It’s safe to say that we have officially entered a period of modern global economic uncertainty. Market changes, currency fluctuations, and tensions between various world leaders all hint at challenges ahead. Global unemployment is expected to remain above pre-COVID-19 levels until at least 2023. This affects us all, young and old.
After all, there are tons of articles about very qualified Gen-Z graduates unable to find a job; this is in spite of sending out hundreds of resumes. Gen X-ers sometimes face underlying ageism, such as a perceived reluctance in adopting new technologies. Millennials, sandwiched in between, may not be the most “value hires” from a budgeting perspective; especially since younger, cheaper, and more tech-savvy individuals are available out there.
So what do we make of this? And when does this all start to get better? It may seem like we’ve already been through a lot of uncertainty in the past three to four years. However, we still don’t know what the next few years of the 2020s hold for us. Economies are so complex that it’s not unusual for there to be unforeseen turmoil during any given decade.
The Reasons for the Crisis
The current jobless crisis was caused by several factors. First, there was the recession. As companies cope with diminished demand, declining profits and elevated debt, many businesses have started laying off workers to cut costs.
Second, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented number of business closures and global working-hour losses.
Third, the ongoing conflict between the Russian government and Ukraine has forced the world to look at the rising costs of, well, everything. While Russia and Ukraine together represent a relatively small part of the world economy, they account for a large share of global energy exports, as well as exports of a range of metals, food staples and agricultural inputs.
Fourth, higher inflationary pressures saw a change in banking policies, with rising inflationary pressures prompting many banks to start raising interest rates. The change in central banks’ stance added volatility to stock markets.
These factors have all contributed to the current jobless crisis. And while it may seem daunting, there are solutions.
We need to invest in education and training so that workers can find jobs in the growing sectors. We also need to promote entrepreneurship and support small businesses. And finally, we need to reform our social safety net so that it provides more support for those who are unemployed. With these solutions, we can get through this crisis and emerge stronger on the other side.
The Great Resignation
The global economy is in the midst of a major shift. For the first time in history, more people are leaving the workforce than entering it. “The Great Resignation” is a term coined by Professor Anthony Klotz, where he predicts that a large number of people will leave their jobs after the COVID pandemic ends and life returns to “normal.”
Due to the pandemic, many people had to work from home, and this went on for about a good two years. People digested the lessons of lockdown and reimagined what normal life should look like. After working from home for months, with no commute and more time with family, many people started re-evaluating what it means to “go to work”.
Some decided that being able to work remotely at least half of the time should be a default work arrangement. As for others, who may have been experiencing stress and burnout – these are the “pent-up resignations” that didn’t happen in the worst of the outbreak. As such, they only started leaving in the recent months when things got better.
Lastly, a bulk of people who had resigned, or were planning to, were from industries that experienced a surge in demand – such as technology and healthcare. There are a variety of reasons leading to these people resigning; this can include better salaries, better benefits, or even a better alignment with the company’s values.
“The Great Resignation” could indeed lead to a global jobless crisis. Before we start to feel the full effects of it, here are some signs that we can start to take note of:
- Declining employee engagement and participation rate
- Decreased productivity
- Increased “sick days” or leave days
- Increase in temporary and part-time work (e.g. “gigs”)
- Increase in self-employment
People digested the lessons of lockdown and reimagined what normal life should look like. After working from home for months, with no commute and more time with family, many people started re-evaluating what it means to “go to work”.Talenox
Economic and Social Consequences on Our Societies
The world is going through an unprecedented period of change and uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global health crisis, the likes of which we have not seen in our lifetimes. In addition to the human cost of this pandemic, the economic consequences are also severe. Millions of people around the world have lost their jobs, and many more are at risk of losing their livelihoods.
This jobless crisis is having a ripple effect on our societies. As people lose their incomes, they are also losing their ability to meet their basic needs. This is leading to increased levels of poverty and inequality, as well as social unrest.
While the immediate focus is still on mitigating the health effects of the pandemic (and possibly preparing for the next variant?), we must also start planning for the long-term consequences of this jobless crisis.
Thi can include finding ways to support those who have lost their jobs by helping them re-enter the workforce. At the industry level, companies need to find ways to attract and retain talent. And on a global scale, political leaders also need to address the underlying causes of this crisis, so that they can prevent another one from happening in the future. But where shall we begin?
Blockchain Solutions to a Jobless Society?
With new problems come new solutions. One potential way to solve this is through the use of blockchain. Blockchain can create new opportunities for work by issuing tokens that represent labour and rewards respectively. We can actually use these tokens quantify types of work that have been difficult to measure. We can also use tokens to purchase goods and services in a decentralised marketplace.
This model has the potential to create a more efficient economy in which people are rewarded for their contributions. It could also help to reduce poverty and inequality, as well as the environmental impact of work.
New Ways and Forms of Employment in the Future
The world is rapidly changing and evolving, and so too is the way we work. In the past, having a stable job with a good salary was the key to a successful life. However, in recent years, this has changed. The rise of the gig economy and the advent of new technologies have made it possible for people to work in new ways that were never before possible.
There are now numerous opportunities for people to find work that is flexible, interesting, and often very well-paid. This is especially true for those who are willing to think outside the box and embrace change.
The future of work is likely to be very different from what we are used to today. New technologies and changes in society will create new types of jobs that we cannot even imagine yet. So, if you’re looking for a job, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. There are many exciting opportunities out there for those who are willing to seize them.
There are now numerous opportunities for people to find work that is flexible, interesting, and often very well-paid.Talenox
How Employers Can Avoid Talent Loss
To combat the negative effects of the jobless crisis, one thing companies can do is to actively invest in their people.
This does not just mean providing fair salaries and benefits, but also providing intangible elements such as developing strong connections with your people. When people feel appreciated, cared for and inspired, they go to great lengths to make a company successful. Alongside Management, the Marketing and Human Resources teams can work together to create compelling brand values and mission statements that serve to inspire from within.
Another factor is progress. People need to see their work publicly celebrated, their careers being supported, and to know that there is room to grow in the company they work for. Creating a safe environment where people are encouraged to experiment and try new things without being punished for failure is an important aspect of a progressive workplace. That being said, having competitive perks and rewards such as bonuses, education allowances, and company-wide off days (i.e. “mental health days” or retreats) would be the icing on the cake as well.
Now more than ever, people are prioritising the flexibility of their employment: hours, location, and everything in between. Not having to come into the office to “clock in hours” is becoming a norm. By giving your people the option to work from home, a cafe, or even remotely in Japan, employers can capitalise on what some employees value more than other perks or pay: the freedom to be flexible.
People need to see their work publicly celebrated, their careers being supported, and to know that there is room to grow in the company they work for.Talenox
The world is going through a jobless crisis that’s “totally” not normal and it can be worrying, but it doesn’t have to be. The past few years have been a wake-up call to both employers and employees alike.
Changing market conditions call for a response from employers to remain competitive and attractive to job seekers. Employees and job seekers have to reevaluate their standing in the labour market too – perhaps seek out new opportunities while building the necessary skills to succeed in today’s labour market. As a society, we can also begin tapping on new technologies such as the blockchain to reconstruct the definition of work, as well as introduce new types of compensation for future generations.