Has there ever been a weirder economic period in American history?
We had an artificial recession, ships getting stuck in the Suez Canal, supply-chain nightmares, near-record inflation, a historic infusion of cash from the Fed, and now a staffing shortage of epic proportions!
The Department of Labor revealed that the number of job openings is expanding, thereby worsening a labor market already placing immense pressure on businesses.
The agency's most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), which analyzes data from October, shows that there are 11.03 million job openings in the United States — exceeding the number of people actively searching for work by 3.6 million.
This begs the question: What in the heck is driving this monstrous labor shortage?
It isn't Covid, since the vast majority of those who have died are well into their retirement years.
It isn't the employers, since they've been doing all they can to bend over backwards to attract employees. A whopping 39% of employers surveyed said the lack of workers was the a major thing driving increased salary offers (which will ultimately fuel more inflation, yay!).
- Might the government's welfare expansion over the last year be keeping a few million peeps with their derrieres firmly glued to their couches? Consider:
Though the enhanced unemployment checks expired in September, [Rep. Kevin] Brady observed similar distortionary effects from Child Tax Credits. The lawmaker recalled a recent visit with a group of restaurant owners in Maryland — one of whom noted that a top employee was able to entirely quit her job because of the payouts.
- Could blowing the dangers of Covid up to insane levels be keeping a few million people hiding in their basements?
- Is it possible that vax mandates are keeping people from applying for openings and more likely to quit in frustration? Consider:
The coronavirus pandemic has seen quits surge to what had been record highs. Even with October's decline, the level is still 24% above where it was a year ago. Economists generally see the exodus as greater opportunity in the pandemic-era jobs market spurred by many workers still reluctant to come off the sidelines either because of child-care issues or health concerns.
- Are people potentially less ambitious about saving up for weddings, vacations, and other plans since the government is doing all it can to segregate society and make travel, community, and life experiences less enjoyable?
- Is that falling birth rate Elon was warning us about starting to show its ugly consequences?