The pandemic had many impacts on many different facets of American life, but few greater than the job market. In July of 2020 the percent of employed was down nearly 15%. On top of that the United States reached negative GDP growth rate for the first time since the 2008 crash. In 2021 the job market started recovering and the American population slowly started returning to work.

A common theme amongst companies during the pandemic was remote working. For the first time in history the vast majority of work was being done from home. In 2020 we saw this lead to an increase in productivity and the GDP rate grew rapidly. In 2021 that productivity slowly began to fall off and in 2022 that workforce started returning to the brick-and-mortar office spaces that they had previously held.

Surprisingly the return to the office did not slow job growth. Throughout 2022 and in the beginning of 2023 we saw the population return to work en masse. In February of 2023 we saw unemployment reach pre-pandemic lows of 3.5% meaning that the covid unemployment crisis has come to an end.

With the pandemic in the rear view mirror and Gen Z ready to enter the workforce, the near future of the job market might look a bit different. Currently 80% of employed Gen Z'ers are looking for new work, which might be a sign of unstable employees to come in this generation. Atop of that 44% of Gen Z is currently unemployed, the worst mark ever for a generation aged 18-24. With a generation unwilling to work and even less likely to maintain a long term position, many companies have turned over their staffing to the hands of recruiting companies. Companies with professionals that will ensure business owners don't need to waste time with inept applicants and will provide efficient and intelligent employees in place of the "quiet quitting" members of Gen Z.

In closing, the job market has recovered and the covid norms have left as quickly as they arrived. With the GDP on the rise the impacts of the pandemic will soon cease to remain. The next issue on the horizon will be getting Gen Z work ready and professional. That, however, will show to be a different beast entirely.

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