Today’s job numbers were terrible. New jobs increased the slowest in all of 2021. More people left the workforce—they gave up on working—than got new jobs. Why? I can think of at least four reasons:
First, many potential employees are not desperate enough to need a job that doesn’t pay much, isn’t satisfying and fulfilling, and requires dealing with rude and entitled customers.
Second, the younger generation of people grew up with easy lives are weren’t used to having to work hard. They also disagree with the concept of having to work your way up and few will accept traditional menial and entry-level jobs. The lack of coal miners is a good example. Why would someone want to work a dangerous job in uncomfortable conditions when they can make money sitting at home trading stocks on Robinhood, hosting a game channel on Stitch, or working whenever in the gig economy whenever they want to make a few bucks?
Third, because when the government shut down half the jobs out there, people stopped working. Once they quit, they realized they could survive without a job. Now they aren’t going back to work at those jobs. Here’s one example: Truck drivers who ran out of work when manufacturing companies shut down found other work. Now we need truck drivers and they are busy doing a job that lets them sleep in their own bed every night and spend more time with their family. Why should they go back to work?
Others went back to school and may still be in school. Still others took early retirement and are at home collecting pensions instead of grinding away. They will not go back to work unless a recession forces them to.
Fourth, vaccine mandates are going to prevent some 30 percent of the population from working. Those who are intentionally and willfully unvaccinated will not look for a job that requires them to get vaccinated. I bet others don’t want to work somewhere that requires them to wear a mask all the time.
It’s the Government’s Fault
I blame the government. Yes, the Biden Administration and its unconstitutional mandate is wholly responsible for the fourth point, and shares responsibility with the Trump administration on the third point. But when you look at the first two points, it’s the fault of liberal parents and the nanny state plus liberals in public schools who have turned out a generation of kids who often have no real skills, no ambition, and often have no work ethic.
There is a reason our math test scores keep dropping. Kids today have access to the best pot available and the coolest video games ever, but neither of those have much value on a resume.
It’s Going to Get Worse
We’ll see more low numbers next month when all those healthcare workers, firefighters, cops, airline employees, and regular 9 to 5 employees who refuse to get the vaccine are fired. Just in the past two days, the Los Angeles Sheriff said he will not enforce the Country’s mandate on his deputies because he doesn’t want to lose 10 percent of his officers. Seattle could lose up to 400 police officers if they enforce their vaccine mandate. They are already understaffed.
Actions like the various mandates show how the government is trying to destroy the economy. There’s a shortage of workers and millions of jobs are unfilled. Despite this, Biden is trying to force somewhere around a quarter of those who are employed out of their jobs. Liberal mayors and governors are jumping on board, even though it will have catastrophic effects on services in their municipalities. That runs so against common sense that there has to be a reason. There is: The socialists want to destroy our economy and system of government so that can rewrite the rules and increase their control.
Expect Big Pay Increases
That’s going to take a while, and I the meantime, employers and employees have to deal with a whacky economy and inflation that we haven’t seen for 40 years.
Right now, the power in job negotiations has shifted from the employer to the employee. Skilled workers willing to work can write their own ticket. That’s going to mean higher salaries. We’re talking much higher.
My daughter works in healthcare, and she said nurses at her hospital are going to the competitor across town and getting ten to twenty percent more per hour, plus a $10,000 signing bonus. Her hospital is trying to hire new people but “only” offers a $5,000 signing bonus. Traveling nurses are making three or four times their old salaries and temps are raking it in.
The only way companies in this position are going to be able to stop their top performers from jumping ship is going to be to pay them so much they won’t want to leave. Besides bumping up salaries, they may have to offer retention bonuses, meaning bonuses that kick in every six months for two years. For example, if they have someone making $20 an hour, you offer them $24 an hour and a $1,500 bonus in six months, an additional $2,000 bonus in 12 months plus a raise TBD, a $2,500 bonus in 18 months and a $3,000 bonus in 24 months if they stay with the company. When you look at the cost of hiring and training a new employee, those added costs for a valued employee are well worth it.
The net result will be that payroll costs will jump and companies will have to raise prices for goods and services. Prices are already rising, so this will exacerbate inflation, but that’s part of the inflationary spiral. It’s already baked into the cake, so to speak.
Use Your Market Power
If you have skills that are in high demand, you owe it to yourself to explore changing jobs. Don’t do it just for the money, but to improve your life. Maybe you can find a position outside the city or in a smaller town where it is safer and life travels at a slower pace. You might be able to eliminate weekend hours or cut back on your travel, if that’s what you want. Maybe you can negotiate the right to work from home, for example, or work only four days a week.
As part of that exploration, feel out your current employer. See if they will let you work from home, cut back on travel or make other work/life changes you want.
If inflation sticks around and climbs into the double digits, companies may have to give cost-of-living increases every six months or even more frequently. You want to have the highest possible base salary when this happens so your increase will be as bigger.