After a year where so many people left their full-time jobs to begin freelancing, one of the most important things to many is getting back to the grind and building their businesses and client lists better than ever before.
The falling Covid cases in Spring promised to lead into a Summer with people out in the streets, back in the office and returning to some normalcy. But to the chagrin of many, reopening and getting back to normal life has been harder and slower than normal. With Delta taking its toll, especially in the under-vaccinated states in the South East, getting back to normal life seems to be slower than anticipated, preventing many people from returning to work, be it full-time or freelance.
The Economy is Still on the Low
With the economy still down 5.3 million jobs since the beginning of the pandemic, jobs have slowly come back with only 235,000 added last month in August compared to the 943,000 that came back in July 2021. That’s far less than government officials had hoped for. But economists anticipate that to slow down even more as cases spike, at the same time emergency unemployment benefits are set to expire.
The Great Resignation
For gig workers in customer-facing jobs in restaurants and hotels where Covid exposure and interactions with abusive customers are much higher, the market has seen 4 million people in April alone quit their jobs, leading experts to refer to this time as the “Great Resignation”. To counter the huge number of workers quitting, wages in the industry are rising to entice workers, and are only expected to increase as the surge continues. It’s not just restaurants and hotels increasing wages to entice demand, as private-sector wages in August were up 4.3% from a year ago.
As with anything with this pandemic, the future is unpredictable. With Dr. Fauci recently stating that it could be as late as Spring 2022 before we’re out of the woods, the job market could very well continue to swing up and down swiftly until our vaccination rates are up & we beat this thing.