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US Adds 600,000 Jobs But Labor Shortages Continue

Anyone that has any interest in business circles is aware that the US is currently suffering massive labor shortages. It’s been one of the most hotly debated topics in the past few months as far as economics and finance go. It seems as if the shortages are mostly impacting the service industry, as employers and workers are in a tug-of-war. On one side, employers seem to think people are too lazy to work or too entitled. As for potential employees, they request better working conditions as inflation and housing costs soar against stagnating wages.

Last year, the labor force fell to a 47-year low. Since then, it’s been struggling to recover, with many workplaces reporting worker shortages. Many business owners, both large and small, have reported a lack of employees as a primary concern. And while the US adds between 500,000 and 600,000 jobs every month, the situation isn’t getting much better. Even at that pace, it’ll take the job stats a year and a half to get back to where they were pre-pandemic.

And even if the stats look encouraging, they are deceptively positive. While unemployment is down, it doesn’t count people that have dropped from the workforce entirely. That portion of the population seems to be growing as costs of living rapidly outpace wages. That’s especially true for jobs that bring near minimum wage level earnings. The sentiment is that you shouldn’t work at all unless you can earn enough to live.

So while the job data we get on a biweekly basis is regularly optimistic, labor shortages will continue pressing down on the economy. As it stands, workplace condition improvements seem the most likely way of the issue getting resolved. However, the stubbornness and economic interest of employers makes the situation and its resolution much more complex.

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