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If you hate your job, quit it. Today.

If you hate your job, quit it. Today.

… with a thought-out plan, of course.

Job seekers today are responsible for their own destinies. The great recession of 2021 has continued into 2022, with quit rates reaching levels last seen in the 1970s. While it’s important to understand the landscape of what it means to be navigating this unknown territory it’s helpful to understand you have options available at your fingertips. It’s each of our own responsibilities to educate ourselves and learn what those options are.

The pandemic era has opened up a world of possibilities for prospective job seekers to decide what type of organizations are best for them to work with. Glassdoor.com is a great resource for researching what a company has to offer job seekers (ex: benefits, remote opportunities, interview structure, etc). While other candidates have decided to build their own path in the process through starting their own business or transitioning to contract work for greater flexibility and freedom – you have a number of employment possibilities.

According to LinkedIn Workforce Report from August 2022, over 191 million workers in the U.S. have LinkedIn profiles and members can add over 39,000 skills to their profiles to highlight their professional brands. This gives us a unique and valuable insight into U.S. workforce trends.  

My vision is to educate job seekers on ways to create economic opportunity for the global workforce. Whether you are a worker, an employer, new grad, or a prospective business owner, I hope you’ll use this collective insight to better understand and navigate the dynamics of today’s economy.

Key Highlights:

  • Hiring continues to drop: Nationally, across all industries, hiring in the U.S. was 1.5% lower in July versus June. Hiring now sits at 7.2% below its pre-COVID level and 2.3% below its average level in the two years prior to the pandemic (Feb 2018 to Feb 2020> National hiring is now the lowest it has been since Q1-2021.
  • Hiring gains limited across industries: The top industries with the most hiring shifts month-to-month in July were utilities (5.6% higher); Administrative and Support Services (3.3% higher); and Retail (0.8% higher). The only industries with hiring exceeding pre-COVID levels in July were Administrative and Support Services (2.6% higher) and Technology, Information, and Media (3.7% higher). This is a substantial drop from the 12 industries that experienced hiring gains in May, and the 14 industries in April.
  • Sunbelt holds up amidst slower hiring: Only 4 of the metros with tracking about hiring had above pre-COVID levels in July. The metro areas experiencing the strongest hiring rates relative to pre-existing COVID levels were Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (5.0% higher), Phoenix (3.6% higher), Houston (1.5% higher), and Dallas-Fort Worth (1.4% higher) – all of which has a hiring decline from June. The metro areas with the most hiring shifts month-to-month in July were NYC (1.5% higher); Denver (1.5% higher); and Atlanta (1.2% higher) – all of which had hiring below pre-COVID levels in July.

Childcare

Child Care has been an ongoing issue in the U.S. over the years. Forbes (Hau, 2022) published an article titled, “The Workforce of Tomorrow Requires a Child Care System Fit For The Future.” Fifty-six percent of employers now offer some child care benefits in 2022, according to Care.com, The Future of Benefits Report surveying 500 companies every year. This number is in comparison, only 36% of companies offered child care benefits in 2019. Childcare has become a top HR trend in 2022.

Companies are seeing rising cohabitation and family structure diversity. To account for these changes, child care is evolving toward being flexible, relationship-centered, and focused on 21st-century competencies, such as collaboration, creativity, and empathy. It also increasingly transcends the boundaries between home and work, as many families aspire to be closer to caring for their little ones.

No care. No work.

In the last two years during the pandemic, more than 10% of the child care supply has been shuttered, impacted by the COVID-19 disruptions and, more recently, child care staffing issues driven by low wages. A 2021 survey by Pew Center notated that more than 50% of working parents struggle with child care. Many women resigned from their jobs putting careers on hold or not returning to the workforce due to lack of child care. There are now one million fewer women in the workforce than before the pandemic.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, nearly 60% of parents cite a lack of child care as their reason for leaving the workforce.

 Rising child care costs (above food or gas price inflation) are another major driver. 26% of parents said they left the workforce because they were unable to afford child care. There is a strong business case to be made for supporting employees with child care. Doing so can lower absenteeism by 30%, reduce turnover by 60%, increase recruitment, and boost employee productivity, according to the Early Child Care and Learning Council.

Alternatively, as a small business owner, child care is typically paid out of pocket and the options are quite limiting if you aren’t initially earning enough money to even cover the business and household bills. There are tax deductions at the end of the year – but the day-to-day decision of sending children to a private or public daycare can be difficult. As a result, the business success rate(s) can be quite skewed. WeeCare provides child care benefits to small and large business employees through partnerships with municipalities.

Ultimate flexibility: the reunification of work and family.

Alternative Work Hours

We had our 3rd child back in Fall 2021, and I really enjoy spending time with him at home while finding opportunities to transition back to my business full time after working a W2 when we were in the middle of a pregnancy and building our home back in Florida. I’m trying to embrace this time together as it comes and goes so quickly – but would love the opportunity to have in-home childcare (part-time) to allow for me to have undivided focus time. In the interim, I have been waking up between 2:45 am – 4:00 am EST in the mornings before my husband and three children to write, create content, build community online, add value on social media, and submit for unemployment as I build back up my business. I have also found alternative ways to stay up late at night between 9:30 pm – 3:00 am EST depending on our family schedule. I’d consider myself more of a morning person with a little more energy at the start of the day.

Hiring

The LinkedIn hiring rate is a measure of hires divided by LinkedIn members. Nationally, across all industries, hiring in the U.S. was 1.5% lower in July 2022 compared to last month June 2022. National hiring was 8.3% lower in July 2022 versus July 2021.

Migration

The U.S. cities losing the most people are College Station – Bryan, TX; State College – DuBois, PA; and Lafayette, IN. For every 10,000 LinkedIn members in College Station-Bryan, TX, 256 left in the past 12 months.

The U.S. cities gaining the most people are Austin, TX; Nashville, TX; and Tampa Bay, FL. For every 10,000 LinkedIn members in Austin, TX, 151 arrived in the last 12 months.

Salary

U.S. workers changing jobs are seeing real wage gains in the process (Pew Research, 2022). Although not all workers who leave their job are working in another job the next month, the majority of those switching employers are seeing it pay off in higher earnings (Pew Research, 2022). Pew Research (Kochhar et al., 2022) reported roughly one-in-five workers say they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next six-months, but only about a third of these workers think it would be easy to find one.

Overall, 2.5% of workers – about 4 million switched jobs on average each month from January to March 2022. This number translates into an annual turnover of 30% of workers – nearly 50 millionif it is assumed no workers change jobs more than once in a year (Pew Research, 2022).

Most workers who left a job one month either were unemployed the next or had left the labor force. Looking across key demographic groups Black and Hispanic workers, workers without a high school diploma and young adults are more likely to change jobs in any given month. About half of job switchers also change their industry or occupation in a typical month, but this share has not changed since 2019. Women who leave a job are more likely than men to take a break from the labor force, and men with children at home are least likely to do the same. 

Based on the research provided, job seekers today have the opportunity to explore employment possibilities they previously thought were impossible. If we learned anything from the pandemic era it’s that we must prioritize what’s MOST important. The NCCAA (2022) explains that many social ideas have been passed from generation to generation, and the most sought-after ideal is the American dream. In reality, the American dream has become a financial promise of the past, and the hope it once brought has started to vanish from those who once clung to it. People like you and I are learning that we must create our own opportunities and ways of developing multiple revenue streams for our families and the next generation.

Although the American dream purposes to provide equal opportunity for success for all, the truth is that one’s social class has a direct impact on their expected education, career opportunities, and lifetime earnings. This is due to several factors, including race, gender, ZIP code, and the education of their parents. However, the greatest predictor of wealth might be the availability of opportunities. Unfortunately, as the bottom quartile isn’t going anywhere (poverty levels), the top is going up rapidly. The American dream is declining into obscurity, many low-income families are still finding hope and help in their communities – these agencies across the U.S. are working tirelessly to provide these families the opportunities they need to escape poverty and pursue their dreams.

 Do you have a thought-out plan of action if you are planning to quit?

Hopeful words from Jena: In my world, when we have the opportunity to help others through volunteering and giving back, we are helping to lift other individuals and their families in the process. My goal is to help educate all generations about the importance of employment opportunities and ways to ensure we are financially prepared for generations to come. I’m passionate about bringing families closer through remote work opportunities and educating others about the benefits of starting their own businesses. Maybe it is time to embrace child care and family support as the core piece of our future of work.

About Jena: Hey, I’m Jena! I’m a results-driven servant leader with 15+ years of experience. I have spent the majority of my career to date in career coaching, recruitment, and branding/marketing space. I’m passionate about educating women about employment opportunities and empowering them by providing innovative resources and solutions to everyday problems. I love personal development and teaching others what I learn in the process, to enhance our life + work. I want to add value each-and-every day through coaching, community, courses, and podcasting.

Follow me for more across all social platforms: @drjenavargas

#careeradvice #careerdevelopment #jobsearchstrategies #startabusiness #childcare #salaryincrease #remotehiring #remoterecruiting #workfromanywhere #familyfirst

Resources:

https://economicgraph.linkedin.com/resources/linkedin-workforce-report-august-2022

https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2022/07/28/majority-of-u-s-workers-changing-jobs-are-seeing-real-wage-gains/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/isabellehau-1/2022/08/02/the-workforce-of-tomorrow-requires-a-child-care-system-fit-for-the-future/?sh=5c633c4f50cd

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