The great resignation taking root all over the world; Companies are struggling to fill jobs

The “great resignation” that countries have experienced as the Covid pandemic restrictions were eased is not over.

Michael Bloom, the chief executive of a software company in East Germany, said he had “a lot of difficulties finding workers”.

“Wherever we look, we have a shortage of qualified workers,” Bloom, whose firm Currentsystem23 is based in East Germany, told AFP.

Germany – Europe’s largest economy – had 887,000 job vacancies in August, nearly 108,000 more than last year.

“Help Wanted” signs have been put up in front of restaurants and other businesses in the United States, where there were more than 11 million job opportunities at the end of July, or two for every job seeker.

“Vacancy rates around the world are very high. Surveys and firms are saying it’s still too hard to fill positions,” said Ariane Curtis, a Toronto-based economist at research firm Capital Economics.

Curtis said countries in Western Europe and North America are having a particularly difficult time filling jobs, although the problem also exists in Eastern Europe, Turkey and Latin America.

An OECD report in July said vacancy-to-unemployed rates in Australia, Canada and the UK rose sharply in later 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels.

– early closure of business

The world economy has slowed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, yet shortages remain.

It affects a wide range of sectors: from a shortage of teachers in Texas to not enough staff in the hospitality industry to the health system in Italy or Canada.

The shortage has forced businesses to adapt.

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According to local news reports, pharmacies in the US state of Wisconsin, services in hospitals in Canada’s Alberta province and restaurants in Australia’s Sunshine Coast have had to close for parts of the day.

There is also a shortage of white collar workers.

Clément Verrier, who co-heads an executive recruitment firm in Paris, said hiring companies used to be difficult to find. Now it’s the opposite.

“We are seeing an unprecedented number of candidates who disappear in the middle of the recruitment process without being called back,” Verrier said.

– ‘Change of mindset’ –

The aging population was already beginning to cause a Covid shortage, but with the pandemic the problem exploded.

Several factors are behind the phenomenon: some have opted to retire early, while others have been battling Covid symptoms for a long time. Others simply have poor working conditions or low pay.

Other factors include a sharp drop in immigration due to the lockdown, people moving out of cities and workers seizing time to rethink their career options.

“The pandemic caused a fundamental shift in mindset and priorities, and employers are not keeping pace with that change,” said Bonnie Dowling, expert associate partner at McKinsey, a global consultancy that conducted a study on the worldwide resignation wave.

Companies are paying higher salaries to keep or woo employees. Other benefits that have emerged include the option to work from home, “bonus” holidays and more personal days off.

Some countries are relaxing their immigration rules to attract more workers.

Germany unveiled plans on Wednesday to make it easier for people to hold on to multiple nationalities and to ease the naturalization of foreigners.

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“The big question is whether what we’ve seen in the past months will cool down,” said Mike Smith, CEO of Netherlands-based international recruiter Randstad Sourcewright.

“From our position we do not believe it is transitory,” he said.

“We think this is a structural change in the way employees interact with work. Trends continue to indicate this. A change in worker expectations is here to stay.”

This story has been published without modification in text from a wire agency feed. Only the title has been changed.

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