Employment trends for 2022

7 Top Employment Trends for 2022

The Workforce Trends We Can Expect to Continue

As health restrictions lift and new challenges emerge, it’s never been more critical for employers and job seekers to know and respond quickly to the trends. The pandemic may be nearing the end, but its effect– compounded with the social and political strife of the early 2020s– has permanently changed how business is done. 

What are the headline hitters? The Great Resignation has put employees in the driver’s seat, increasing pressure on employers to deliver. Healthcare burnout leaves a gaping need for new professionals. The role of higher education is changing, resulting in later graduation and a growing value on experience rather than certificates. And consumers are putting their own handcuffs on companies, demanding corporate social responsibility and philanthropy from the brands they support.

As we near the end of Q1 in 2022, let’s clarify the trends and how employees and employers alike need to prepare.

1. Work from Home is Here to Stay

For two years, we’ve listened to rumors of CEO’s projected dates for returning to the office. The problem is that employees have adjusted to working from home and rarely feel a significant benefit to working full-time in the office. LinkedIn feeds have been full of reports of parents taking less time off work for children’s disrupted school schedules, saving money on gas, improving mental health, and producing the same results (if not better).  

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but with the Great Resignation strangling employment and the bulk of employees unwilling to return to the office full time, you can bet on work-from-home options for many employers.

2. Self-employment on the Rise

The COVID19 pandemic may have catalyzed the Great Resignation, but the groundwork was laid years before. With the boom of cloud-based commerce and broadening global markets, it was only a matter of time before employees built up their own businesses. 

Many people dabbled in side-hustles and gig work during the pandemic, and after two years, many have made those side-hustles their main hustle.  45% of Americans already report having a side hustle, with projections expecting that number to grow. As the workforce continues to have at least some level of self-employment, putting pressure on employers to meet needs or risk losing top talent to their own ventures.

3. Understaffing Problems Will Continue

As a natural pair to the rise of the gig economy, experts predict that companies will continue to struggle to fill their employment needs. The employment gap is far from over, even with recent lifts in hiring rates. In fact, some experts predict that regulating employment will take years, lasting until 2030. 

Part of this also relies on the youngest of the boomer generation retiring. In the meantime, companies will need to critically examine what they offer their employees. The next few years will likely see better working conditions, higher benefits, and more employee control as businesses struggle to attract and retain required talent.

4. Rising Corporate Social Responsibility

The 2020s have held a microscope to lingering injustice among genders, race, and ethnicity. We’ve also had to pay attention to the effects of human actions on the environment as rivers and the air cleared up within weeks of the world shutting down. 

As the buying power of consumers and transparency to company actions increase, all brands are required to show how they are giving back to the community. Brands will continue to highlight how they give to education, cleanliness, or reduced environmental impact.  

5. Goodbye TGIF, Hello Four-day Workweek

The buzz around the four-day workweek has built into a roar– and 2022 might be the year that companies roll it out. With work from home introducing a whole new way to work, many people find that they would rather work a few hours longer four days a week to have a third day off. 

In fact, Microsoft tried the four-day workweek in 2019 with a result of 40% higher sales! So buckle up and prepare for higher productivity with potentially more time off!

6. Healthcare is the Top Career Category for New Hires

While medical positions have always been in high demand, the industry is desperate for workers. Once again, the pandemic took a struggling power balance and tipped the scales. Overworked nurses and short staffing of medical techs, doctors, and surgeons resulted in many nurses quitting and severely short-staffing hospitals. 

In addition to these traditional roles, newer positions like occupational therapy and physical therapy have taken hold and are in high demand. Those entering the workforce, looking to switch careers in an overcrowded market, or simply wanting to make a bigger impact can look to medical training.

7. College Students are Getting Older

Far from entering college at 18 and graduating at 22 or 23, the Luma Foundation reported that 39% of college students are over 25 in 2022. So what does this mean for job trends?

Students are making career decisions later, often taking breaks to work or working full time while finishing a degree. In addition, fewer live on college campuses, meaning that the college experience has become less dedicated to a short education cycle to a hybrid of studying and professional work.

Combined with rising college tuition, employers should expect to hire less conventionally trained employees. Experience, work ethic, and willingness to learn are becoming better metrics for a new hire than a certificate from a four-year college.


At Shamrck, we specialize in preparing high school students for secondary education, training, and ultimately being prepared to enter the workforce. For more information on job trends or to get involved in sponsoring students, check out our website.

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