Trends for the New Year

While there is no shortage of opinions available on where things are headed for workforce management operations, we’d feel remiss if we didn’t add our voice and perspective to the mix. So, here’s some predictions we feel confident making about what to expect in 2022 as contingent workforce managers.

We’ll start with the broad view about the general availability of talent across all industries. 2021 saw the onset of the so-called, “Great Resignation” as millions of American workers left their jobs behind in search of greener pastures. The Texas A&M Professor who coined the term “Great Resignation”, one Prof. Anthony Klotz, told CNBC his research supports the conclusion that 2022 will see a slowdown in employee flight. He attributes this to the rising wage scale resulting from the tight labor market which has increase pay rates across the board. Klotz also predicts that flexible work arrangements including regular remote work and flexible scheduling will become the norm as opposed to the exception. As a result of both the liberalized work environment and rising pay scale, Klotz expects remote jobs to grow more competitive in 2022.

Next, let’s look at some of the industry segments that have been the most competitive in recent years to see what we might expect by way of change in 2022. For example, IT staffing, which has been in high demand for more than a decade shows no signs of cooling in 2022. In fact, the opposite seems to be the case. According to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) data, IT spending growth accelerated briskly through 2021. For some perspective, consider that from 2000 through 2020, total nonfarm employment grew at a rate of 8% in the US. During that same period, IT employment grew at a whopping 56%! LinkedIn data suggests a 29% compound annual growth rate between today and 2025 with more than 150 million digital jobs being created in IT.

The other stellar growth field in recent time, the Healthcare industry, which saw a 7% growth rate in 2021 alone, is poised for a decline in 2022 according to the SIA’s US Healthcare Staffing Market Assessment 2021 Update. Serving the surge of COVID-related healthcare needs, while a significant challenge, has not offset the decline in staffing needs driven by the shutdown of elective surgeries and other healthcare activities still disrupted by the pandemic. Areas within the healthcare field where jobs will still be in demand in 2022 include travel nursing and respiratory therapists. Analysts believe that when demand for COVID care declines, there will be a recovery in demand for non-COVID healthcare staffing.

There is plenty of interesting data on numerous other segments such as industrial staffing which is expected to reach a record $37billion in growth in 2022 despite the pandemic. And there are many other industries enjoying notably robust projections. Overall, economists predict a return to pre-pandemic levels of economic activity by the end of 2022 after the unprecedented global GDP drop of 3.3% in 2020 as the COVID pandemic made an impact on the world. The US economy is expected to lead the way among all mature economies of the world. The Conference Board reports that the return to full employment will reduce labor market stresses in 2022 but suggests wage pressures will remain high.

Need help navigating today’s unprecedented and unpredictable labor markets? Ask nextSource!

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