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The pandemic impacted the job market globally. Whether it is the US, UK, or Canada, the employment market crashed all over the world. While data shows that the global market is recovering, it would still take some time to reach the pre-pandemic hiring levels. The unemployment rate is expected to be 5.9% in 2022, improved from 6.2% and 6.6% in 2021 and 2020, respectively. However, it is still higher than 5.4% in 2019.
In comparison to the pre-pandemic level, 52 million fewer jobs are expected globally in 2022. While things were expected to improve after 2 years of the pandemic, the ongoing variants of COVID have adversely impacted the economic recovery. However, different economies are recovering at different paces. European and North American countries are seeing better growth, while Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean region are witnessing slower growth. That said, the global job market will change in many aspects in 2022. So if you are a job seeker, you may only be a few steps away from your dream role. To help you get a better idea, let’s have a look at some new job market trends this year.
Flexible ways of working
Before 2020, most people only knew one way of working, the popular 9-5. However, the pandemic changed it all. While work from home may have started as a necessity, it soon became a preferred choice for many. The freedom to work from anywhere was one of the few good things that resulted from the pandemic. In the last 2 years, the global job market has witnessed multiple changes in the work pattern.
Freelancing has increased multifold globally. Based on revenue, the top countries predicted to lead in the freelancing industry in 2022 are the Philippines, India, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Canada. Freelancing, irrespective of geography, age, and candidate education, is growing steadily. More than 60% of the freelancers in the US are below 34 years of age. This also suggests that freelancing is a chosen lifestyle by many, ditching the traditional corporate 9-5 job culture.
Another major change witnessed in the labor market was the increase in location-independent or remote hiring. Many employers now offer the option to work from home or opt for a hybrid working model. While the hybrid model still requires employees to occasionally attend the office, remote roles or location-independent hiring has opened up multiple opportunities for job seekers. According to a report, 25% of all professional jobs are expected to be remote by the end of 2022.
The popularity of remote jobs can also be determined by the increased provision of digital nomad visas. A digital nomad is a professional who works remotely from different locations while traveling and exploring. Worldwide, there were 35 million digital nomads in 2021. This is expected to increase in the coming years. Some countries offering digital nomad visas include Portugal, Spain, Romania, UAE, Mauritius, Japan, the Czech Republic, and more.
The rise in career changes
The new flexibility to work from anywhere has had a major impact on the mindset of the people. Earlier experienced professionals were convinced about career changes were extremely challenging or almost impossible. This has now changed. The rise in online learning and remote roles has assured mid-career professionals that changing industries or domains is still a possibility. The location-independent hiring has also made people believe in going for jobs that were earlier not available to them due to geographical differences.
Some key things suggested by experts to support career changes are location-independent networking, continuous learning through MOOCs and other resources, personal branding, and positioning oneself as a subject matter expert. That said, it is essential for you to know that when you apply to a different industry, your main competition would be the conventional candidates who have ample experience in the field. So, having a strong profile with a best-practice resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile in line with your target jobs is important. Demonstrate how you can add value based on your previous experience and show your passion for working in your target industry.
Digital transformation and its impact on job seekers
According to a report by ILO, technological advancements are creating a digital divide that is impacting a certain group of professionals. Let’s understand this with an example. Most people in the gig economy rely on a platform. For instance, Upwork for freelancers or Uber for drivers. While a lot of people have access to these platforms, many others who lack the necessary resources do not get an opportunity to be a part of the gig economy. With the pandemic impacting the usual ways of working, this digital divide is having unexpected consequences.
Although many job seekers are prospering due to technology, another important section of society, especially in developing and underdeveloped countries are witnessing a lag. If you are a job seeker with access to the right technology and digital resources, make sure to optimize them creatively. For example, if you have the necessary resources to create a video resume, go for it. It will help you stand out from the crowd and get noticed by potential employers. If you do not, we encourage you to identify ways to get access to them. Keeping up with the upcoming digital and tech transformations can play a key role in your job search.
Shaping the Green Transition
The need to transition to an environmentally sustainable economy is higher than ever. The pandemic resulted in losses in the labor market, including the green economy. A green economy comprises economic activities and infrastructure that reduce carbon emissions and enhance energy and resource efficiency. The goal is to prevent the loss of biodiversity and the ecosystem while reducing waste generation and emissions. The focus is on sustainable production and consumption of resources.
During the pandemic, many green workers lost their jobs. Between 2019 and 2020, the green jobs were reduced by more than 527,000. Like the previous year, the green economy was struggling in 2021 too. Out of the $46 trillion spent last year in different economies, only $386 billion is considered invested in the green economy. That said, the vision for the green economy is wide and long-term. The year 2022 looks promising for green jobs too. Although it may take some time to add back green jobs to the economy, it is expected by 2050 that the number could reach 42 million. Furthermore, Asia could hold more than 60% of these jobs, while Europe and American countries may have 12% and 13% respectively. Now, let’s have a look at some green jobs below.
- Environmental Technician
- Recycling Worker
- Solar Installer
- Geophysical Engineers
- Environmental Scientist
- Air Quality Engineer
- Green Homes Auditor/Installer
- Green Nursery Consultants
- Chief Sustainability Officer
- Energy Analyst
- Drone Engineer
- Food Scientist
- Renewable Energy Consultant
Employers competing for the best talent
The location-independent hiring and career changes have not only given a sense of freedom to employees but also to employers. Employers now have a bigger pool of candidates to hire from. With the ‘Great Resignation’, some are even calling 2022 to be the ‘Year of employees’. In the coming years, employers will not only have to offer great compensation but also prioritize work-life balance, mental and physical health of employees, growth, and development, and amazing work culture. So if you are a job seeker looking for jobs in 2022, we want to assure you that the employer would be fighting for you as much as you would be fighting for them.
The data shows the recovery of the global job market to be slower in comparison to the hiring in the pre-pandemic market. However, this does not mean a definitive lack of opportunities for you. While opportunities may vary based on industries and geography, a strong profile with relevant experience and skills can be the key to success. Additionally, remote working and freelancing are here to stay. This means even if you can’t find a relevant, full-time role, you can use your expertise and establish yourself as a successful freelancer. If you need any help with any aspect of your job search, feel free to reach out to us.