|If you prefer, you can download the PDF of this Talent Pulse Briefing.|
The U.S. workforce is still plagued with uncertainty as the pandemic ebbs and flows and expanded benefits are set to expire in September 2021 for many U.S. states.
At ManpowerGroup, we ground our point of view from our experience in connecting hundreds of thousands of people to work each year and advanced data that provides actionable insights that allow us to best guide employers through these uncertain times.
Employers today are asking if wages will continue to rise in September 2021, and whether they will see a surge in job candidates who are willing and able to work, making it easier to fill roles.
Will wages continue to rise?
Let’s start with the current situation. The economic recovery is happening faster than anticipated, but workers are taking longer to return to the labor market. Job openings reached 10.1 million in June, but the labor participation rate for July was 61.7%, lower than any year in the last 20+ years. There are multiple reasons for this. Part of the problem is a discrepancy between where openings are and what parts of the economy were hit the hardest. For example, service jobs are at a greater deficit than other industries.
The economic recovery is happening faster than anticipated, but workers are taking a longer time to return to the labor market.
Based on the data, we expect wages will continue to increase as we anticipate demand to continue to outpace supply. Of course there will be variability by geographic location, industry and job type, however we are seeing larger companies setting the pace in a way that is moving the market – and this will require organizations of all sizes to be increasingly nimble in their attraction and retention strategies.
Will I be able to fill my open roles?
First, let’s look back to 2020 for guidance.
It’s not likely that we will see an immediate flood of job candidates in September 2021 once many expanded benefits end, but rather a trickle that may increase over the following several months.
What else is motivating/demotivating today’s workers?
Unemployment Benefits: Many have suggested that extended unemployment benefits and the $300/week supplement have made people less likely to return to the workforce. Our July 2021 Talent Pulse reported that 1.8 million of the 14.1 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits had turned down jobs because of enhanced unemployment insurance benefits.
However, in the 12 states that have already ended these benefits, the share of adults with jobs actually fell by 1.4 percentage points in these states according to CNBC and data from the Census Bureau.
Manpower’s own data paints a similar picture: between the states that cancelled and states that have maintained the $300 supplement, there has been no notable change in the number of job advertisement responders and the number of candidates who engaged in an interview.
We are finding that today’s job candidates are seriously considering other important factors when choosing when and where to work.
What’s my best strategy?
Here are some key ways you can position your company as a choice employer in order to compete for top talent while we remain in a talent-scarce market.
Attracting and retaining the best talent today boils down to what you can offer workers. But first, you need to know where you stand amongst your competitors with regard to your ability to attract and retain talent. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to pull the levers that could impact your workforce.
The content and opinions represented here should not be relied upon or construed as legal, financial and/or medical advice.
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