All of the statistics and definitions cited below are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, Press Release dated February 4, 2022. This is their monthly release and it details the labor statistics for the month of January, 2022.
There is much movement in the workforce at this time. However, many of the basic statistics, which you hear on the news, is little changed. This was the first month the unemployment rate was unchanged since April 2020. The rate has been declining since the first month after the pandemic lockdown.
There are nuggets of information to be found!
The number of unemployed in this country is 6.5 million. These are the people actively looking for work and most of which are being paid unemployment. However, the statistic which always amazes me is the number of persons NOT in the labor force who currently WANT a job. They are not considered to be unemployed because they are not actively applying and are not paid unemployment. There were 5.7 million in January, 2022. Therefore, the total number of unemployed people who want a job is 12.2 million.
The last statistic which I want to discuss is for employees whose job or work hours have been negatively affected by the Pandemic. The number of people in this group has significantly increased to 6 million people from 3.1 million in December, 2021. Don’t miss that this group doubled in one month! These employees work for a business affected by the pandemic. These are businesses which have closed or are short on customer demand. Work hours have been eliminated or reduced due to lack of work created by the Pandemic.
Businesses and workers are caught between a rock and hard place
Politicians are reacting to polls which show the American People are ready to move on. We are already seeing movement and I believe the movement will start accelerating. The next domino to fall will be the people deciding to move on from the old Employer who has closed. They will also make decisions about remaining or leaving due to the lack of hours.
Years ago there was a political decision which greatly increased one of our service lines. We believed correctly our workforce would need to be expanded greatly to meet the new governmental requirements. We ended up well ahead of our competitors when the decision was announced. They never caught up and we dominated in market share.
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