Dante DeAntonio, senior economist at Moody's Analytics, says, "That is the hope right through all of this, you know? Through all the heartache that we've had, that we'll come out the other side stronger than we were before. Workers will be in a stronger position than they were before. So certainly there could be that silver lining that comes out of all this."
Right now, businesses need more seasonal workers than last year. And as they struggle to hire, companies like Amazon are offering as much as $18 an hour plus bonuses. This, after many already increased pay, benefits, and flexibility for salaried staff.
DeAntonio believes this will change the picture for the workforce long-term.
He says, "Certainly, I think that increased flexibility is likely permanent. Things like wages and benefits, they're pretty resistant to decline in most cases. And so if you can, secure those increases today, it's unlikely that firms are going to try to claw those back in the future."
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What workers do and how they're training and being educated is changing, too.
Kapeesh Saraf, a career and growth advisor, said, "I think our workforce will need to constantly, sort of learning new skills and upskilling themselves rescaling themselves as technology changes."
Companies themselves are now offering their own classes and certifications, and top-tier universities are offering online degrees.
Job experts say to look for growth in technology jobs in fields that include customer support, IT, coding, social media and marketing.
DeAntonio predicts the worker shortage will continue for about a year, and the bottom line is even when things get back to some semblance of normal, certain changes impacting our labor force are here to stay.