WASHINGTON — People returning to the office has been a sign that many dry cleaners have been searching for to indicate that the pandemic days are behind us. According to findings released this month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this sign is growing in strength, as “work from home” days for many employees are coming to an end.
Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30, 2022 — the period covered by this report — the Bureau reports that 72.5% of establishments had little or no telework, compared to 60.1% in during the period of July through September 2021. The percent of establishments with some, but not all, employees teleworking was 16.4% in 2022, compared to 29.8% in 2021.
While this data indicates that people are returning to offices and workplaces, however, work from home is not completely going away. The Bureau reports that the percent of establishments with all their employees teleworking all the time was about the same — 11.1% in August-September 2022, compared to 10.3% in July-September 2021.
Also, during that same period, 95.1% of establishments, including those that did and did not have telework, expected the amount of telework at their establishment to remain the same over the next 6 months.
Other findings in the report included:
- Nationwide, 22.4% of establishments hired new employees in July 2022.
- In July 2022, 7.3% of establishments increased starting pay, and 5.4% expanded advertising to attract more applicants to newly filled positions. Among the other methods used by establishments to attract more applicants were: starting to use recruiters/talent agencies (2.4%); offering hiring bonuses (1.9%); reducing the job’s qualifications, such as education or experience (1.3%); expanding benefits (1.2%); offering more hours (1.0%); and expanding telework or remote work (0.7%).
- In July 2022, 2.4% of establishments hired at least one employee who will telework all the time.
- Nationally, 7.0% of establishments took more than 30 days to fill at least one open position. The percentage of establishments with positions that took more than 30 days to fill varied by industry. The industries most likely to take more than 30 days to fill positions were accommodation and food services (14.9%), health care and social assistance (12.3%), and manufacturing (11.1%).
The labor shortage experienced by dry cleaners isn’t unique to this industry. According to the Bureau report:
- Nationwide, 20.9% of establishments had vacancies they were attempting to fill when they were surveyed in August-September 2022, and 40.5% had vacancies within the 12 months prior to the survey (August 2021-September 2022).
- In August-September 2022, 3.1% of establishments had at least one vacancy eligible for telework all the time.
- Nationwide, 12.3% of establishments had at least one vacancy open for more than 30 days.
- The percentage of establishments that had a vacancy open for more than 30 days varied by industry, ranging from 6.9% in natural resources and mining to 20.2% in accommodation and food services.
- How establishments advertised their vacancies varied by the educational requirements of the position. Nationwide, 13.4% of establishments used online job boards or hiring platforms to advertise positions requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher, while 24.1% did so for positions that did not require a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Data in this release provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are from the 2022 Business Response Survey (BRS). BRS data was collected from private-sector establishments from Aug. 1, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2022. The survey’s topics included telework at establishments both at the time of the survey and before the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring by establishments in July 2022, and job vacancies at establishments at the time of the survey.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected] .