The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report showed that the unemployment rate had dropped nationwide, showing an upward trend in most non-farm jobs (hospitality, business, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. Atlanta’s current unemployment rate rests at a healthy 4.2 % Even with that promising news, many employers are facing a labor shortage. WalletHub recently ranked Atlanta in the top 15% of major US cities for to find a good job.
So, what’s hot in career trends for 2022? There are a number of things that are being repeated by business gurus in the past few months. Though unemployment rates are down, people aren’t always going back to the jobs they had before Covid. Instead, they are looking for new opportunities or new ways to work their old positions.
Switching Jobs or the Great Resignation
Joblist’s January report coined the term Great Resignation in reference to workers who have quit or plan to quit their jobs since last fall. According to that report, 4.4 million people left their full- and part-time jobs in September, 4.2 million in October, and 4.5 million in November. And it seems to be a consistent trend. And, they are doing so without having a new position lined up. The reasons? Money. Seventy-nine percent of workers thought they could find jobs that paid more. Because there is a labor shortage, there are many opportunities available. Ironically, even workers who are offered pay raises still think there in more green to be had in another company’s office.
Covid caused a developmental change in the workplace. Remote work has become a viable solution for many companies who faced total shutdown because of Covid restrictions or workers calling in with sick loved one. Not having the expense and time-suck of commuting was an attractive option for many workers. It has almost become the Golden Ticket for many young graduates who would like to live anywhere to work: in Vail and ski most of the year or in Florida and go to the beach year around. Women have been more interested in remote work than men. It has also been the option for unemployed job seekers. Interestingly, current remote workers are reluctant to return to face-to-face work options, with more men, especially older men, reporting they would rather quit than return to the office, according to Joblist.
Hybrid working is another Covid change in the workforce. It means that an employee may work at home a certain amount of time but will have to come into the office periodically. That could be once a week or once a month or some other schedule. Commuting infrequently would be more of an excursion into the city or across the country, depending on how far away your home office is to the corporate organization. Something workers may be more willing to do. This can even have an attractive social component, allowing workers not only to work with team members face-to-face but also allow them to visit with them over lunches or after-work drinks.
Another new trend that has been growing for a couple of decades is the solopreneur, a term coined by Nick DeWilde of Jungle Gym, a resource for work/life balance. Solopreneurs are usually young, technology-savvy individuals who craft out innovative ways to make a living that are flexible, creative, and specifically suited to their unique skillsets. It has been predicted that by the turn of the next decade, 85% of today’s young grads will work jobs that haven’t been invented yet. In eight short years, not only will technology drive job creation but so will internet digital opportunities. These will be more viable and digitally-specific than even Twitch, TikTok, or YouTube. These young, savvy users want flexibility, ownership, and recognition for their skills. The money is predicted to follow.
Shortened Work Week
Another trend for 2022 is companies offering a shortened work week, sometimes in place of pay raises. This is partly in response to Covid and partly because of inflation. Workers are seeing little impact on their purchasing power, even with a pay increase. Some companies can and will offer pay raises to old workers or higher onboarding compensation for new workers. Other companies, especially smaller ones, may not be able to increase wages so they will shorten the work week. Depending on the company, workers may still be as productive or they may need to stuff work duties for a five-day week into four days. Some positions such as sales floor availability may not have duties change because of the hours of the store. A 32-hour work week to some workers is often more attractive than a 40-hour week so this becomes a solid perk.
One final trend is a definite positive one. Employees are becoming empowered. They are far more willing to stand up for themselves and negotiate a hiring package than they have before. Covid has become a catalyst for many workers and companies to rethink not only their current employment situations but also their benefits. Healthcare benefits and job flexibility are the current high priorities for workers. In addition, workers who are satisfied with the medical benefits still think that their employers need to revamp them in light of the impact the Covid pandemic has had on the nation’s healthcare system. Therefore, workers are more willing to state what they want and negotiate those factors with current and new employers.
Some companies, however, are placing higher value on their employees by offering better healthcare packages and wellness programs that cover not only physical health but mental and financial health. In 2020, a survey of 53 HR executives conducted by Gartner, Inc. found that companies were seeing the need to invest in wellbeing programs and provided increased support for their employees (85% of companies increased mental health benefits, 50% for physical wellbeing and 38% for financial health.
With all of these new trends in mind, Atlanta’s workforce has many opportunities to take advantage of as they seek a new job after being unemployed or as they look for flexibility and better benefits in their current positions or in a switch in careers.
Here are some links to find remote and hybrid jobs in Atlanta:
Work Source Georgia
As a servant leader, his commitment to collaboration, dedication to inclusion, data-informed decision making, creativity, and ability to unmask hidden potential within individuals allows him to provide motivation to the current and emerging leaders entering the workforce.