New data, new challenges for a new workforce

 

What workers are thinking now: And how you can respond

 

The job market proved remarkably resilient through the end of 2021. Even with COVID case rates hitting new highs due to the Omicron variant, unemployment is at or near what the Fed considers full employment; there were 1.7 job openings for every job seeker in December.

At 7.5% in January, inflation continues climb. “Workers are starting to ask if they’re being compensated for inflation,” said Grant Thornton Chief Economist Diane Swonk. “It’s reminiscent of the wage push inflation we saw in the 1970s.”

And the misnamed Great Resignation also continues. “Workers aren’t really leaving the workforce,” said Tim Glowa, Grant Thornton Director of Human Capital Services. “But they are switching to better jobs.” Grant Thornton’s latest State of Work in America survey, fielded in February 2022, found that 21% of the workforce left one job for another in the last 12 months — and 59% of them received three or more job offers. And it’s not over — 29% of workers report they are now looking for positions with a different employer. “When you consider that the job market didn’t really start to heat up until the spring, that 21 percent number is probably low,” said Glowa.

To learn the latest economic and workforce data — and what Grant Thornton’s proprietary research says about what workers want now — listen to our latest Economics of the Changing Workforce podcast.

 

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