Nearly Two Years In: How Are We Handling the Pandemic?

Back in 2019, no one could have guessed what was in store. But here we are nearly two years later, and COVID-19 has changed the way we work, learn, and connect. For employment, jobs seekers don’t expect, or really event want, work to go back to the previous status quo. Here are some statistics about what the job search looks like now, courtesy of Job Journey polls and a recent The Harris Poll Survey commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

Remote work is now the norm. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed say they work more hours remotely than in-person.

When it comes time to go back to the workplace, job seekers value safety measures: mask requirements, a socially distanced workplace, workplace sanitation/disinfection procedures, and provided PPE top the list of what they want to see to feel safe.

The pandemic has taken a toll on job seeker morale, with 66% thinking overall workplace dynamics and interpersonal relationships will be worse than prior to the pandemic, compared to 22% who think things will improve. Forty-nine percent say their current work stress level is significantly higher than in 2020, with just 36% saying they feel a lower level of stress.

Major barriers to career success include finding available work that fits job seeker skill sets (24%), not having the right skills or degree for the job (19%), insufficient pay or benefits (16%), difficulty in finding available work in general (9%), and there being few opportunities for growth in current jobs (8%).

All these statistics seem to paint a fairly bleak outlook for job seekers going forward, but there’s hope. The hiring outlook for the near future looks good. As the economy moves past challenges caused by the pandemic, hiring decision makers are becoming more positive about the future of the workforce.

Fifty-five percent plan to increase the number of employees at their company, while 38% expect no change to the number of employees. Only 3% anticipate a decrease in employee count.

The pandemic did a number on job seekers’ mental health. That’s to be expected with a once-in-a-lifetime event like this. But they’re resilient, and the future looks bright.

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