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Latest Workplace Phenomenon: The Great Mismatch

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Nov 28, 2022

First was the Great Resignation" (or the Big Quit), followed by Quiet Quitting. Now, the Great Mismatch is upon us, The Washington Post reported.

The term, used to describe the discrepancy between the demand for remote jobs and its supply, appeared in a report by Rand Ghayad, Ph.D, head of economics and global labor markets at LinkedIn.

“In the past, labor mismatches have been about skills,” he told the Post. “Now we’re seeing a different kind of mismatch, where workers are looking for jobs that offer certain attributes—like the ability to work remotely—that employers aren’t willing to offer.”

Though demand for remote jobs remains near all-time highs, companies are rolling back telework positions, so they are not so keen to offer these positions. Fifty percent of job applications submitted on LinkedIn as of Oct. 1 were for work-from-home positions, but only 15 percent of the site’s job listings offered that option.

Despite a good job market, with the most recent employment rate at 3.7 percent, recent moves by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates would have the intended effect of slowing the economy to tame inflation. A rise in the unemployment rate to 4.4 percent would translate to one million lost jobs, the Post reported.

Employers are also calling their employees back to the office. Most recently, U.S. Bancorp  began asking corporate workers to come in three days a week.

“Although performance is still strong, we’re seeing other things erode—like collaboration, engagement and how we demonstrate our culture as One U.S. Bank,” Chief Executive Andy Cecere wrote in a memo to employees. “Being in the office won’t solve this at once, but it can and will help.”

“I do think it’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle on this one,” Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, said in reference to employers that are hoping to return to pre-pandemic office attendance. “Once you hire a remote employee who lives elsewhere—as many companies have—it’s very hard to insist that people who live near the office come in all the time. In many industries, the kind of longer-term shifts to remote work, accompanied by investments in technology and disinvestments in commercial real estate, are still very much underway.”

But certain industries and workers are better able to adapt to remote work. The Post noted that groups such as working parents, the disabled and caregivers have been afforded opportunities to enter the job market as a result of remote working options. Even so, work-from-home jobs vary widely by industry.