Paris: There is a shortage of plumbers in Germany. America needs more postal workers. Australia is short of engineers. In Canada, hospitals are looking for more nurses. The “great resignations” that countries have experienced since the easing of COVID pandemic restrictions are not over yet. “We had a lot of difficulties finding workers,” said Michael Blum, chief executive of a software company in eastern Germany.

“There is a shortage of qualified workers everywhere you look,” Blume, of Currentsystem23’s company based in eastern Germany, told AFP. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, had 887,000 job vacancies for him in August, about 108,000 more than last year. “Help Wanted” signs are plastered in front of restaurants and other businesses in the United States, and by late July he had more than 11 million job openings, or two for every job seeker. increase.

“Vacancy rates are very high around the world. Research firms and companies say it’s still very difficult to fill positions,” said Ariane Curtis, an economist at research firm Capital Economics. Countries in Western Europe and North America are particularly struggling to secure jobs, Curtis said, but problems also exist in Eastern Europe, Turkey and Latin America. In the second half of 2021, vacancy rates in Australia, Canada and the UK rose sharply compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to a July report from the OECD.

early closing

Shortages persist even as the global economy begins to slow since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year. It affects a wide range of sectors, from teacher shortages in Texas to staff shortages in the Italian hospitality industry and Canada’s health care system. Shortages are forcing businesses to adapt.

A pharmacy in Wisconsin, USA, a hospital in Alberta, Canada and a restaurant on Australia’s Sunshine Coast had to close for part of the day, according to local news reports. There is also a shortage of white-collar workers. Clement Verrier, co-head of an executive recruitment firm in Paris, said it used to be difficult to find companies looking for talent. Now it’s the other way around. “We see an unprecedented number of candidates disappearing in the middle of the hiring process without calling back,” said Verrier.

“The change of viewpoint”

An aging population was already causing shortages before COVID, but the pandemic has exploded the problem. There are multiple factors behind this phenomenon. Some have opted for early retirement, while others have struggled with her long-term COVID symptoms. Some are fed up with poor working conditions and low wages. Other factors include a significant drop in immigration due to lockdowns, people moving out of cities, and workers seizing opportunities to rethink their career choices.

Bonnie Dowling, Expert Associate Partner at McKinsey, a global consultancy that has conducted research on retirement waves around the world, said: Companies offer higher salaries to retain or attract workers. Other benefits include work-from-home options, “bonus” days off, and more private days.

Some countries are relaxing immigration rules to attract more workers. Germany on Wednesday announced plans to make it easier for people to hold multiple nationalities and make it easier for foreigners to naturalize. “The big question is whether what we’ve seen in the past few months will settle down,” said Mike Smith, CEO of international recruiter Randstad Sourceright, based in the Netherlands. So I don’t think it’s temporary,” he said. “We see this as a structural shift in how employees interact with work.

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