The pandemic dealt a heavy blow to the world’s workforce. Sadly, we are still recovering from the effects. The employment rate sits at 3.8%-higher than the past 3.4% five-decade low.

These are not pandemic levels of unemployment, to be clear. A whopping 4.9% were jobless in 2021, the highest number since the 2008 recession. Yet with businesses open and traveling back to normal, why are unemployment rates still so high on the current US jobs report?

Unfortunately, there’s not a single culprit that we can point at and blame. Staffing problems have always had a complex mix of causes with no easy diagnosis.

Read on for a US jobs report where we discuss potential reasons for such high unemployment.

Changing Labor Participation

The pandemic changed how people viewed their jobs. Although many lost were laid off, many also reconsidered their career paths and future goals-thus deciding to leave undesirable careers for better ones. This created a low “labor participation” rate.

Now, labor participation has shot back up; too fast for the job market to give it space. This means there may be many people who are now, suddenly, “technically” unemployed. People who previously weren’t searching for new work, and thus were not included in the statistics despite being on jobless benefits.

Preferences for Remote and Hybrid Positions

Many companies moved partially or entirely to remote or hybrid work during the pandemic. This left office spaces empty, many of which businesses still had a lease on. Once the pandemic was over, there was a large push to get employees back in the office.

People still prefer remote and hybrid positions over in-office alternatives. They want virtual interviews, meetings, and cloud-computing suites. If an employer decides to bring remote employees back into the office, some of them may simply quit in favor of remote-focused work.

People may opt to wait longer to find a remote/hybrid-only position while on jobless benefits, thus increasing unemployment statistics. They have higher education, and won’t accept low-paying jobs they’re overqualified for just to fill the void.

Changing Labor Market

Just 10 years ago, social media had little to no bearing on your career prospects. Now, it plays a major role. Technology has, and always will, impact the market and shift the types of labor people do.

A perfect example is in the entertainment industry. AI can now create stunning visual illustrations faster and easier than human artists. Many companies have scrapped their human artists in favor of AI software, leaving them jobless.

It’s likely we have only seen the beginning of the unemployment crisis that AI will inevitably kick off. It can write code, draft, and parse legal documents, and even compose music. More market disruptions in the future are to be expected.

Find a US Jobs Report and More at The Staffed

This year’s US jobs report shows a market with unusually high unemployment given the current economic situation. The likely causes are higher labor participation and a shift in remote/hybrid work preferences. This may be the beginning of a longer trend of technology-based labor market interruptions.

The Staffed has years of experience connecting high-quality employees to high-quality employers. Head on over to our site and find the services you need.