Labor Shortages Divide Washington and Wall Street

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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Labor Shortages Divide Washington and Wall Street” – below is their description.

The whole idea of a “labor shortage” is a tricky one. As the Fed has pointed out, there isn’t even one clear definition of what it means, much less how to measure it.

That might be one reason why it’s become such a controversial topic, with people on all sides of the economic spectrum taking a stance on how much damage it’s doing, what’s causing it or whether it’s even real.

The idea itself comes partly from business owners who say they’re struggling to fill open jobs.

That concern has been around for a long time – since well before the pandemic even started, and research shows that reports of labor shortages tend to pick up whenever there’s a recovery.

But there’s a deeper question about the economy, and it centers on two key data points.

One is U.S. employment, the total number of Americans who currently have jobs. Employment plunged during the pandemic and then surged back, but it’s still about 8 million below where it was just over a year ago.

The other number is job openings, which are now at record highs in the U.S. – some 9 million according to the Labor Department.

So with all these companies looking for new employees, it begs the question: Why aren’t people going back to work?

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now YouTube Channel

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