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Where the Jobs Are


Christian talk radio with Rob West

July 1, 2022

The pandemic has greatly changed the makeup of the U. S. labor market. We’ll discuss that and what it might mean for you, today on MoneyWise. Millions of Americans have left their jobs amid The Great Resignation, seeking better opportunities elsewhere. Now, many industries are having to adapt to prolonged, and maybe permanent, shortages of some types of workers. For example: with so many people now doing their shopping online for home delivery, it should come as no surprise that warehouse workers are in huge demand. Waiters and waitresses are too, but fewer people, it seems, are willing to take those jobs. Overall, the labor market is in good shape. By numbers alone we’ve created as many new jobs as were lost during the pandemic. But the composition of the workforce has changed. As we said, many workers are unwilling to return to low paying jobs and are actively seeking better opportunities with higher pay and more perqs. That means while some job openings are easily filled, others may not return to pre-pandemic levels for a very long time. The U. S. Chamber of Commerce has called this the biggest crisis facing American businesses today; the inability to attract qualified workers. And it means that many industries are struggling to adapt. Here’s an example: While 99% of private sector jobs lost to COVID have now been replaced, just over half of the jobs lost in the public sector have returned. Private sector employers have a big advantage in attracting new workers because they can quickly adjust their salary structure, hour flexibility and other perks, where government often can’t. Now, some might say that’s a healthy development. With more people looking for greater opportunity in the private sector, that shrinks a government workforce that was likely bloated anyway. But others see this as a loss of services already paid for with their tax dollars. Either way, it represents a part of the labor market that will have to change to attract workers. Warehouse workers are in particularly great demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are now a record 4. 3 million transportation and warehouse workers. They’re the folks responsible for leaving those packages on your doorstep, and they’re the lifeblood of online vendors. According to Glassdoor. com, Amazon is paying delivery drivers an average $27 an hour, and warehouse workers, around $25 an hour. So there’s no question that salaries and perks are luring workers toward some types of jobs and away from others, but other factors are having an impact, as well. As workers realized and proved that they can be just as productive working from home, employers find themselves having to continue that policy, even as the pandemic winds down. That means jobs with in-person roles are harder than ever to fill, especially in the education and hospitality sectors. Workers are simply demanding more flexibility, and the public education sector seems to be responding. 35 states now offer full-time, free, online schools. The service industry took a real beating during COVID while goods manufacturing and delivery boomed. Now experts are expecting the service sector to rebound. The question is will service employers be able to fill those jobs? Time will tell. So if you’re looking for work, especially with work-from-home potential, you may want to check out these jobs: - Web developer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates those jobs will increase by 8 percent over the next decade with a median salary of nearly $75, 000. - Social media marketer. This another job that can be done easily at home, promoting a company or companies’ brand and products. Median wage is around $38, 000, but it’s a profession where you can easily take on multiple clients. - Paralegals and legal assistants. You can also expect a lot of online job growth for paralegals and legal assistants with a median salary around $52, 000. - Marriage and family therapists. Opportunities for marriage and family therapists who can work online are expected to grow in the years ahead. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Does it make sense to purchase a home at age 62 or is it better to rent? ● What should you do to manage probate issues after the death of a parent without a will? ● Does it make sense to use retirement funds to pay down a mortgage? ● Is the foreign exchange market a wise investment for believers?

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