Career Corner: 2021’s Biggest Job Trends that Will Continue into the New Year

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At the start of the pandemic, it was popular to refer to the way things were as the “new normal.” However, with all the adjustments we all had to make to our lives, it was hard to predict what would actually be sticking around for the long term.

At this point, we have all lived and worked through the pandemic long enough to recognize certain things are here to stay. Gab Levanon covered the topic for Forbes, breaking down what job trends developed in 2021 that will remain part of our normal routines.

Remote Work

Every time companies push for a return to the office, another variant of Covid seems to throw everything off. Now it is the Omicron variant, which appears more contagious than previous incarnations. That means we are not seeing an end to remote work, and many workers are fine with that as it means skipping the hassle of their commute.

Some Industries Won’t Bounce Back Soon

It can be encouraging to see the fields that are recovering and assume that must mean things are going well across the board. But the truth is some industries got hurt far more than others and will take much longer to recover. Businesses devoted to things like travel or non-residential real estate are likely to continue facing some rough times even in 2022.

Continued Labor Shortages

We are in the middle of a dramatic shift in careers where many people are unemployed, but many more are voluntarily resigning. Low wages have driven workers away from many jobs, creating an ongoing labor shortage across the country.

Activities Dependent on Older People Will Be Slower to Recover

Regardless of vaccination status, the fact is older people remain the most susceptible group endangered by Covid. Many elderly people are still too worried to return to leisure activities, which means tough times for businesses like restaurants.

Employer Flexibility

To counteract the labor shortage, a lot of employers have found it necessary to not only offer higher pay but be less adamant on their skill requirements. Instead, these job trends show more jobs are now offering to train willing workers for the right role.

Increased Automation

While people always worried about machines taking away jobs, current circumstances have provided a higher likelihood of it happening. A labor shortage combined with health mandates have led a lot of companies to look at getting more work done with technology rather than people.

The Fastest Wage Growth in 20 years

It is no secret that wages have remained stagnant for too long. Covid pushed things to the breaking point where workers simply could not afford to continue being paid what they were. With workers leaving jobs in record numbers, many companies have realized they have no way to bring them back but to offer higher salaries.

Job Trends in Inflation

Inflation has always been an expected part of the economy, but 2021 ramped it up. Prices on a variety of common goods have already noticeably increased, and it is predicted that will continue into 2022.

Talented Workers Left Idle

In addition to the aforementioned labor shortages, the problem simultaneously also affects the workers. Whether it is due to wages, pandemic concerns, or getting passed over, many talented workers that industries need are out of work right now.

Historic Job Growth

After a rough 2020 that left many laid off, 2021 saw the return of many open positions. However, much of this was only in certain areas, such as medicine, hospitality, and other positions with the public. It remains to be seen if other fields start returning as well in 2022.

As you can see, not all of these expected job trends portend anything bad. There is much to be optimistic about for the new year, despite the challenges that will come alongside it.

To learn more about how these job trends affected American jobs, check out the article from Forbes by clicking here.

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