From childcare to COVID, the rising job market faces obstacles


Washington (AP) — Soaring adoption in the US last month — 916,000 additional jobsHighest since August — in line with growing confidence that employment will continue to grow rapidly as vaccinations increase and federal aid drives economic growth.

The most optimistic economists even predict that by the end of the year, the country will create an additional 10 million jobs and bring the labor market back to pre-pandemic levels.

Maybe so. But even in peacetime, it will be difficult to get all these jobs back on track. And these are not normal times.

Many displaced from the workforce are afraid of the coronavirus and are reluctant to get face-to-face service jobs. Millions of women are still caring for children who go to school online — and they can’t find or can’t afford to work.

Long-term unemployment assistance has meant that some employers may have to pay more to attract workers. Others need new skills before they can get a job to replace their lost job.

Few doubt that the trillions of federal funds flowing through the economy will help accelerate employment, but the challenge is certainly tolerated. Let’s take a look at some of them:

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Fear of health

So far, the vast majority of Americans remain unvaccinated. And after a few weeks of sharp decline, daily infections are skyrocketing. Recruiters say this trend discourages some unemployed people from finding employment.

“People are afraid to come to work — there are some,” said Tammy Browning, president of the staffing agency Kelly OCG.

Some Americans are hesitant to get vaccinated, but in the end, continuous vaccination should gradually reduce such fears. Browning also suggested that employers need to be more creative about making workers feel comfortable at work. Many of her company’s clients are manufacturers. On many hot factory floors, employees are required to wear masks and gloves for at least 8 hours a day.

Companies need to consider increasing breaks and allow workers to remove their masks outdoors or in socially remote break rooms, Browning said.

As a single mother, Jennifer Nap of Augusta, Maine is worried about what returning to work means to the health of her and her children. A year ago, 44-year-old Knapp lost his job as a hotel and spa receptionist. This place is what she described as a “bacterial hub.”

“If you want to put yourself at risk, there’s a job there,” she said.

However, the open work she sees is usually temporary and offers low wages. Currently, Nap lives on savings, child support from his ex-husband, and unemployment assistance. Like many parents, she ideally wants to find a telecommuting job in the areas of psychology and social work.

“The goal is to get back and work there as long as my kids are okay,” she said.

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Need child care

During the pandemic, nearly 2.5 million women lost their jobs and stopped looking for jobs. Most often, according to experts, it’s because so many children suddenly got stuck at home, went to school online, and lacked child care available or affordable to their parents. Better childcare options or more flexible work schedules will be needed to completely reverse that trend.

Such changes are becoming apparent as schools and daycare centers reopen. In March, about 500,000 women returned to the workforce and found employment. Improvements may continue in the coming months. Indeed’s Chief Economist, Jed Kolko, said on the job listing website that there are more jobs available at Child Care Centers. This indicates that many of these centers are reopening.

Recruiters also say that along with the benefits of part-time workers, flexible or hybrid work schedules can be important in attracting job seekers, especially women. More companies may offer on-site child care.

Karen Fichuk, CEO of recruiting company Randstad North America, said:

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Extended unemployment assistance

Recruiters are partly hired with a regular state unemployment allowance of about $ 340 per week, in addition to the $ 300 weekly federal unemployment allowance provided by President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion COVID aid package. The Lord states that it may have been difficult to find workers. For some job seekers, especially those who are afraid of the virus, part-time or temporary work in restaurants and stores that may pay less than unemployment assistance is not a good option.

According to economic surveys, unemployment benefits generally do not prevent workers from finding employment. JPMorgan Chase Institute found That last year’s federal unemployment payments did not discourage recipients from working. However, the new $ 300 weekly federal grant is set to last six months, longer than the previous payment.

“It’s a much more compelling benefit now, and it’s foolish to think it doesn’t work,” said Julia Pollak, economist at ZipRecruiter.

Economists calculate that about half of the unemployed earn more benefits than their previous jobs.

Another factor is that unemployment benefits usually require the unemployed to document their efforts to find a job in order to maintain their qualifications. However, during the pandemic, most states suspended this requirement. In other words, there are few incentives for job hunting.

Mr Browning said her company is advising customers to pay more and offer other benefits, including bonuses, to offset extended unemployment assistance. Six months ago, the client raised the hourly wage of a temporary position by $ 4 per hour. She said the percentage of jobs fulfilled jumped from 35% to 98%.

“You really have to encourage people to get back to work, and that means paying at the levels that the market demands,” Browning said.

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Need new skills

To some unemployed, their old jobs seem to be gone forever. In some cases, former employers have learned to run with fewer workers. To get a job, you need to find a job in a new profession or industry. Probably only after receiving vocational training. This will take some time.

Many economists hope to help more companies re-skill their workers, especially if they are desperate to hire. As the unemployment rate continues to decline, companies may have no choice.

Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, said:

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Need optimism

For millions of Americans, over the past year, many have been willing to demoralize unemployment (sometimes multiple furloughs) and search for useless jobs, and many find jobs. I gave up.

As an example, last month he said he wanted to work, but the number of people who were disappointed and couldn’t find a job remained the same in March. That was true, even though some job search websites reported a surge in job listings in recent weeks.

For discouraged workers, Pollack said it could take some time to regain confidence.

“Many job seekers do not yet understand how rapidly the labor market situation has changed,” she said. “Many people looked for a job early in the pandemic, which was the most difficult and frustrating thing to do, but is now disappointing.”

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