US employers will likely face a 'long period of tight labor markets'

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U.S. employers will likely face a "long period of tight labor markets," according to a new report by Glassdoor. 

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The struggle to hire and retain workers will continue in 2022 as the pandemic drags on, according to Glassdoor's "Workplace Trends for 2022" report,  

It's been nearly two years since the pandemic first gripped the country, but the economy still remains under threat from a spike in inflation, shortages of labor and supplies and the potential impact of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

There were only 0.74 unemployed Americans for each job opening as of September 2021, according to the report. 

Now, to combat the labor shortage, companies are now facing even more pressure to enhance benefits beyond temporary hiring bonuses that have been doled out in recent months to boost hiring across a variety of industries. 

A hiring sign is shown in Downers Grove, Ill., Thursday, June 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File / AP Newsroom)

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"It's unlikely that we will return anytime soon to an earlier point in the recovery where it's easy to hire," Daniel Zhao, a senior economist and data scientist at Glassdoor said. 

Instead, Zhao said "employers should expect a slow grind of trying to pull workers from the sidelines back into the labor force rather than snatching up available laid-off workers." 

Due to the large imbalance between labor supply and demand, "a moderate improvement in conditions would not be enough to make it easy to hire again," Zhao continued.  

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He noted that pulling back on enhanced unemployment benefits or school reopenings are "unlikely to make a sufficiently large dent to return the job market to a period of easy hiring." 

According to Zhao, employers will need to offer permanent wage increases rather than just temporary hiring bonuses as well as step up efforts with employee engagement, which is "critical in retaining the workers." 

Employers can "unlock new talent pools" if they hire normally overlooked workers like remote workers, recent retirees, disabled workers or workers with a criminal history, according to Zhao. 

However, expanding these talent pools come with certain challenges. 

For instance, more employers are turning to remote hiring now more than ever before in order to expand their workforce, which is driving competition between companies even more. 

Glassdoor data shows that about 20.4% of employers hiring locally in October 2021 were competing against remote jobs, which is almost double compared to October 2019.

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