The Great Worker Disappearing Act: Here Are 10 Reasons Good Employees Are Scarce

Business owners across the country lament their struggles to find workers despite advertising their job openings. Find out why people aren’t turning up for interviews.

An Age-Old Sentiment

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Though it has become a common refrain from politicians, business owners, and pundits, the phrase “nobody wants to work anymore” is not new.

A fifth of surveyed businesses said they agreed with the claim, but research shows that the statement is over a century old. 

“Nobody Wants to Work These Hard Times”

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“With all the mines of the country shut down by strikers[,] what will the poor editor do for coal next winter? It is becoming apparent that nobody wants to work these hard times,” read a newspaper clipping from 1894.

Research Shows Decades of History

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Researcher Paul Fairie shared the clipping online and excerpts from many other decades, all echoing the same sentiment.

The Real Reasons “No One Wants to Work Anymore”

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Since the complaint is far from new, critics have long shared their reasons for not wanting to take open positions even when they desperately need a job.

#1. The Pay Is Too Low

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Low wages are a significant issue in the country. While some employers argue that “no one wants to work” because they are not receiving interest in their job postings, they fail to recognize that it is nearly impossible for a person to survive on minimum wage anymore. 

#2. The Environment Is Toxic

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No one wants to work in a toxic environment. Americans are pulling away from the idea that they have to put up with negativity at work to earn their paychecks and are starting to stand up for themselves.

#3. There’s No Work-Life Balance

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Often, jobs that are advertised as 40-hour-per-week gigs turn into much more when the boss expects overtime, weekends, and even off-the-clock contributions.

As older generations move toward retirement, millennials and Gen Z-ers are prioritizing a healthy work-life balance.

#4. They Can’t Afford to Work (Literally)

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It sounds counterintuitive, but some people literally can’t afford to work.

Rising costs of childcare have made it so that some people pay more for daycare or babysitters than they earn after taxes, so financially, it makes more sense for them to stay home with their children.

#5. They Can’t Afford to Work (Figuratively)

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For some people, the impact of working in extremely challenging environments for very low pay can take a mental toll that makes it difficult to live a healthy life in or outside of work. 

A Hard Choice

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Often, people must choose between their mental well-being or a job they know will make them unhappy.

#6. They Can’t Work From Home

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The COVID-19 pandemic brought many white-collar workers home from the office to work remotely from the comfort of their own homes.

This sparked the realization that millions of jobs could be done without ever setting foot inside an office. 

A New Normal

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Now, it’s hard for people to want to go back to the old way. Since many companies offer remote work as an option, those who don’t may have a harder time filling roles. 

#7. They Need Benefits

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Jobs without access to benefits like paid vacation and sick days, insurance, and a 401k match are going to be difficult to sell. 

The Importance of Offering Benefits

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While it is the industry norm in some cases to forego benefits, most people who are willing to work 40 hours a week for a company want to know that the job comes with perks beyond just their paycheck. 

#8. They’re Overqualified

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Companies that advertise positions to people with graduate degrees but pay entry-level wages are likely to be passed over.

Many people took out significant debt in student loans to get the education needed to start their careers, and now that they’re in the workforce, they need to earn enough to make their degrees worth it.

#9. Poor Management

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Word of mouth is important in many industries. If it gets out that a leadership team is incompetent, harsh, inflexible, or otherwise difficult to work with, it may be hard to find anyone who wants to work under them. 

#10. They Want To Do Meaningful Work

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Especially after the collective impact of a global pandemic put things into perspective for people, more and more workers want to do something that feels important to them. 

Seeking Fulfillment At Work

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If prospective employees feel their time would be wasted in a certain job, they may be less likely to want to take it on.

The Way Forward

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As hard as it can be for businesses to struggle to fill roles, understanding the reasons why people may not be jumping at every open position is key to figuring out what will get people in the door.

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The post The Great Worker Disappearing Act: Here Are 10 Reasons Good Employees Are Scarce first appeared on Thrift My Life.

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