COLUMN: How times have changed in the labor market

With so many openings available, the columnist wonders why it’s so hard to hire reliable help in this strange post-COVID-19 world.

Have you noticed that the lines at the drive-thrus are incredibly long?

Have you found many companies, stores, offices that work fewer hours or operate fewer days a week?

I’ve seen quite a few signs on doors that simply say, “Due to severe staffing shortages, we are open at designated hours.”

Here is my question. Why doesn’t anyone need a job?

That may be a bit generalized, but there are definitely a lot of job openings out there. It can’t be that people are full of money. Last time I checked, most people were cutting back on everything from gas to groceries.

Rents are crazy and taxes are going up.

I know everything went crazy during COVID, but shouldn’t things be normalizing now? The temporary government bailout known as CERB (Canadian Emergency Response Benefit) was one and done, right? So it’s not clear to me how so many people didn’t go back to work now.

I get that a lot of jobs are gone too, but there really are ‘We’re Hiring’ signs on every corner. Some jobs may require specialized training, but certainly not all.

I heard some stories recently that literally made me shake my head. A local company, in the hospitality sector, conducted interviews for a job offer. The applicant was hired. A start date and time was set.

The day and the hour have come and gone. The company was simply a ghost. Who does that? Apparently more than you think.

In this same location, 20 interviews were scheduled over a two-week period and telephone reminders were sent. Actually two people showed up.

Similarly, one person showed up in the morning, but then went to lunch and never came back. (Okay, he may have dreamed of doing that, but I never actually did!)

In another case, the applicant was given a start date to attend the training. The company received an email that basically said that the start date was no longer convenient and that she would contact them when she was ready to start.

Last time I checked, things don’t work that way.

There were four very valid reasons why I’ve had a job since I turned 15.

  1. I was afraid of my parents (in a healthy way)
  2. I was bullied by my bosses (and I wanted to do a good job)
  3. I had a work ethic and respect for myself (I made commitments and kept them)
  4. I needed money.

Do any of those reasons still apply?

According to job search site Indeed Canada, 35 per cent of unemployed respondents said they were not looking for a job and were not interested in doing so. The participants, ages 55 to 64, basically said they were exiting the workforce earlier than expected.

The pandemic really changed our point of view.

In the same survey, job seekers admitted to being more demanding, wanting better pay, more flexible hours and more opportunities for future advancement. Known as the “gig economy,” there are many people who are moving away from traditional 9 to 5 office work. They are technically self-employed as contractors, freelancers, and food delivery people.

It makes sense because now we know that they can work remotely and many people want to do it. That is logical and if it can be done, do it. doing a job in a new way is still a job. But I am talking about those who simply refuse to get a job when there are so many available.

Employees, in many situations, have been used, abused, and taken advantage of for decades. I totally understand that frustration. Poor payment. Few benefits. Unhealthy work environments. Terrible hours. I’ve been there, done that. But, I still did.

Which is the answer? Experts don’t seem to think it’s a quick fix. and may continue to do so for the foreseeable future. For now, I feel really grateful for those who are currently working so hard in the service industries or in any industry and they do it with a good attitude.

Thanks for showing up. literally thanks for appearing!

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