EMPLOYMENT: Here’s How the Pandemic Has Changed the Job Market

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by Dan Vale

Disasters affect job availability in different and sometimes conflicting ways. Here’s how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the job market – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Relocation is on the rise.

For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to move from large cities to the suburbs, smaller towns, or rural areas. They are moving because online internet jobs are safer than office jobs, or because the office jobs are no longer available.

There also are many other advantages to such moves. For example, the cost of living is cheaper than in big cities, especially for housing. In addition, low mortgage rates now favor the buyer. Also, there is less fear of pandemics, crime, and civil unrest when not living in big, crowded cities. Furthermore, there is less exposure to noise and more space, and pleasant exposure to nature.

How a disaster could make big cities more attractive to people

Consider, for example, a power grid failure due to natural or human mistakes or attacks. Such an electrical blackout could last for weeks or even months and could affect large areas, thus shutting down jobs that require electrical energy.

Power restoration would occur in big cities first. That is because big cities have more high-priority, energy-dependent hospitals, fire departments, and places of employment than rural areas. Also, big cities have a higher density of energy consumers. They would likely get service before consumers in rural or even suburban areas. Those who live in big cities would have electricity restored at home and be back to work sooner than those living in less populated areas.

Now, let’s talk about how COVID-19 may affect the workforce.

First, the good news

As the pandemic subsides, schools may begin to open in September. This will enable parents to return to the workforce with less pressure. 

More employers have considered giving employees paid sick leave. Doing so will lessen the likelihood that employees will come to work sick, possibly spreading illness to other employees.

According to NPR.org: President Biden will require federal contractors to pay their employees a minimum wage of $15 an hour starting March 30, 2022, senior administration officials say — a hike that will benefit a few hundred thousand people and underscore the broader Democratic push to raise the federal pay floor to the same level.

Computer-savvy employees have more options to work from home. Automation of work tasks was already increasing, but the COVID-19 Pandemic accelerated this trend.

With generous pandemic-related unemployment benefits, many employers are having trouble filling their now open positions. Currently, the job market is a strong one. Employers have urgent needs for applicants to fill tech jobs.

Increasing numbers of older Americans provide more opportunities in eldercare, home health care, and personal services. Some small towns are paying workers to relocate. How is that for a welcome mat?

And now for the bad news 

Hospitality and retail jobs are in decline. Some of those employed in these sectors might want to consider other types of jobs. If you want a different career, spend the time to find out what career is best for you. You also might want to consider advancing your computer skills.

Older workers are likely to be discriminated against.  Unfortunately, some employers prefer to hire younger workers whose salary requests will not be as high.

Most jobs in today’s world require the use of computers, even during the application process. One example of this trend is virtual job fairs. It would be best if you embraced Lifelong learning and include computer knowledge. 

Remote computer jobs have become highly competitive. Since employees who perform work on a computer can live anywhere, companies have cast wider nets in their employee search. The wider the search, the more job applications companies will have. And the more competitive the job search can become.

Liberal unemployment benefits are not cause for complacency. An extended period of unemployment benefits will not enhance your resume.

Partially because of the stimulus payments, inflation is starting to rise. To keep the same standard of living, you might have to make more money than you did before the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The ban on evictions and foreclosures will not last forever. When it expires, people will have to pay what they owe or be out on the street with bad credit. Bad credit can keep someone from getting a job.

Conclusion

According to Jeffrey Miron, director of economics studies at the Cato Institute, “As wages rise, the worker shortage will go away.” If you like your current career trajectory, strike (apply for jobs) while the iron (the good job market) is hot. 

There you have it, some good and some bad. Try to concentrate on the good and prepare for the bad.

Has your job been affected by the pandemic? Has the change been for the better or the worse? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

About the Author:

Dan Vale has a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education. He won the Mr. Delaware Bodybuilding Contest in 1968 and earned his karate Black Belt in 1973. He has had a lifelong interest in physical fitness. Furthermore, for over seven years, he wrote 785  articles for the Examiner Online Newspaper. Most of these articles were written in his capacity as the Baltimore Prepper Examiner. To see his Amazon books, visit his Amazon author page.

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