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RallyFwd Preview: Behind the labor shortage

RallyFwd Preview- Behind the labor shortage
Profile photo of Andrew Flowers
Written by Andrew Flowers

With a new year is on its way, it’s important to get a handle on what’s really going on in the job market now. RallyFwd speaker, Andrew Flowers from Appcast, offers a preview of his session on what you can expect in Recruitment Marketing and recruitment advertising in 2022.

RallyFwd Preview: Behind the labor shortage
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Hi Rally community. My name is Andrew Flowers and I’m the Lead Labor Economist at Appcast, the global leader in programmatic recruitment advertising technology and services. I’ve produced more than 30 research reports over the course of 15 years in the industry, and I can tell you what we’re seeing now is a challenging and exciting time of change in the recruiting world.

RallyFwd Virtual Conference - December 8, 2021At RallyFwd on December 8, 2021, I’ll be sharing our latest research on the labor shortage and what to expect in Recruitment Marketing and recruitment advertising trends in 2022. 

What you’ll learn in my RallyFwd session

  1. Understand the factors that are contributing to the current labor shortages
  2. Inflation’s impact on the labor market
  3. Long-term factors affecting recruiting

Today I want to share a sneak preview of what I’ll be speaking about at RallyFwd. 

Mismatch between supply and demand

Job openings hit a near-record high of over 10 million in September, but the number of unemployed people was about 7 million and that gap was the largest we’ve ever had. 

That means there’s a lot of competition for workers and the pool of talent to recruit from is smaller than before the pandemic, making your job as recruiters very challenging in this environment.

graph shows job openings outnumbered job seekers by 2.8 million currently

This graph shows how job openings outnumbered job seekers by 2.8 million currently.

The COVID-19 recession is very unique because we saw a sudden drop in economic growth and then a very sudden bounce back. However, the supply of workers hasn’t bounced back yet so we’re still seeing this great mismatch between supply and demand. We expect this to level out as long as COVID rates decrease because there are still many workers, particularly in the service industry, that are hesitant to return to work. 

The impact of government policy on the labor force

You’ve probably heard on many occasions how extended unemployment benefits are keeping workers at home and out of the labor force. However, in our research this was only a small factor in job growth. 

There are many other government policies we’ve seen significantly affect the labor force including increased stimulus support funds, child care tax credits and immigration restrictions.

Because of these policies, the average account balances of households in the United States, especially in lower income households, is higher than before the pandemic. This means those workers have a cushion and can be choosier about what jobs they want to take. 

government benefits mean household incomes higher mean workers have more flexibility and options for work

Because of new government benefits, household incomes are higher, meaning workers have more flexibility to consider more options for work.

This has shifted responsibility on employers to step up and re-evaluate how they recruit and what they can offer workers to differentiate themselves from their competitors. 

Behind “The Great Resignation” 

There’s been a shift in work attitudes, where workers aren’t only demanding better and higher wages, they’re empowered to change careers entirely. 

For example, in service industries — hospitality and leisure especially — employees leaving their jobs has become rampant and is partly driven by wages. That’s because “job switchers” are seeing a spike in their salary or hourly rates.

quit rates at all-time highs in many industries 

This graph shows how quit rates are at all-time highs in many industries.

Retirement also had a huge surge during the past year. And of course, for many corporate roles, remote working has become an increasingly important value. How quickly and effectively companies were able to adapt, was a factor in many people’s decision to change jobs. 

Talent attraction predictions for 2022 

There’s still lots of uncertainty for what this all means for the world of recruiting, but based on our data and research, here are my top 3 predictions: 

  1. The labor shortage will continue in short-term, although some easing in 2022
  2. Inflation and supply chain bottlenecks are likely to ease, but s-l-o-w-l-y
  3. Long-term trends favor workers relative to employers, but politics is hard to predict

We don’t have a crystal ball but we hope our research can help equip Recruitment Marketing professionals with data and insight on recruiting and job advertising trends that impact your work! 

recovery has a ways to go compared to February 2020

While job growth is increasing, we can see that recovery has a ways to go compared to February 2020.

Let’s RallyFwd together

RallyFwd Virtual Conference - December 8, 2021This is only a sneak peek of my session at RallyFwd, so if you’re keen to learn more — register today! You’ll learn from others in the Rally community, an amazing speaker lineup and leave with tactical ways to step up your approach to Recruitment Marketing, employer branding and candidate experience.

Join us on December 8, 2021 to learn, connect and be inspired. Register here

RallyFwd Preview: Behind the labor shortage
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About the Author

Profile photo of Andrew Flowers

Andrew Flowers

Andrew Flowers is the lead labor economist at Appcast, the global leader in programmatic recruitment advertising technology and services. A recognized expert on economic policy, the U.S. labor market and macroeconomy, Flowers brings nearly 15 years of industry insights and experience to his role. Throughout his impressive career, he has produced more than 30 research reports and is often sought-after to provide insight on the changing labor market.

Prior to joining Appcast in 2021, Flowers spent nearly three years at Indeed.com as an economist at its global research institute, the Hiring Lab. Before that, he was the quantitative editor and an economics writer at FiveThirtyEight, a premier media destination for data-driven coverage of politics and sports. Flowers began his career as an economic analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta where he analyzed macroeconomic and financial data, produced reports and briefed its president, board of directors and other stakeholders on economic and financial conditions in the U.S. and abroad.

In 2020, Flowers sought to leverage his background in economic policy to make the world better. As a data-driven Democrat, he ran for State Representative in the 8th Norfolk district of Massachusetts, narrowly losing the primary with 48.2% of the vote.

Flowers holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago. He was part of a team that was the recipient of the 2017 National Institute for Health Care Management’s Healthcare Digital Media Award and served on an advisory committee for the National Association for Business Economics. Flowers currently resides in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.

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