Welcome to the next installment of our State Of Work series. For those who haven’t seen or read our prior post, let’s take a minute or two to catch you up. The past several months have been a tumultuous time for many Americans. Unemployment has surpassed the Great Depression. Entire industries are changing overnight as the pandemic has turned the economy upside down. We have a country that has shifted from brick-and-mortar business to largely remote work for mostly white-collar professions. All the while, we’ve seen jobs deemed essential while the government plays the lottery with the livelihoods of millions of Americans.
For today’s installment, let’s think for just a minute what the future of work is looking like. Our focus isn’t the pandemic as all we can say is that there will be a vaccine, however, the long-term damage has already been done to the economy. Businesses have collapsed and closed. People have shifted from living off wages to relying on unemployment benefits which now have dried up. The US Department of Labor keeps a running tally of the number of people who have filed for unemployment.
Approximately 57.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the middle of March of this year.
Local jurisdictions have determined what businesses are able to open — complete with certain guidelines for the safety of their own staff as well as that of customers who frequent the establishments. In an economy where governments determine which businesses are essential and which are not, how does a small or medium business owner not only survive but thrive?
The Answer Isn’t Easy.
A comprehensive strategy to get Americans back to work despite the pandemic should be a national level priority. It needs to be coordinated with governors and local municipalities to cover every level. While Congress has been working on solutions, albeit slowly, they have not proven fruitful, especially considering the very fabric of middle America is being torn down the middle.
Instead of waiting for the government, there are several things we can do. Make jobs more visible. Share among friends. Let people know where businesses are hiring and trying to provide work. When people are living and working within their local communities, everyone benefits. In areas where people don’t have the bandwidth or capacity available to me them aware of jobs, software and technology can augment a large piece of that disadvantage.
We are facing unprecedented challenges. Companies are attempting to streamline their resources while achieving the same level of productivity. Established retailers are going bankrupt, and consequently, thousands of jobs have been lost.
Yet, all isn’t lost. Companies are hiring in droves. Tens to hundreds of thousands of new workers are needed in positions deemed as essential, and the American economy must be supported. Scour the internet through a simple Google search and you will see the companies that are hiring.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Americans are resilient, driven, and determined. Despite the chaos, we will find a way, local and state economies will improve, America will work within the parameters of the “new normal” and we will continue on.