As 2022 comes to an end, many central banks in Western countries have further increased interest rates despite the risk of “an imminent recession.” An important reason for them to raise interest rates is that “the unemployment rate is still at a low level.” It shows that the economic status is acceptable. But judging from all indications, this idea may take longer to be verified.
In August this year, the number of vacant jobs in Germany reached 887,000, 108,000 more than the same period last year. At the end of July, the number of vacant jobs in the United States was still at a high of 11 million, which is equivalent to two positions for every job seeker. The OECD also emphasized in its report in July this year that as of the end of 2021, the ratio of vacant jobs/unemployment in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom has increased significantly compared with before the epidemic.
Ariane Curtis, an economist at Capital Economics, explained that the high job vacancy rate is a cross-border problem. A series of surveys and company feedback show that recruitment is still a big problem. The problem is particularly serious in Western Europe and North America, but also in Eastern Europe, Turkey and Latin America. The problem.
Where have the people gone?
Even before the COVID-19 epidemic, population aging had caused the working-age population to continue to decrease, but the epidemic was still a key factor in detonating the labor force problem.
Regarding the current “effect” that is occurring globally, the well-known news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) concluded: After the epidemic, some people chose to retire early, while others were affected by the side effects of “long COVID-19”. Beyond that, there are those who simply don’t want to put up with poor working conditions and low pay anymore. In addition to the decline in the labor force directly caused by illness, the number of immigrants has dropped sharply. Workers in cities have moved to the suburbs, and many migrant workers have taken this time to rethink their careers.
Bonnie Dowling, a consultant at consulting firm McKinsey who conducted research on the “global mass resignation” phenomenon, said that driven by the epidemic, workers’ thinking and priorities have undergone fundamental changes, but employers have not followed up on such changes.
But even if they are unwilling to take the initiative to change, circumstances will force businesses to make changes. According to local media reports, pharmacies in Wisconsin, hospitals in Alberta, Canada, and restaurants on Australia’s Sunshine Coast have all been forced to reduce business hours due to lack of staff.
Mike Smith, CEO of Randstad Sourceright, a Dutch international headhunting company, said that the biggest question at the moment is whether the situation that has happened in recent months will ease, but from the perspective of headhunting companies, this is not a short-lived phenomenon and what is happening now It is a structural change, and a series of trends also prove this. The changes in workers’ expectations for work will continue to exist.