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2022: How the pandemic changed the future of labour

With this year coming to an end, it is natural to feel that the worst of the last two years is also ending. We have a lot of expectations for the next year, knowing that the Covid-19 pandemic brought some unstoppable changes to our lives.

Labour in last years

The number of Canadians facing long-term unemployment saw a steep rise towards the end of 2020. The COVID-19 crisis resulted in higher long-term unemployment rates than the 2008 recession.

But, while the unemployment rate in Canada and the United States climbed significantly more than before the Global Financial Crisis, it was still lower than what was predicted given the declines in employment.

Even if still working, many workers had to accept shorter hours or salary decreases in several industries, particularly more feminine ones. Wage reductions were agreed upon in certain cases through collective bargaining agreements between employees and companies. This happened, of course, not only in North America but worldwide.

The future of manufacturing labour

Many supply chain problems have hampered growth attributed to the high demand of the pandemic combined with COVID-related supply shortages. People spent more money on food and consumer goods as they stayed at home and ceased spending with restaurants, entertainment, and other activities.

The Conference Board believes that demand will recover to more typical levels in 2022, while supply will improve as COVID recedes. However, the pandemic has accelerated the move toward global supply networks. Nations are establishing industrial policies to safeguard the supply chains of enterprises established in their jurisdiction. These regulations intend to guarantee that vital inputs, such as semiconductor chips and rare earth metals, are not held captive by the countries that control these inputs.

Future of labour in 2022

One thing that may improve the future of labour worldwide is flexibility. According to researchers, there is a positive association between the percentage change in labour force participation rate in the first year of the pandemic and a regulatory indicator on hiring ease.

The taste of hybrid work and flexible hours, combined with a sense of what matters, put workers in a new perspective. Workplaces are witnessing a trend of people abandoning their employment, dubbed “The Great Resignation.” According to the Labor Department, a record four million workers departed in April of this year.

Workforce diversity is a more nuanced problem. According to HBR research, people of colour and highly educated women with small children place high importance on the possibility to work from home part of the week. A prohibition on working from home risks causing these employees to flee.

Next steps for 2022

Now that the market is reopening, businesses need to understand how to maintain the workforce during this comeback. Continuing to rely on remote work may not be so bad when you consider that people from all over the world may have the necessary skillsets for the job.

Unemployment was not only a North American issue, and many international workers started to look for compensation in more steady currencies. This allows companies to maintain an officeless operation with diverse workers.

While recruitment operations for foreign personnel happened in person to the present global circumstances, the ability to conduct interviews, assessments, and reference checks via virtual platforms is one of the most productive and advantageous strategies that businesses have used to boost their talent.

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