UNEMPLOYMENT IS HIGH. WHY ARE BUSINESSES STRUGGLING TO HIRE?

Apr 27, 2021

There are two distinct, and completely opposite, ways of looking at the
American job market.

One would be to consult the data tables produced every month by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics, which suggest a plentiful supply of would-be workers. The
unemployment rate is 6 percent, representing 9.7 million Americans who say
they are actively looking for work.

Alternately, you could search for news articles mentioning “labor shortage.”
You will find dozens in which businesses, especially in the restaurant and other
service industries, say they face a potentially catastrophic inability to hire. The
anecdotes come from the biggest metropolitan areas and from small towns, as
well as from tourist destinations of all varieties.

If this apparent labor shortage persists, it will have huge implications for the
economy in 2021 and beyond. It could act as a brake on growth and cause
unnecessary business failures, long lines at remaining businesses, and rising
prices.

What explains the disconnect? There are competing theories, all plausible —
and potentially interrelated.

  • Benefits too generous?
  • Worried about getting sick
  • Still needed at home
  • Reconsidering career decisions?

Read the full article at https://nyti.ms/3sK6UuD

Source: New York Times

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