The national worker shortage across the United States is continuing to place additional strain on businesses as they try to ultimately recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses have been struggling to hire and maintain their staff for the last 18 months for a couple of reasons.
The first reason is that many of these workers were initially laid off and were then granted enhanced federal unemployment benefits that paid them more than their previous jobs. This was one of the largest criticisms of the stimulus packages that have been signed between March of 2020 and extended all the way through September of 2021.
This created a formula in the workforce where millions of people had the incentive to stay at home and collect unemployment checks that were much higher than their original earnings. While certainly a contributing factor, there’s one additional reason that the worker shortage has continued to get worse.
The second reason that Biden and his administration have struggled with the worker shortage is because millions of people are not interested in getting the COVID-19 vaccine, a requirement in many health sector jobs and federal jobs. In addition, a new mandate on large businesses and their employees could further drive a wedge and spark an even larger worker shortage.
If the worker shortage continues to get worse throughout the holiday season for any number of reasons, then the supply chain and the U.S. economy could reach their breaking points. There are already shortages in several sectors and those shortages could spiral out of control if Biden’s administration is unable to right the ship.
According to a recent jobs report for the month of September, less than 200,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy, a dismal number for the Biden administration that could not be spun positively under any circumstance. Economists were expecting 4 or 5 times more jobs to be added but it appears that the recovery of the U.S. economy is struggling to rebound without lifelines from periodic stimulus packages.
Only time will tell if the U.S. can narrowly avoid a supply chain collapse. The worker shortage slowly deteriorates over the course of time and there doesn’t appear to be any real sign of that changing in the near future. The holiday season is generally a time of the year where a lot of jobs are added for seasonal purposes, but economists are fearing that more jobs reports like September could be just around the corner.