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Why So Many Americans Won't Be Returning Back To Work

Let’s get personal about the difficult truth of unemployment.

Before the start of the 2020 pandemic, unemployment rates we’re already staggering. Many Americans who had difficulty finding work were met with even more hardship locating employment when the COVID-19 virus forced many of the working class into quarantine.

Many of those who were considered ‘essential workers’ were faced with a double-edge sword, to either have their employment completely revoked due to staff consolidation, or forced to return to work and be placed at risk of contracting COVID-19. Those who are categorized as ‘white-collar’ workers were displaced from their offices and provided the option to work from home until the pandemic subsides. While this may seem like a positive, many blue and white collar workers lost their jobs and turned to unemployment.

No matter the option, two facts have held themselves in place without budging: unemployment rates are still increasing despite flexibility, and people are not as eager to return to work as quickly as expected.

So Why the Refusal to Return to Work?

A potential reason why the current unemployment rates exist, is that much of the working class finally took a leap to demand more livable wages and were willing to leave their jobs in full until their demands are met. Also, the increase in remote work has proved to many corporations that much of the work done in the office can be performed just as well at home. In short, people no longer want to accept the bare minimum and unfair working conditions.

Government officials expected to see a ‘boom’ in employment after restrictions were lifted and the introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine to combat the virus, but instead, were met with a rebellious and determined labor movement. Many Americans turned to unemployment benefits and began leaving their jobs on purpose in search for better opportunities and flexibility.

In some ways, unemployment has been more beneficial for those working in low-paying positions, as it proved to actually pay higher amounts than their current hourly wage. Some that earned around $1500/ month, were receiving nearly double their income from unemployment. When government assistance outweighs one’s working wage, one can imagine that returning back to work and being faced with unbearable conditions may not have been the preferred choice.

Unemployment has indeed exposed the reality that many of what is considered ‘livable’ or ‘competitive’ wages, were indeed neither livable, nor competitive. As a result of people not wanting to return to work, some corporations and businesses have become more transparent in providing the hourly wage on job boards, which before, has been a major frustration for job seekers as evidence of salary was excluded from job posts.

As corporations struggle to fill positions, some may believe federal unemployment benefits should be put to rest. However, no matter the education level, nor profession, everyone deserves access to *livable wage that actually *WORKS. Some argue that if workers are paid a livable wage, the increase would cause prices in goods and services to shoot through the roof.

So, What Can Be Done?

It’s well overdue that America modernizes its benefits system and pays the working class what they deserve, a higher livable wage. The system is in dire need of a reboot and needs to introduce a more effective system that benefits both the unemployed and companies.

An increase in resources that assist the unemployed in locating job opportunities is most effective in addressing the rising unemployment. When job seekers have access to professional assistance, it lightens the burden for all parties involved. Corporations that may struggle to fill positions would be provided with a diverse pool of qualified applicants eager to work, and job seekers will be met with access to better salaries that match and exceed their skillset.

CJE Career Consulting has positioned itself to be the glue that connects corporations in need of talent, with talent in need of competitive jobs. When tragedy strikes, we all need a plan of action.

Connect with CJE Career Consulting today!

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