COVID-19 Has Just Solved Military Spouse Unemployment and Underemployment: 62% of You Can Be Working Remotely by 2022
Finally, a global change in the way companies staff their teams that will employ the three quarters of military spouses that do not have jobs, or do not earn above the poverty level. COVID-19 forced the business world to embrace remote, dispersed and distributed teams, and it will never revert to the commute-to-career model.
Remote jobs go where you go and that is what works for anyone married to the military.
Deloitte’s “Military Spouse unemployment” study published July 22, 2020 states bluntly that military spouse unemployment is a “staggering” 24% and up to 51% are underemployed at any given time – meaning about 75% of milspouses cannot contribute a living wage to their family.
There are, at minimum, 16 million people worldwide married to active duty military the day this study published. That is 12 million men and women who need a job and live in environments where local labor markets are highly competitive and job availability is scanty at best. COVID-19 just diminished base-local opportunity further. McKinsey COVID briefing notes for June 2020 postulate that 68% of brick and mortar small businesses worldwide may not reopen for five to 10 years. That’s the obvious labor market downside of the pandemic.
Deloitte specifies the now-obvious upside:
“On the plus side, the pandemic has reframed many of the discussions about the benefits of telework and portable careers.”Deloitte
Moreover, whereas 5% of the global workforce worked from home in 2019, 45% are in their remote offices mid-summer 2020, and by 2021, 62% of employed people worldwide will have jobs where 100% remote is possible, and 45% will choose remote and be allowed it by their employers (Source: Covid-19 Just Changed How We’ll Work Forever: 45% of Us Will Be Working Full-time Remote by 2021, Here’s How)
Furthermore, the global economy, left twisting in the wind by the novel coronavirus, will be fighting for its life, requiring unprecedented investment in the greatest human resource: talent. Where better to find that talent than in the homes of active military where the percentage of people with bachelor’s degrees or better is 45% (non-military households come in at 33%), and the entire demographic has been desperate for access to portable jobs and careers for decades?
Milspouse remote job hunters — follow these steps and start your process now:
- Find companies that have been hiring remote as their business model for a few years – they are the least affected by the pandemic and still actively hiring. This Facebook group is a great resource of such companies.
- Be company focused rather than job post focused. Find companies you like and with which your skills and interests dovetail and deliver your unique value proposition to them even if your dream job is not posted.
- Keep front of mind that all types of organizations are already preparing for future hires. While they may be tail spinning today, they want you in their talent pool for upcoming staffing efforts.
- Value yourself like you never have before. You are needed by legitimate businesses, with benefit packages, that don’t require you to pay anything upfront, purchase an inventory, get involved in a multi-level marketing scheme, or any of the other scammy practices that have frustrated the milspouse community.
If you are a military spouse who is relatively new to remote work/career opportunities and how to find and obtain them, this white paper is a must-read: The 2020 Guide to Remote Jobs for Full-time Travelers and the Statistics of This Untapped Virtual Workforce.
Global financial recovery from COVID-19 is going to take an army of remote talent. No one is better suited to join that force than you: the spouse of a hero in our Armed Forces.