June Jobs Report: More Jobs Added, Higher Unemployment
Why are we seeing more HELP WANTED signs, but also high unemployment?
Although June 2021 had better than expected 850,000 jobs added, unemployment rose 5.9% vs the expected 5.6%.
Many companies are still short staffed, with Help Wanted signs, offers for immediate interviews, hiring bonuses, and more incentives to fill positions.
Why is there such a disconnect between open jobs, high unemployment, and workers not applying for openings? HR experts say there are multiple reasons:
- Ongoing pandemic and people wary of being close to others
- Lack of access to childcare or schools reopening, kids on summer break
- Small businesses closed or are changing open roles, such as delivery drivers vs in-store workers
- Pandemic-related early retirement
- Unemployed workers’ skills don’t match with requirements for openings
- Employers need to increase wages, and some companies already have
Unemployment benefits and relief checks encourage people NOT to work, if they can make more from jobless payments than going back to work.
Workers may have changed preferences, according to the WSJ, moving to a new industry, skill set, or geographically to an area with fewer jobs matching their skills or desired job requirements, such as continuing remote work.
Manufacturing and construction industries are some of the hardest hit, as new building has been held back by supply shortages and soaring prices along with lack of workers. Industry leaders are calling for state and federal officials to remove tariffs and unemployment benefits.
What does this situation mean for you?
Fewer workers means workplace safety is as important as ever.
Training is Key for Hiring and Keeping Workers
As the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be subsiding and companies are asking employees back to the office, many have been empowered to quit. These are jobs that were providing stability during the pandemic, but for various reasons and changing priorities – burned out, unfulfilling, don’t want to commute, hate the job – they were hanging on. With COVID mostly under control, we are now seeing the “Great Resignation”.
Times have changed. Some say it’s permanent. Workers have high expectations from employers, including training, development, and opportunities for growth. And yes, that includes safety training. Continued focus and investment in training people will reap many benefits, including:
- A safer workplace, managing risk
- Less attrition and turnover
- Improved morale, motivation and job satisfaction
- More productivity, efficiencies, and processes
- Saving time and money
- Innovation in products and strategies
All of the above can ultimately protect profits and contribute to company growth.