America's Job Market Has Gone from Hot to Almost Non-Existent
America had a job market that was rife with opportunity. It seemed as though almost every sector was seeing a boom in employment. Many investors were becoming bolder as economic optimism was becoming more and more commonplace. Then, overnight, many jobs were lost.
COVID-19 spiraled out of control, and many governments felt that the only last-resort measures they had involved "locking down" parts of the economy for a temporary period of time. Unfortunately, despite the federal bailout package of over $2 trillion and state and local programs, many small businesses simply cannot stay in business any longer. Those in the hospitality sector were by far hit the hardest.
There is some silver lining in all of this, however. Here are some of the positive changes likely to come to the job market very soon. We simply must wait for state and local governments to call of their responses as authorities see that the impact of COVID-19 has been dampened, likely due to efforts by many to prevent its spread.
Teleworking Will Continue
One of the lasting COVID-19 legacies in the job market will be the volume of jobs that allow teleworking. Just a few months ago, many larger corporations had publicly stated that they were no longer interested in offering remote jobs. Many gave explanations along the lines of "work cannot be done this way". However, after being forced to go remote, the opposite has been proven.
As a matter of fact, according to a recent LinkedIn survey, more workers than ever enjoy working from home. Many of these workers would rather quit their job than be forced to come into the office every day ever again. This will be an issue for companies unwilling to adapt to the times, but those who do adapt will prosper as a result.
Health Benefits Overhaul
Ever since the WWII wage freeze, companies have been in a race to offer the best benefits. These employment benefits often include health insurance coverage. However, this coverage has been lackluster at best as deductibles and copays continue to rise for no discernible reason. When the federal government looks into the reason for the huge public expenditure, it will likely cite these profiteering-related issues.
As a result, at a minimum, chances are high that "minimum coverage" standards will be changed. This means that the average deductible and copay will probably be much lower for any full-time employee. Additionally, protections will probably be extended for gig workers. This prediction is because almost every state's unemployment package for the first time ever is now including gig workers.
"Essential" vs. "Non-essential" Designations
For the first time in modern history, we're seeing there's a large differential between employees whose duties are "essential" to the economy and well-being of the nation and those who aren't. Many of the "non-essential" jobs are higher-paying, white-collar jobs.
Employees who were used to getting the most pay and respect suddenly found themselves without jobs as workplaces that didn't perform essential functions were forced to close. Unfortunately for these employees, people aren't likely to forget about these "essential" and "non-essential" designations for a good amount of time. For the first time in a very long time, those who work in grocery stores are finding collective bargaining power, even if they're in states that don't promote unions.
A prime example would be the 1099 contractors affiliated with Instacart. After bragging about making record profits on social media, its employees were angered that they were not receiving anything close to what the company made off of deliveries. As such, they organized a strike and are now mostly working for independent stores and chains to deliver food and other essential items. People who previously had very little say in the economy suddenly have a huge amount of bargaining power, while those who did not used to need to bargain are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place.
Summing It All Up
In short, COVID-19 has simply pushed forward the dates of change regarding many employment issues. Many companies had chosen to disallow people to work from home even upon request, thus barring many qualified employees who for one reason or another couldn't work from an office.
It has now been exposed and confirmed that most office jobs can be done from home. Additionally, employees and contractors who were paid very little are seeing large pay increases, public appreciation, and the ability to negotiate for fair wages.
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