“No One Wants to Work Anymore!” Fact-Checking 4 Myths About the U.S. Labor Market

“This generation is so lazy.”

 “Where did all the employees go?”

“In my day, everyone worked!”

Any of these sound familiar? 

Between social, political, and economic shifts, it’s no secret that the U.S. labor market has been in constant change. And not everyone understands why. 

Before you join your neighbor in lamenting the workforce, take a look at these common myths. You may be surprised to learn what’s driving these conversations.

Myth #1: “No One Wants to Work.”

Today’s labor market is tight, and employers are certainly struggling to fill open positions—but not for the reasons you may think.

As of July 2022, the national unemployment rate sits at just 3.5%.

The reason behind this low number? Employees are feeling confident and secure in their current roles. Fewer and fewer are seeking new opportunities. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, connecting with yourself and building new behaviors are the key drivers of employee confidence.

And since many employees have found themselves in new routines within the last two years, it’s no surprise that good feelings are up: 87% of participants in a 2021 Gallup survey indicated they were completely or somewhat satisfied with their job. 

Myth #2: “Remote Work is Just a Phase.”

Nearly 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. 

While just 4% of high-paying jobs offered remote opportunities before 2020, that number now exceeds 15%. Experts are calling this trend the “largest social change in America since the end of World War II.”

Employees have found a healthy work-life balance with remote opportunities. They can care for children, tend to household duties, and enjoy more health and wellness-based activities from the comfort of their homes—and get back time previously spent commuting. 

With that said, it’s not surprising that employees will leave a company that does not offer flexibility that matches their expectations. 

Myth # 3: “Gig Jobs Aren’t Careers.”

“Gig jobs” are employment opportunities that operate within a free market system. These positions are temporary but common as organizations hire independent contractors for the short term. Examples of gig jobs include Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Fiverr. 

Employees are drawn to these jobs because of the flexibility they offer. In March of 2022, nearly 36% of the U.S. workforce was employed through a gig job—and if this trend continues, it’s likely we’ll see nearly 50% of the workforce employed in the gig economy in the next five years. 

Prime locations and an abundance of people are key indicators of opportunity for gig jobs. Think about large metropolitan communities that are close to airports: Uber and Lyft drivers can make a full day's work by connecting with riders who need transportation to appointments or events. 

And while gig jobs may not be the most traditional, the perks can be plentiful. Setting your own schedule and the ability to work anywhere are just a few.

Myth #4: “The Labor Market Will Not Crack.”

When it comes to the future of the labor market, none of us have a crystal ball—but we can stay informed and well prepared for the future.

Recent data shows that the monthly rate of job growth is slowing, while unemployment insurance claims are beginning to rise. Many employees are growing more concerned as inflation increases and whispers of a recession become louder. 

To stay informed about the labor market, here are resources that can be useful to both employers and employees:

And regardless of what’s to come, Inova Staffing is here to help.

Interested in More Labor Market Resources? 

Even in the best of times, staying informed is crucial for employers and job seekers to anticipate market trends. Stay ahead of the curve by subscribing to The Better Together blog.

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