Unemployment 2021 Changes

Unemployment 2021 changes everything we thought we knew about the workforce. With only 266K jobs added in April, short of the 1M expected, political psychologist Dr. Bart Rossi, Ph.D. looks discusses the psychology on this TV segment.

In March there were 916,000 jobs added. The economy heated up and the  GDP for the quarter hit 6.5%. The expectation for April was to add 1 million jobs. The number was only 266,000. So what happened?

In an article in The Hill, their 5 takeaways were that:

  1. it is going to be a bumpy recovery
  2. child care is an issue
  3. there is a fight heating up over extra unemployment and incentives
  4. the fight from Democrats to spend more, the GOP urging to spend less
  5. the April number, though disappointing, is JUST ONE REPORT

There are obvious fights that are and will continue to happen in Washington. One of those is the incentive. The Democrats spent $2 trillion on the pandemic response. Much of that went to relief checks and expanded unemployment. There were child credits and many other items. The Democrats, right or wrong, felt that this was an extraordinary crisis and that Americans simply needed help to get through it. The GOP, right or wrong, argues that expended benefits and unemployment lessens the incentive for people to go back to work.

There is merit and a credible argument to be made on both sides of it. However, it is worth noting that many families that were just getting by before the pandemic, were pushed into poverty during it. Going back to a $7 an hour job doesn’t even allow them to tread water;  it merely allows them to drown slower.

There may be many other circumstances to the lower jobs added in April.

Coming off a year-long pandemic crisis, a lot has changed. And it is not just that people lost their jobs and now need to re-enter the workforce. Some can’t re-enter the workforce because they have kids still at home. Others may have changed career paths. Businesses changed too.  Many small businesses simply closed; others went out of business. Bigger corporations, especially the tech giants, had sent everyone home to work. And now, many are considering adopting a partial work-from-home plan moving forward.

Some businesses are closed, or only partially open because they can’t fill the job openings. One of the fast-food chains had a sign in their window that said:

We’re closed due to NO STAFF. We are hiring

Experts have been saying for a while that the pandemic changed everything, and things will never quite be the same once it’s over.  Anxiety from during the pandemic will continue to linger for many. But more than that, the job market will change. Many that did work in the restaurant/ bar industry, may have opted to change careers during the pandemic. They may have shifted to taking technology (or other types) courses while forced to be at home last year. Others may have gotten online remote-working jobs while they had to stay home to take care of their kids. Now, those that are earning from such an endeavor may elect to continue doing so.

Unemployment 2021 Changes

In this Episode of WINK News, Dr. Rossi addresses some of the psychological impacts of the pandemic that are possibly affecting the jobs market.

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