By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It is hard to find workers, ask any restaurant owner.

Truck drivers are in high demand. Many hotel workers have not returned to work. Some workers are switching careers, retraining, others jumping into the gig economy, and even entrepreneurship.

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The phenomenon is called the “Great Resignation.” 

“This ‘Great Resignation’ is merely a transition that has been accelerated by the pandemic,” said Joe Mullings from the Mullings Group, a talent acquisition organization that recruits for Fortune 500 companies.

Mullings sees dark days ahead for service industry workers who might want to return to work and find some jobs that are not there anymore.

Restaurants have shifted to take out, delivery, and in extreme examples: automated bartenders and robots waiting tables in restaurants.

“Now, we’re are in an environment where 70% of all of growth in our economy has to do with computers, whether it is a point of sale, reducing interaction human to human. If your job category was in an analog fashion, person to person, service orientated now starting to reset, restructure. You will have structural unemployment by design in that category,” said Mullings.

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Employers may be looking for more help, but they have also found they can get by with less by reworking business plans and workflow.

“Great Resignation” workers not returning to their jobs, often want to move on to other work.

Many lived on government unemployment and received pandemic-generated benefits, but those income streams are now running out. Eventually, they will have to return to some type of work, but what will work be like?

“Those people who do not have a skill set that can be reskilled are going to be on the other end of this if they are not working on reskilling or upskilling who they are,” Mullings says.

“What happens to that 35-50-year-old who’s upskilled market in 2020 could have longitudinally figured out what their world would look like now that’s changing,” Mullings tells CBSMiami. 

“So, I don’t know what happens to that worker, but that word, “irrelevance,” keeps coming up in regard to their skill set, marketable skill set, and marketable jobs downrange.”

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Mullings said he is not sure when the labor shortage or “Great Resignation” phenomena will end but says for folks who want to move up and out of what they were doing for a living they must “reskill.”