Monday, December 20, 2021

Maybe It’s Time To Stop Blaming Workers For Not Being At Work

It’s become popular—even knee-jerk—to write off the difficulty businesses face finding workers as people staying at home, probably sitting around in their underwear, enjoying the munificent benefits unemployment brings. The latest jobless claims numbers have provided room to again bring up the trope.

 Maybe the labor “shortage” is, in reality, a job “overage.” More businesses, more expansion, more need of workers, and there aren’t enough bodies to go around. Perhaps some are worried about the Delta variant and don’t want to be exposed in those essential jobs that have retired the literal additional hazard pay they had previously offered. Or perhaps the workers, too, are suffering from people who can’t do things for them. There is a childcare worker shortage, so what happens if you don’t have someone to watch the kids so you can go to work? And baby boomers keep retiring as they grow older, with overall slowing population growth and our inability to come to terms with rational immigration policy.

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