers of US Workers Resign in November
A record 4.5 million people in the US left their job in November, according to figures released by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The job resignation rate reached 3.0% in November, matching September’s record high, while the total number of separations, which includes layoffs and discharges, reached 6.3 million, a 382,000 increase on the previous month.
Job openings in November decreased to 10.6 million, the data show, while the number of new hires stayed roughly the same at 6.7 million.
Explanations for the rapid market changes vary between economists, but there is a broad consensus on several contributors. One is a widespread career re-evaluation that many people in the US had during the coronavirus pandemic. This has prompted millions of Americans to abandon their existing career in favor of one that better aligns with their interests.
For others, a reflection on work-life balance has prompted a switch to lobs with fewer hours and greater flexibility. And for the highly skilled, a wave of openings at the senior level in the tech sector has led to many resignations, as the major US tech giants battle it out to attract top talent.
The changes have proved challenging for businesses looking to recruit into low-skilled, low-paid jobs such as the hospitality sector. However, according to economists, the so-called great resignation period is likely to have led to higher wages and increased job satisfaction.
Jobs Market – Which Sectors are the Winners and Losers?
While there were millions of job openings in November, headline figures can often obscure what’s happening at the sectoral level.
An analysis by Bloomberg has revealed that while most industries saw an increase in total jobs, several sectors experienced a marked decline.
Among the strongest areas for job growth were in the performing arts and air transportation industries, with 7,000 and 5,800 jobs created, respectively. However, over 6,000 jobs were lost in the business support service and the motion picture and sound recording industries, while over 12,000 jobs were lost in the sporting goods, hobbies, and bookstore industry.
Will Omicron Spark a Jobs Market Slowdown?
While November jobs data was encouraging, most people don’t take into account the effect of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus that emerged in December.
The new variant has triggered a surge in coronavirus infections, with over 1 million positive tests recorded on January 3 alone. Some economists are concerned that Omicron will put the brakes on the recovery of the US economy going into 2022.
Many flight cancellations at the beginning of January could prove to be an early sign of a stalled recovery. If this continues, it could lead to airlines announcing layoffs and have a knock-on effect on the wider tourism and hospitality sectors.
In addition, with high numbers of staff having to isolate after testing positive for COVID, many smaller businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors are having to reduce opening hours or shut entirely because of staff shortages.
If it continues at the current rate, this drop-off in revenue could lead to redundancies further down the line.
With the COVID-19 continuing to affect employment and business operations, America’s job market is uncertain. The recent report of the record-setting employees who left their jobs in November is not the news most business owners want to hear. However, some experts claim that The Great Resignation will become “The Big Bounce Back” by the end of the year. With improved working conditions and a less competitive job market, we could see more people returning to low-paid jobs, which will stimulate the economy and decrease the amount of resignations overall.