Workers and Employers Wield Different Tools to Win the Labor Shortage
Even though recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics point to rising rates in workers going back to their jobs, influenced in part by the end of COVID unemployment benefits, payroll tallies still don’t come close to before March 2020 and prior; 5.3 million short, to be precise. This general strike, in everything but name, has changed the dynamic between employees and employers. Companies respond to a labor shortage with strategies for incentivizing new workers and filling the gaps with cutting edge technology, while workers look at job market lacking quality wages and benefits and demand change through withheld labor.
Part of how companies are responding is by weighing whether these positions need to be filled at all, turning to AI and machine learning as a potential solution to reduce the scope of required labor. This strategy may work in some industries, but in Big Tech for example, where positions are increasingly demanding high levels of problem-solving, AI may only go so far to alleviate the situation.
And once again, the world asks: is this a sign that positions will be permanently eliminated from the economy? And if so, what are the long-term ramifications? Will this change how workers wield their power in the workplace, especially in unionizing efforts? To get more insights, we spoke with Scott Hirsch, CTO of Talent MarketPlace, an algorithmically-enhanced recruitment platform for employers and workers. Here’s where he saw AI, labor shortages, and Big Tech intersecting.
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