Millions are unemployed. Why can’t companies find workers? – fr

Millions are unemployed. Why can’t companies find workers? – fr

In a scorching economy emerging from a pandemic and lockdowns, with unemployment still much higher than it was before Covid, the U.S. economy finds itself in dire straits. Businesses cannot find enough people to hire.
Rising vaccination rates, easing lockdowns and huge amounts of federal stimulus assistance are boosting consumer spending on goods and services. Yet employers in industries like manufacturing, catering and construction are struggling to find workers. There are more job opportunities in the United States this spring than before the March 2020 pandemic, and fewer people in the workforce, according to the Department of Labor and private recruitment sites.
Polls suggest why some can’t or won’t return to work. Millions of adults say they don’t work for fear of catching or spreading Covid-19. Businesses are reopening before schools, leaving some parents without child care. Many people receive more unemployment benefits than they would earn in available jobs. Some unemployed people lack the skills for available jobs or are unwilling to move on to a new career.
Hiring has been robust recently, despite the labor shortage. US employers added 916,000 jobs in March, according to the Labor Department, and economists predict that the April jobs report, due Friday, will show employers added 1 million more.
Yet the shortage threatens to dampen what otherwise promises to be a strong post-pandemic economic recovery. Some companies give up work, like not bidding on a project, delivering parts more slowly, or keeping a section of the restaurant closed. This reduces the pace of expansion of the economy. Other companies are raising wages to attract employees, which could inflate prices for customers or reduce owners’ profit margins.


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