Mixed Employment Signals as COVID Reopening Continues

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While the Delta variant of COVID-19 remains a concern, the push back to normalcy continues across the country. Along with reopening, the hope of continued recovery for the economy continues. However, employment numbers provide a confusingly mixed result thus far during this COVID reopening.

On the positive side 850,000 people were hired in the US in June. Along with this, wages and payrolls have been increasing. However, at the same time the unemployment rate ticked up in June.

There are several theories for why this continues. It could be that many people have permanently stopped looked for work. It may also be that many are waiting until they feel more comfortably working in environments requiring continued contact with the public, or perhaps waiting for the fall and kids to return to school.

Of particular note for employers however is that there may also be a shift in what employees are looking for. There is a considerable number of job openings currently with employers having difficulty filling certain roles. This may in part be because a major change in the economy, as was caused by the pandemic, has shifted the types of jobs many people are looking for. Finding the right people for the right jobs will take time. It also may be that a certain level of flexibility that was provided to workers during the pandemic is something people want to retain moving forward.

In the current market, workers have greater choice and negotiating power. Employers may find themselves needing to provide incentives, which may be monetary but may also simply be the right environment and flexibility for employees in order to staff up to the levels needed.

With the constant changes that can impact a business, a legal team with experience in employment law can help navigate a difficult time for businesses, particularly with the ever-changing landscape for companies during the COVID reopening. Contact us to discuss further.