Half a Million Jobs at Risk of Disappearing

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The rapid change in the job market affected by the pandemic has been both drastic and heartbreaking. With over half a million jobs lost since October of 2020, many companies have had to restructure themselves in order to remain afloat. Vimeo Inc., the video streaming website, is one of the many big tech companies facing harsh realities in the market and have had to resort to job cuts to her cope with their new circumstances.

Vimeo Inc., founded in 2004, was dealing with “unprecedented” demand during April 2020 as the world locked down. Despite funneling investment in customer support and technical infrastructure, and hosting virtual lunches for new hires, their revenue started going down in recent times and their shares have slumped by 93% since going public. Now, the company is focusing on its enterprise customers as the CEO, Anjali Sud, mentioned to Forbes.

However, job cuts have not been the same in all sectors. While the white-collar industry is affected the most, with not only tech giants taking the hit but also consultants such as those at McKinsey and KPMG, companies like FedEx Corp. and Boeing Co. cutting back on middle management and “bureaucracy”, and banks like Credit Suisse Group AG being put out of business, there seems to be high demand for blue-collar workers given the depleting supply of older workers.

Additionally, the Age of Zoom, with its remote-working opportunities, does not seem to have yielded the expected benefits for white-collar workers. Arthur Okun, an economic adviser to former U.S President Lyndon Johnson, once said that “Every time someone moves ahead without being replaced, it’s one less job” – and it could be said that this is now exactly what is happening. Nevertheless, the overall unemployment in the U.S. is still in the low single-digits.

In terms of productivity, the post-pandemic world has not seen an increase consistently, as witnessed in countries like Portugal and Denmark. Additionally, research suggests that the demand for digital skills hasn’t really grown either. As a result of the pandemic causing businesses to rush for remote solutions, there may have been a deluge of short-term business opportunities that aren’t here to stay.

There have been mixed outcomes from the various solutions and technologies created in the pandemic, but a wave of automation is set to be the main benefactor in this era. With AI, a lot of skilled and cognitive tasks can potentially be automated, which could in turn make the white-collar workers more vulnerable. This creates even more uncertainty for people looking for employment. But for now, with the right infrastructure and technology to back them up, companies like Vimeo Inc. can look to get back on track in the future.