The COVID-19 pandemic put a strain on global economies. Millions of people across the world lost their jobs as businesses were forced to shut down due to the need to social distance and prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
But now, two years on, things are starting to look up, despite the crisis in Russia and Ukraine. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate has declined by 0.2 percentage points from February figures, bringing it down to 3.6%. This beat investor estimates.
This represents a reduction of 318,000 people and brings the number of unemployed people to 6 million – back in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic, 5.7 million were unemployed in the US, and the unemployment rate was 3.5%.
In other good news, the number of permanent job losers declined by 191,000 to 1.4 million – this is almost as low as pre-pandemic levels of 1.3 million.
The US now has 62.4% labor force participation and the number of individuals not working who want a job increased from 382,000 to 5.7 million in March 2022.
Job creations vs resignations
The BLS’s report also noted that there were 431,000 jobs created in March, compared to February. This brings the monthly average increase for the first quarter of 2022 to 562,000 jobs.
While this is an impressive increase in jobs, it fell short of Bloombergestimates of 490,000. It is also the smallest gain since September, and reflects a slow down in job gains from February’s 678,000.
Compounding the situation is that resignations are still high in the US. Another recent BLS report found that 4.3 million US workers resigned in February – the data for March is not yet available. This makes the quit rate 2.9%.
While the US may have recovered 93% of the jobs lost since the start of the pandemic, it doesn’t seem like US workers are keen to accept (or stay in) these roles.
We are now nine months into the ‘Great Resignation’ – it is high time that employers really think about their talent acquisition and retention strategies.
Job adverts must be clear on flexible working options, company culture, and career development opportunities if they want to find the right talent. Also, remember, the right candidate might not be local to the office – if you want to win the war for talent, it is time to embrace hiring from anywhere.
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