An important economic driver for America — working consumers — is dwindling. For example, the Denver International Airport recently hosted a concessions job fair to fill around 1,000 openings at the airport for jobs at stores, restaurants, and other businesses. Only 100 people attended the fair.1
Money could be one issue. In Georgia, Kentucky, and Idaho, more than 4% of workers voluntarily left their jobs in August — the highest rates in the country. They also happen to be three states with the nation’s lowest minimum wage: $7.25 an hour. States with higher baseline wages tended to have a lower quit rate. One such district in Washington, D.C., boasts one of the highest minimum wages in the country at $15.20 an hour. In August, Washington lost only 1.7% of workers, which was the lowest state quit rate.2
For retirees thinking of supplementing their income for the long-term, now might be a good time to pick up a part-time job. Especially during the holidays, retailers and other local businesses are hiring in droves. It’s a good time to “try out” a job since higher wages during the holidays are not likely to drop once an employee is hired. However, if you feel the work isn’t worth the extra income, you can always drop the job later on. Working a bit to offset household expenses early on in retirement is a good way to create financial security over the long haul. If you’d like other ideas on how to create a retirement income stream, please give us a call.
Research has found that money isn’t the only driver for keeping people in the workforce. A recent survey of 5,000 employees in the United States and the U.K. discovered that the biggest interests are in career growth, flexible hours and working for a company that prioritizes mental health and wellness benefits.3 The latter concern may well have originated from the pandemic, in which many employers showed their true colors as to how much concern they had for workforce health.
Moving into 2022, be aware that the job market may evolve somewhat from its pre-pandemic norms. For one thing, many employers have replaced full-time jobs with temp workers — with a greater focus on skill sets and productivity levels. In other words, individual contributors may become more valuable than executives. For example, a programmer may be more necessary than a vice president. In certain white-collar jobs, labor analysts expect a more hybrid work environment in which people have the opportunity to work from home at least part of the time. Under this scenario, it would be far easier to prove one’s value based on productivity rather than the ability to manage people.4
One sector likely to attract young adults is the green industry. According to LinkedIn data, in 2015 the ratio of U.S. oil and gas jobs to green jobs was 5:1. However, last year that ratio shrank to 2:1. Interestingly, green jobs are likely to emerge in all industries, not just companies that generate renewable sources of energy. In fact, green skills may become more valued than university degrees.5
Today, some of the fastest-growing green jobs are in fields such as ecosystem management, environmental policy, and sustainable procurement. In the future, we are more likely to see green expertise moving into areas such as healthcare, agriculture, transportation, construction and manufacturing, finance, fashion technologies, and transport. These are areas in which salespeople, designers, and stylists will develop knowledge of sustainable fashion and pollution prevention.6