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Where Are All of the Workers?

With a little over a year out of the pandemic, the job market has taken a complete 180. At the start of the pandemic, millions of Americans were losing their jobs, whereas now, companies are struggling to find talent to fill these roles. The current estimate is that there are two times the amount of jobs for every available worker. 


One of the most prominent phenomena we are experiencing is a lack of workers to work these roles. Some individuals blame the lack of workers on the work ethic of younger generations, while other skeptics believe it is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. We will explain what is causing a deficit in active workers and what it means for the current job market. 


The current labor force shrinkage is thought to affect the economy well into the future. Multiple reasons and factors are going into the lack of talent to fill these jobs. The first component that is affecting the deficit in workers is the coronavirus. The virus is affecting the number of people that can work remotely versus onsite. It is also affecting individuals without a vaccine and those falling sick with the disease. 


Although we are 17 months out from the beginning of the pandemic, the Delta strain is currently responsible for 90% of the cases in the United States. The coronavirus is responsible for individuals living on unemployment benefits that are not actively seeking out employment. 


The next factor falls onto the eldest generation in our workforce, the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomers are the generation of individuals born between the years of 1946 and 1964. The youngest person in this age range is currently 57 years old, meaning most individuals are retiring. 


The issue with Baby Boomers retiring is that it makes up the second-largest portion of current workers, and in 2020, their number of retirements doubled. There are 76.4 million Baby Boomers, and that amount of people leaving the workforce has a drastic fall on the economy.


One of the last determinants of the workforce deficit is the shortage in child care. When schools shut down during the pandemic and moved remotely, parents could no longer juggle working and taking care of their children. Instead of sending their kids off to school, parents have to watch and tend to their children, make meals during virtual school, and help them with homework and schoolwork. 


Child care is such a large factor because it has become more expensive since the beginning of the pandemic. Parents are becoming unable to afford full-time child care in place of public schools. The government has been working on child-care packages for U.S. citizens, but it is nothing more than a proposal. 


Overall, many components and deterrents are preventing people from joining the workforce. The biggest issue that we see as a recruiting agency is the better job offers out there. Because there are two jobs for every worker, workers have the upper hand in choosing the position that is the best fit for them. 


If you are a company struggling to find talent, check out our blog post to understand the current market needs for candidates. We wish you the best of luck on your talent search!