Employment trends. . . how might they affect funeral service

55% of Americans expect to search for a new job in the next 12 months.  That’s the headline from this Bankrate survey conducted recently.

I find it interesting as to how the unemployment and employment situations in America has been since the pandemic.  The linked article mentions that labor shortages, in general, have been heating up for months even though America has 8.7 million unemployed and, according to the article, 10.1 million job openings.  Of course, American has also had a federal unemployment extended benefit because of the pandemic.  Those benefits are scheduled to expire on September 11.

It will be interesting to see what the expiration of the extended benefits will do to the employment market.  We will see in less than two weeks.

I also ran across a “Help Wanted” ad for British funeral home operator Dignity Plc, which was headlined, “Mobile Funeral Director Arranger Wanted”.  That is the first time I have seen an advertisement for a “Mobile” funeral director.  And, I’m assuming that mobile in this case means “Remote”.

If that is so, I’m intrigued.  Have we gotten to the point with deaths through the coronavirus pandemic that funeral homes, and clientele, are comfortable with arrangements of this type?  If so, I think it is a watershed moment and opportunity for both licensed funeral directors and funeral home owner/operators to benefit.

While there is a lot to consider, I can see opportunities in this realm.  First of all, the Bankrate survey mentions that, post-pandemic, 41% of American workers expect to work at least one day per week in a remote basis.  It’s not really something I envisioned in the funeral business until I read the want ad.  Doing arrangements from home one day a week may be a way for owners to be able to meet potential employees in a satisfying employment manner.

Tom Anderson
Funeral Director Daily

What about small town single operators?  As cremations dry up revenue, many may not have the financial sources for another full-time funeral director in addition to themselves.  Would having a remote funeral arranger be a way where that small town funeral director can have an arrangement done while at the same time servicing a funeral?  It might also allow a full-time funeral director at another facility to “moonlight” for extra income as a Mobile Funeral Director.  Again, done properly, I think both sides may be able to benefit from this arrangement.

Another interesting item in the Bankrate survey is that compensation is no longer considered the number one priority for the majority of those Americans who say they will be looking for new employment.  “Flexible Work Arrangements” was the #1 priority named by 56% of the respondents.  higher pay and job security were the next two categories of priorities.

The survey also pointed out that child care issues and virus-related fears are reasons that some of the unemployed are not presently looking for work.

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