It’s Labor Day Weekend!
Back in 1894, when work conditions were abhorrent and workers’ rights barely existed, the Federal Government saw fit to offer a single day of vacation “to honor labor workers’ contributions to the country.”
Read this First!
In our own way of honoring labor, we do not expect you to even glance at this article, or anything work related until Tuesday. So read no further, flag the email or book mark this article and go enjoy yourself.
We too would very much like to go home early today and will do so as soon as we have this article published.
Commentary Labor Trends Real?
But, should you elect to read on, we thought a grass roots review of recent labor market trends might be of value. What do we mean by grass roots? Glad you asked!
We work at the grass roots level every day, so when we hear or read about US Government labor statistics and analysts writing about labor trends, we become very skeptical. Mainly because they are reporting history. They are looking at what has already happened.
Sure they may mention future outlook, but speaking plainly, we’ve never experienced a time when their future outlook has been accurate. We might even say it’s misleading to companies that rely on government outlook to strategize their business operations, including hiring.
Our take on the Government’s Labor Trends take
Below is a list of trends, how the government sees it and what we are seeing in the hundreds of pre-qualification interviews we engage in each week.
Because we speak to the current labor pool.
1. Remote Work:
Government: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote work. Many companies and employees experienced the benefits of remote work, leading to a continued interest in flexible work arrangements. Some companies have adopted hybrid work models, allowing employees to work both in the office and remotely.
CareerNet: There are talented people seeking remote work because they believe it to offer a better work-life balance. Most motivated candidates will take an in-office job before considering a remote position. They believe it will bring them promotion faster. We have found this to be true unless the entire company is remote. We can’t think of one that is, and is well known other than 37signals. If full remote is your goal, you’d be well served to read “Remote: Office Not Required” by 37signals CEO and Co-Founder, Jason Fried. Read anything he writes. His collective content comprises the definative works on modern labor from the field. (PS. We don’t collect fees for this referral so click away)
2. Gig Economy:
Government: The gig economy continued to grow, with more people seeking freelance and gig work opportunities. Platforms like Uber, Lyft, Upwork, and Fiverr have become increasingly popular for those looking for flexible employment.
CareerNet: With tech contract work as the exception, people want out of the so-called Gig Economy and are seeking better paying, more traditional work opportunities.
3. Automation and AI:
Government: Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have been impacting the job market, with certain tasks becoming automated. While this has raised concerns about job displacement, it has also created new opportunities in fields like robotics, AI development, and data analysis.
CareerNet: We have seen none of this, other than data analysis jobs. Neither companies nor candidates are willing to adjust their personnel strategies to rely on AI. Automations may reduce the need for clerical functions, but they also increase the need for data management which generally means adding people.
4. Skills Gap:
Government: There is an ongoing skills gap in various industries, where employers struggle to find workers with the right skills. Upskilling and reskilling have become essential for individuals looking to remain competitive in the job market.
5. Diversity and Inclusion:
Government: There has been a growing emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Many organizations are actively working to create more inclusive and equitable work environments.
CareerNet: We are not sure which companies in the last decade have not been hiring based upon merit. We have yet to see diversity as a resistance point among any of our clients using our hiring and recruiting services.
6. Wellness and Mental Health:
Government: The pandemic highlighted the importance of employee well-being and mental health. Employers have been focusing on providing mental health support and wellness programs to help employees cope with stress and maintain their productivity.
CareerNet: This is a trend that we agree with 100%. HR should be focused on supporting your people so they can work better and feel better about their work. Consider outsourcing responsibly when you can.
7. Green Jobs and Sustainability:
Government: With increasing awareness of climate change and environmental concerns, there has been a rise in green jobs and sustainability-focused careers, such as renewable energy, environmental consulting, and sustainable agriculture.
CareerNet: This is more a cycle than a trend. When times are good, lots of private investment, supplemented by government loans fuels green jobs. Until corporate America really wants a better environment, we don’t expect Green Jobs to be readily available.
8. Remote Hiring:
Government: The hiring process itself has become more remote, with virtual interviews, assessments, and onboarding procedures becoming common.
CareerNet: A current standard. Not a Trend. If your team is not confident in this process, give us a call.
9. Aging Workforce:
Government: The workforce is aging, which has implications for retirement planning, healthcare, and workforce development policies.
CareerNet: The average age of Americans is 38, 23 years ago it was 30. This has nothing to do with Labor Trends and everything to do with the cost of living and most of America’s young adults having fewer children much later in life, coupled with longer life expectancy trends. 58 is the new 40.
Hope you enjoyed your 3-day weekend!
– The CareerNet Staff