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COVID-19 Stimulus And Unemployment Benefits Lead To ‘The Great Resignation’



As the US economy starts to recover from the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment has decreased drastically. Indeed, even with the latest record 40-year high inflation rate of 7.9% recorded in February 2022, the US seems to be getting back to work. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has created some new social and economic dynamics and concerns in the labor market.

Employers Fail To Employ Employees

Indeed, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, many US citizens lost their lives or jobs. Even though the unemployment rate is down – the US labor market is, according to the Outsider, experiencing labor shortages. In other words, employers are struggling to fill employee vacancies – even when six-digit salaries are on offer.

Unemployment Benefits And Stimulus Checks

In further detail, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 11.6 open jobs nationwide. This record-high figure comes as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and indirectly due to the mechanisms used to deal with the socio-economic concerns of the pandemic. In this light, various COVID-19 pandemic unemployment relief programs and stimulus checks might contribute to the millions of vacant jobs in the US labor market. Indeed, with such stimulus funds, and added unemployment benefits, arguably, US citizens might seem more reluctant to fill certain job vacancies. However, with most of these coming to an end this year – many Americans might be returning to work.

COVID-19: The Great Resignation

However, one cannot underestimate the effects of these COVID-19 stimulus programs and initiatives and other factors resulting from the pandemic on the US economy and labor market. As such, many US citizens might have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. A lot of these workers have seen just how important the right line of work or career is and have started to work remotely.

Following the first two years of the pandemic, such Americans seem to be a lot more picky or discerning when looking for work. As such, they might have seen those other forms of employment, as opposed to their traditional careers or jobs, seem to be more advantageous than they previously perceived. Because of this, many of them are reluctant to return to work away from home, or in industries such as the construction industry. Despite the increased salaries, they believe their standard of living and health is threatened. Because of this, many economists and role-players are calling the current socio-economic situation in the US: ‘The Great Resignation.’