There are several other factors that contribute to the current state of the workforce and the high unemployment rate. These include elements such as extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, a reshuffle of the workforce, childcare and school disruptions, and foreign workers’ inability to come to the U.S. for jobs.  

Extended UI Benefits

State-provided unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) were used to support those in need throughout the pandemic. The rate of $300 per week for 46 weeks made it easy for Americans to continue making roughly $17.50 an hour for almost an entire year from the comfort of their home. Because of this, there was little motivation for prospective employees to job hunt. 

Reshuffle of the Workforce

The recent significant changes in the workforce have been labeled as the “Great Resignation” as we’ve seen millions of Americans quit their jobs. Since the Great Resignation, many people have decided to change job or career paths and have jumped back into re-education. College enrollments across the U.S. increased for the Fall 2021 semester and people are looking to switch into new fields and careers. 

Many individuals who left their customer service jobs at the beginning of COVID-19 chose to leave service for good in order to pursue employment in warehouse and distribution facilities, for example. Customer service jobs are in high demand as a result of this. 

Childcare and School Disruptions

Another factor that significantly affected the current state of our workforce was parents’ ability to provide adequate childcare for their children who were no longer able to attend school in person. Most states kept public and private schools shut until the Fall of 2021. Due to this, many parents were required to be home with their children. Parents turned into teachers and more than 1.8 million women left the workforce entirely.

Lack of Foreign Workers

Foreign workers account for a large amount of job retention in the United States, but they were, unfortunately, unable to transfer into the states due to COVID health mandates. This left several industries including farming, hospitality, and ski resorts to be understaffed and at a disadvantage. 

What does this mean for the current state of the workforce moving forward?

Given the current unemployment rate and the factors involved in what makes up today’s labor force, it’s evident that the state of our workforce is taking a major turn. Employers everywhere are having difficulties hiring and retaining quality employees which are putting several industries and businesses at risk of failing. 

There are, however, resources at an organization’s disposal to help. An experienced PEO or staffing and recruiting company can help business owners and hiring managers find valuable candidates to fill their unoccupied job roles. 

Working with a professional workforce administration company, like The Applied Companies, can help set your company up for success. TAC has been part of the Reno community since 2002 and prides itself on thoughtful solutions and authentic relationships. 

Our Reno staffing solutions help employers in need of a professional, reliable, and ambitious workforce. We work to provide you with quality candidates to help you grow your business and decrease turnover to save you time and money. Connect with us today for help growing your team. 

As mentioned in our first post on this topic, it’s evident that the American workforce looks quite different today than it did just 18 months ago. Employee behaviors, service impacts, and corporate economic difficulties are highly relevant when assessing the current state of the workforce. 

What The Current State of The Workforce Looks Like

Employee Behaviors

Some of the most significant changes in the workforce have to do with employee behaviors. Predominantly, employees are seeking higher wages, better benefit packages, flexible hours, remote work opportunities, and child care accommodations. 

The current Labor Force Participation Rate, which measures the economy’s active workforce, sits at 61.7 percent. This is 1.6 percent lower than the recorded rate in February 2020. Though this number has been declining for the past 20 years, the pandemic set off a surge of Americans choosing unemployment insurance over working full-time. 

Another statistic to keep an eye on is the quits rate. The rate is also high, currently at 2.7 percent, and is driven by employees that voluntarily leave their positions. Roughly 52-90 percent of employees plan to job search and the employees who quit have a high sense of confidence that they will find new employment.

It was also recorded that a shocking amount of American workers between the ages of 57 and 75 decided to retire in 2020. Historically, the average is 3 million workers each year, but in 2020, there were an additional 3.2 million who decided to stop working. 

Service Impacts

There are approximately 10.9 million job openings currently in the U.S., and the supply chain is being seriously impacted as a result. If you’ve visited a restaurant recently and experienced long wait times or poor service, then you’ve seen first-hand how the workforce is being affected. The lack of employee retention in restaurants has led to reduced hours of operation, limited menu items, and unavailability of reservations. Several local restaurants and conglomerate franchises have been affected, meaning restaurants on a small and large scale are at risk. 

The travel industry has also been significantly affected by the shift in the workforce. Travelers have been experiencing long wait lines due to a lack of TSA screeners, putting a great deal of strain on airport visitors. The hospitality industry is also suffering due to a lack of staffing. Hotel rooms aren’t being as well-kept because there are not enough employees to complete daily room cleaning. The same can be said of several other industries as well including retail and transportation. 

Company Reactions

Because of the high unemployment rate, employers are beginning to see changes in their economic values. The wage pressures that corporations are experiencing are calling for higher starting wages for entry or mid-level skillsets. A majority of employees are looking for starting wages of $20/hour or more with no background or drug screening. This puts employers at a disadvantage, especially when you consider the high costs of employee turnover which is already at an all-time high.   

Not only are companies faced with having to pay higher wages for employee retention, but many are also having to reduce the number of sales they make to accommodate for fulfillment deficiencies.  

Working with a professional workforce administration company, like The Applied Companies, can help set your company up for success. TAC has been part of the Reno community since 2002 and prides itself on thoughtful solutions and authentic relationships. 

Our Reno staffing solutions help employers in need of a professional, reliable, and ambitious workforce. We work to provide you with quality candidates to help you grow your business and decrease turnover to save you time and money. Connect with us today for help growing your team. 

As many American business owners and employers are aware, the state of our workforce has changed rapidly since the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, many people were forced out of their positions to limit the spread of COVID-19, putting several industries out of work for some time. Occupations involving face-to-face customer service became obsolete for a majority of the quarantine lockdown, causing millions to file for unemployment. 

Today, these job positions are coming back into demand, but our workforce has significantly changed post-lockdown, leaving most of these job openings unfulfilled. To fully understand the current state of the workforce, we need to analyze the Nevada unemployment rate and assess some of the obstacles faced by employees and employers.  

With that in mind, the TAC team wanted to take a deeper look at what is affecting the changes in the workforce and what your company can do to better understand and be prepared for these changes. We will first be analyzing the state of Nevada unemployment rate versus that national data and then dive deeper into what your company can do to stay ahead of the game. 

Nevada Unemployment Rate vs. National Unemployment Rate

In April 2020, the national unemployment rate skyrocketed to over 14 percent, the highest its been since the Great Depression. The current state of the workforce has improved some over the last year and a half, but the numbers are still relatively high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate was at 4.8 percent in September 2021. 

In comparison, Nevada’s unemployment rate was and continues to be recorded as the highest in the nation. In April 2020, Nevada’s unemployment rate was a staggering 28.2 percent, which was double the national average. Since then, the rate has dropped significantly, but Nevada’s current unemployment rate remains above 7 percent. We should acknowledge these rates are driven largely by Southern NV. The unemployment rate as of September in Reno is 3.5% which is back to pre-pandemic levels.

With the numbers continuing to decline, we are seeing some improvements in the workforce. However, these statistics aren’t the only aspect of the workforce that has changed. 

To understand what this all means for your organization, working with a professional workforce administration company, like The Applied Companies, can help set your company up for success. TAC has been part of the Reno community since 2002 and prides itself on thoughtful solutions and authentic relationships. 

Our Reno staffing solutions help employers in need of a professional, reliable, and ambitious workforce. We work to provide you with quality candidates to help you grow your business and decrease turnover to save you time and money. Connect with us today for help growing your team. 

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