There are many reasons why employees that were initially laid off in the beginning stages of the
pandemic are choosing not to return to work. These include the extended unemployment benefits,
stimulus checks, and the fear of contracting the Covid 19 virus. Forbes magazine reported that in the
initial stages of the Covid 19 pandemic, 26 million employees lost their jobs. The latest Department of
Labor reports shows there are 9.7 million employees that remain out of work. This is the lowest level of
unemployment since 3/14/20, but there are now many more jobs than employees.
Employees not returning to the workforce have had many unintended consequences. Forbes magazine
stated that employees who are “sitting it out” are “playing a dangerous game of chicken.” As employers
struggle to fill vacancies in their staffs, many will go under because of the lack of production. There
will be intense competition for businesses to stay open. The job market will transition to less jobs
becoming available as the remaining businesses become fully staffed and the businesses who are not able
to stay open close their doors, thus eliminating additional jobs in the process.
The American Rescue Plan Act extended federal unemployment benefits to September 6th of this year.
Once an employee has maxed out their benefits, they will have to qualify with new wages to be eligible
again for benefits, barring a further extension by the Government. As more and more employees eventually make
their way back into the workforce, positions will be harder to acquire. The pandemic has created a struggle for
employees and employers alike. Frederick Douglass said, “if there is not struggle there is no progress.”
One of the most tumultuous times in history is proof of the resiliency of the American workforce.
During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 23% and took over
10 years to drop to 10%. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said during that time, “calm seas never made for
a good sailor.” If you are ready to get back into the workforce, please give us a call at 334-265-0100.
WorkForce Walker Personnel stands ready to help you “sail” through the job seeking process.