The 'great remote work mismatch'

Many Americans got used to the flexibility that remote work granted them during the pandemic, but fewer employers are willing to grant it to them, The Washington Post reported Nov. 27

Work-from-home employees are increasingly being called into the office. For example, U.S. Bancorp is asking workers to come in three days a week, saying that while performance was strong, collaboration, engagement and culture took a hit from remote work, according to an internal memo obtained by the Post. Other major companies, like Twitter, have rescinded work-from-home privileges as well. 

Remote work listings are decreasing, though the number of people seeking them out is rising — which makes them more and more elusive. Remote work listings peaked in March, with 21 percent of LinkedIn's job postings offering the option. In October, 15 percent of listings on LinkedIn offered remote work. Despite this, 50 percent of job applications submitted on LinkedIn are for remote positions, according to data from the site. 

"It's the 'great remote work mismatch,'" Rand Ghayad, head of economics and global labor markets at LinkedIn, told the Post. "In the past, labor mismatches have been about skills. 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."

There are nearly two job openings for every one applicant to on-site positions, but there are two applicants for every one remote position on LinkedIn, making the supply-and-demand gap for on-site workers four times as high as it is for remote work, Mr. Ghayad said. The job-seeking site saw a 21 percent increase in applicants seeking remote roles between September and October despite postings for such roles declining 6 percent, according to the Post

There is a "tug of war" between what employees want, on more than one front — wage increases, signing bonuses, work-from-home privileges —  and what employers want to give, which signals a shifting labor market, according to the Post. Interest rates are rising and the Federal Reserve expects the unemployment rate to jump too. 

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