Usually during the months of November and December employment goes up given the need for seasonal or part-time workers. This year the opposite has happened. In November 4.5 million people left their jobs. In October, the number was 4.4 million resignations. What’s happening? There is a war for talent.
A lot of the turnover is occurring at the lower end of the pay scale. Higher level jobs are available and companies are raising pay and incentives significantly to entice workers, and will train them in basic skills. Opportunities are being offered for employees to quit their lower paying jobs for more stability, pay, flexible hours and much better benefits than their old, lower-level jobs.
Another phenomenon is the move from the big cities to the suburbs or rural areas. This is caused by the move to remote work with those who can earn a good living while working from their home. Also, the current low interest rates and low inventories for housing. The surge in home sales has driven the prices of housing up dramatically, in some areas over 50%. Why? The home is not only the place where the family resides, eats and sleeps, but now it’s also the place where people work, children go to school (remotely), and provides recreation (notice the increase of home exercise products, streaming options, and games available along with their company stock).
The nature of work has changed in a fundamental way. The impact of the pandemic has changed the way we look at our work versus life balance and our potential value in the marketplace. It has also changed from a company driven workplace to an employee driven workplace: Employees want to work remotely, ask for higher pay, not to commute to an office, want a more friendly environment, and so on.
So, what are the potential implications and guesses of future events? Here are a few:
- The housing bubble will come down as fast as it went up. Buy if you have to, but you may have to wait 5 or more years for the housing values to come back to your original cost. Remember the 2008 to 2012 housing cycle?
- If you’re being trained in a new technology, make sure you keep pace. Once the marketplace stabilizes, those with new skills and poor performance will be purged.
- While remote work will continue in some functions and sectors, the number of remote jobs will decrease. Large offices will give way to smaller units outside of the big cities where a high level of technology is available
- Expectations will change once workers start to come back to an office environment. It will be a difficult adjustment. A lot will depend upon children going back to the classroom. If the classroom remains closed, but employers demand workers return to the office, a major conflict will occur with the working family in the middle.
Make your decisions about the next 2 years carefully. The road is not a straight one.
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