Article 43

 

Monday, May 03, 2021

No There Isn’t A Worker Shortage

image long-tern unemployment March 2021

The Biden administration - and Biden - was one of the principal architects of the policies that fleeced the working class and made war on the poor - is nothing more than a brief coda in the decline and fall, set against which is China’s rising global economic and military clout.
- Imagining A Real American Rescue, March 2021

More Americans than ever (39%) now think that if people cant find work for an extended period of time, the government should do nothing at all to help them.
- Real Help, Real Indifference, and Real Disdain For The Long-Term Unemployed, 2012

As someone who is active in this industry I should say it was Tourism industry long term plan to use pandemic as an excuse to TERMINATE OLDER, unionized workers and once the pandemic is over hire younger workers with no benefits and lower wages. Many of our members lost their jobs permanently as hotels terminated them and will never be called back.  And hotels are already talking about more cuts in wages, pension etc…
- Anonymous

---

With five million long-term unemployed from the pandemic, Pinocchio’s nose couldn’t grow any longer if he tried to convince me employers can’t find workers.

A easier pill to swallow is employers love desperate workers.

A desperate worker won’t ask for a raise, won’t care about the boss not taking COVID precautions, willl be afraid to join a union, will come to work sick, etc.

Claiming specifically that workers don’t want to come back to work - tells me the days of STIMULUS CHECKS and enhanced unemployment may be over soon. Not because that’s the right thing to do - but because we live in a corporate controlled oligarchy, and the oligarchs want us go back to work - cheap - and shut up.

A few years ago I battled with the inner conflict of supporting a union strike, or scabbing to replace a striking worker - I CHOSE TO SCAB because being sodamn poor, and needed work so bad - does that you.

Other excuses for business owners crying about workers are maybe they used up their VISA QUOTAS for the year, or trying to GET THE GOVERNMENT TO FOOT THE BILL FOR TRAINING workers - things we’ve seen in the past like THIS and THIS.

They want cheap labor.  Why they’re not doing the usual of outsourcing and offshoring our jobs is the big question.  It’s not they lost any of their [power.

If the heavens are looking down fondly working America - now is the time for a general strike for a liveable minimum wage, affordable health care, and all the other things we’ve lost the past few decades.

---

By Laura Clawson
Daily Kos
April 30, 2021

Employers are outraged that workers won’t come crawling to work for peanuts in a pandemic

The big push is on to blame the American Rescue Plan for businesses not being able to find enough workers to fill their jobs. Business owners - restaurant owners in particular - are lining up to tell reporters how those darn lazy workers would rather stay home and collect unemployment than go back to work. Rarely do these stories of employer pain ask questions like, say, how much pay they’re offering or how careful they’re being with their workers health in the midst of the pandemic. Stories asking people why they’re hesitating to go back to work are mysteriously not so common.

"People felt abused in the beginning stages of opening back up,” a Washington, D.C., server and bartender TOLD WASHINGTON CITY PAPER in one of the few stories that did consider the workers side. It shook people enough to say, “I don’t think I want to get back into this. If you’re not going to follow protocols and you’re not going to have my back if guests get out of line, what’s the point?

A woman who bartends as second job in Florida EXPLAINED TO THE SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL that she’d seen ‘a lot of people leaving the restaurant industry for other careers partially due to COVID and the hours changing and not making consistent money.” The people she was talking about had gone into fields like nursing and accounting - but business owners looking for applicants aren’t talking about the people who went elsewhere, they’re talking like everyone is just sitting home.

And about that. People still have kids at home they’re responsible for taking care of, as even THIS SERIES OF EMPLOYER SOB STORIES from The Wall Street Journal acknowledges. They’re still afraid of contracting COVID-19, because, again, many have experienced bosses who will put their health at risk.

Some of those bosses are the very same ones who are featured in articles wailing about how difficult it is to hire people, as Anne Helen Petersen found: “In Waterville, Ohio, for instance, there’s this sad, sad song about the difficulties finding workers at Dale’s Bar & Grillwhich somehow fails to mention that the owner is a Covid hoaxer (he believes that doctors have been falsely labeling deaths as covid-related) and has brazenly violated masking rules, and did not require employees to wear masks.”

FOX NEWS BUSINESS interviewed a California restaurant owner who feels aggrieved that his former employees don’t want to come back after “He told them he would only allow them to come back and work full time or the same shift they had before.” That restaurateur was PREVIOUSLY SEEN explaining to the Los Angeles Times why he was defying a shutdown order. Now, with his workers, he’s all” It’s my way or the highway,” and when they choose the highway, he whines about it. I dunno, maybe give people a little flexibility and respect to accommodate their changed lives after 13 months of historic pandemic.

And, yes, there’s a money issue. “Even for unskilled positions” one of the employers who talked to The Wall Street Journal “is offering several dollars over minimum wage.” What largesse! Except hes not getting many takers so, you know, maybe offer more. Even with the current $300 a week federal supplement to unemployment insurance, 58% of people would earn as much or more at their previous jobs, and frankly, that says more about the jobs than about the people.

FLORIDA provides another dispatch from the “struggling employers” genre, and a high-profile politician - Sen. Marco Rubio - tweeting “Florida small business owners are all telling me the same thing, they can’t find people to fill available jobs. You can come up with all kinds of reasons & wave around all the Ivy League studies you want, but what does common sense tell you is the reason?”

What does common sense tell me is the reason, Marco? Well, the NOTORIOUS for DELAYS IN UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. Most people are probably getting significantly less, and a LIVING WAGE for a single person with no children is $14.82 an hour in Florida. So I’m thinking that Florida employers need to offer higher pay.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned about American capitalism,” Anne Helen Petersen writes, “it’s the skill and swiftness with which it translates resistance into personal, moral failure - which is precisely what so many of these business owners and politicians have done. Exactly. Workers are saying “enough.” If bosses won’t pay a living wage and respect their workers health and safety, people who’ve gutted it out through a year of terror and watching their loved ones get sick and die may not be so willing to come crawling. Thats not a personal failing, and talking like it is shows how bad your values are. Not that it was in any doubt when it came to, say, Marco Rubio.

SOURCE

---

U.S. Labor Shortage? Unlikely. Here’s Why

By Heidi Shierholz
The Commons
May 4, 2021

There are lots of anecdotal reports swirling around about employers who can’t find workers. Just search “worker shortages” online and a seemingly endless list of stories pops up, so it’s easy to assume there’s an alarming lack of people to fill jobs. But a closer look reveals there may be a lot less to this than meets the eye.

First, the backdrop. In good times and bad, there is always a chorus of employers who claim they can’t find the employees they need. Sometimes that chorus is louder, sometimes softer, but its always there. One reason is that in a system as large and complex as the U.S. labor market there will always be pockets of bona fide labor shortages at any given time. But a more common reason is employers simply don’t want to raise wages high enough to attract workers. Employers post their too-low wages, can’t find workers to fill jobs at that pay level, and claim they’re facing a labor shortage. Given the ubiquity of this dynamic, I often suggest that whenever anyone says, I can’t find the workers I need, she should really add, “at the wages I want to pay.”

Furthermore, a job opening when the labor market is weak often does not mean the same thing as a job opening when the labor market is strong. There is a wide range of “recruitment intensity” that an employer can apply to an open position. For example, if employers are trying hard to fill an opening, they will increase the compensation package and perhaps scale back the required qualifications. Conversely, if employers are not trying very hard, they may offer a meager compensation package and hike up the required qualifications. Perhaps unsurprisingly, RESEARCH SHOWS that recruitment intensity is cyclical. It tends to be stronger when the labor market is strong, and weaker when the labor market is weak. This means that when a job opening goes unfilled when the labor market is weak, as it is today, employers are even more likely than in normal times to be holding out for an overly qualified candidate at a very cheap price.

This points to the fact that the footprint of a bona fide labor shortage is rising wages. Employers who truly face shortages of suitable, interested workers will respond by bidding up wages to attract those workers, and employers whose workers are being poached will raise wages to retain their workers, and so on. When you don’t see wages growing to reflect that dynamic, you can be fairly certain that labor shortages, though possibly happening in some places, are not a driving feature of the labor market.

And right now, wages are not growing at a rapid pace. While there are issues with measuring wage growth due to the unprecedented job losses of the pandemic, wage series that account for these issues are NOT SHOWING an increase in wage growth. Unsurprisingly, at a RECENT PRESS CONFERENCE, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell dismissed anecdotal claims of labor market shortages, saying, We don’t see wages moving up yet. And presumably we would see that in a really tight labor market.

Further, when restaurant owners can’t find workers to fill openings at wages that aren’t meaningfully higher than they were before the pandemic - even though the jobs are inherently more stressful and potentially dangerous because workers now have to deal with anti-maskers and ongoing health concerns - that’s not a labor shortage, that’s the market functioning. The wages for a harder, riskier job should be higher.

Another piece of evidence against widespread labor shortages is the fact that the labor market added more than 900,000 JOBS in March, the seventh highest percent increase in jobs in the last half century. It is difficult to imagine that labor shortages were creating a large impediment to hiring when hiring was happening at such a scale. Further, despite many anecdotes of restaurants in particular not being able to find workers, the labor market added 280,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector in March, the sixth highest percent increase in the last half century, even though AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS for nonsupervisory workers in that sector equate to annual earnings of just $19,651. With these kinds of numbers it is difficult to take the claims of widespread shortages very seriously.

And there are far more unemployed people than available jobs in the current labor market. In the latest data on job openings, there were nearly 40% more unemployed workers than job openings overall, and more than 80% more unemployed workers than job openings in the leisure and hospitality sector.

While there are certainly fewer people looking for jobs now than there would be if Covid weren’t a factor, many people are out of the labor market because of Covid-related care responsibilities or health concerns - without enough job openings to even come close to providing work for all job seekers, it again stretches the imagination to suggest that labor shortages are a core dynamic in the labor market.

One question people raise is whether the expanded pandemic unemployment benefits keep workers from taking jobs. Right now, for example, unemployed workers who receive unemployment insurance benefits get not just the (very meager) level of benefits they would get under normal benefits formulas, but an additional $300 a week. That means that some very low-wage workers - like many restaurant workers - may receive more in unemployment benefits than they would at a job. Is this making jobs hard to fill? There was a lot of fuss about this same question a year ago, when workers were getting a $600 additional benefit a week. There were SEVERAL RIGEROUS PAPERS that looked at this question, and they all found extremely limited labor supply effects of that additional weekly benefit. If the $600 a week wasn’t keeping people from taking jobs then, it’s hard to imagine that a benefit half that large is having that effect now.

I cut my labor-market-monitoring teeth during the Great Recession, and it was a formative experience. In the aftermath of that recession, there were nearly constant tales of employers who couldn’t find workers. The stories at that time about LABOR SHORTAGES IN CONSTRUCTION, when the unemployment rate in construction was still close to 13%, have a similar feel as claims today of labor shortages in restaurants, considering that the unemployment rate in leisure and hospitality is CURRENTLY 13%. The Great Recession was caused by the bursting of a giant housing bubble that threw many construction workers out of work, and the Covid recession was caused by a public health crisis that shuttered many restaurants.

In both cases, counterintuitive reports about employers not able to find the workers they need really captured the public’s imagination. But a look under the hood reveals that beyond the anecdotes there is little evidence of a real shortage.

SOURCE

---

We Regret to Inform You That Workers Are Not Suddenly Winning
Wages and job openings are up. Heres why they won’t stay that way.

By Timothy Noah
The New Republic
June 11, 2021

How do you like the Great American Labor Shortage so far? Wages are rising faster than they have in nearly 40 years, REPORTS BUSINESS INSIDER, excluding a freakish momentary spike last year when Covid-19 lockdowns began. The number of JOB OPENNGS (9.3 million) and the number of people quitting their jobs (4 million, or 2.7 percent) are higher than weve seen in 20 years. Prices, meanwhile, are UP 5 PERCENT over May 2020, the fastest rise in the Consumer Price Index in 13 years. When you exclude volatile food and energy prices, The New York Times REPORTS, prices are rising faster than they have in almost 30 years.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page, from which I have borrowed the phrase GREAT AMERICAN LABOR SHORTAGE, is practically suicidal, while The New York Times is heralding an imminent dictatorship of the proletariat. WORKERS ARE GAINING LEVERAGE OVER EMPLOYERS RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES was the headline last week on the Times’ front page. The papers Neil Irwin conceded that the jump in wages and job vacancies “reflects a strange moment” in which the economy is reopening faster than workers are returning to work. But “the shift builds on changes already underway in the tight labor market preceding the pandemic,” as demographic trends shrank the pool of available workers. Karen Fichuk, chief executive of the staffing company Randstad North America, told Irwin that “we’re witnessing a historic moment for the American labor force.”

We are not witnessing a historic moment for the American labor force. We aren’t even witnessing a genuine labor shortage like the one we saw at the peak of the tech boom during the late 1990s. WeҒre seeing a momentary respite from the ghastly long-term shift of national income from labor to capital that - ACCORING to those Bolsheviks at McKinsey and Co. has been increasing especially fast since 2000.

Nothing that happens during a nationwide pandemic, even as its winding down, follows normal rules. Economic recovery from the Covid lockdown will taper off next year as it becomes a distant memory. (I don’t intend to remember very much about this pandemic; do you?) The current mismatch between job openings and available workers will likely end sooner than that. Indeed, if enhanced unemployment insurance benefits are finally doing what Republicans claimed, incorrectly, they were doing all along - keeping unemployed workers from returning to work - then come fall, when they expire, you may be reading Page One stories about a labor surplus killing off wage growth.

The evidence throughout the pandemic has shown that enhanced unemployment benefits - a $600 add-on to weekly benefits, followed by six months of no add-on, followed by a $300 add-on that expires in early September - did not depress employment to any significant degree. A much-cited UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO STUDY concluded that the small disincentive created by the U.I. benefit expansion was outweighed by the economic stimulus created by the spending of that benefit, creating a net increase in employment. AS RECENTLY AS MAY 29, a paper by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco said the disincentive effect of the $600 and $300 add-ons was “small.”

There’s still no empirical evidence that these circumstances have changed. But increasingly, economists think the $300 work disincentive has lately become significant. Too many employers are going begging right now, and alternative explanations are in short supply.

For a long time it seemed likely that remote or hybrid schooling for young children was keeping mothers from returning to work, but a persuasive May study by Harvard’s Jason Furman and Wilson Powell III, and the University of Maryland’s Melissa Kearney, SAID that wasnt the case. Rather, they found that during the pandemic, parents of young children left the workforce at about the same rate as other groups. Georgetown economist Harry Holzer points out that the study didn’t look at workers caring for elderly parents; still, that would be a much smaller group.

It’s very likely that some significant proportion of the unemployed aren’t returning to work because it still doesn’t feel safe. A May survey sponsored by the National Retail Federation FOUND 35 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t feel comfortable returning to work unless they knew their co-workers were vaccinated. A CENSUS SURVEY TAKEN IN MARCH showed that the number of people not working for fear of contracting Covid-19, though declining, was a still significant 4.2 million.

Yet the Biden administration announced this week that, with the exception of hospitals, clinics, and doctors offices, workplaces will not have to follow the emergency temporary Covid standard that then-candidate Joe Biden excoriated Donald Trump for not imposing. It’ll be up to employers to compel returning workers to get vaccinated and/or wear masks. And although an APRIL SURVEY by the Rockefeller Foundation found that 60 percent of employers planned to require returning workers to show proof of vaccination, that means 40 percent of employers will not. The employers that don’t will likely be mostly in low-wage industries, where the perceived labor shortage is concentrated.

Josh Bivens of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute has floated an INTERESTING HYPOTHESIS that wages might not be accelerating as quickly as we think. May’s wage growth was driven by the leisure and hospitality sector, which consists mostly of workers at restaurants that customers are only just starting to patronize again. What if that wage surge, Bivens posits, is really a tip surge? This sector reported a huge decline in wages in March and April 2020 as restaurants were shutting down, even as other sectors were experiencing that freakish momentary wage spike at the start of the pandemic.

What’s different about restaurants? Well, Bivens observes, restaurant workers get tips, and when customers disappear, tips disappear. Now customers are coming back, along with tips.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what explanation you favor for the sudden mismatch between available jobs and willing workers, or for the recent spike in wages. The conditions that created these things are temporary. Writing in The New York Times, Dan Alpert, managing partner at Westwood Capital and adjunct professor at Cornell Law School, EXPRESSES WORRY not about a labor shortage but about an imminent labor surplus, particularly in low-wage jobs. As unemployment benefits dry up, Alpert said, there’s a decent chance “there won’t be enough jobs for the people eventually looking for work because so many businesses closed during the pandemic” (especially the SMALL ONES where low-wage workers typically work).

As for wages, yes, the aging of America is shrinking the pool of available workers. It remains to be seen whether Trumpian opposition to immigration will continue to dominate the GOP. But I have a hard time imagining Republican legislators will keep the spigot closed if wage pressures cause employers to howl in pain.

I doubt wage pressures will rise even that high. That’s because of a largely overlooked factor: the rise of the CRAP JOB. Even as the U.S. worker pool shrinks, the quality of available jobs will likely diminish, as it has now for decades. Alpert helped create a very useful economic indicator called the JOB QUALITY INDEX to trace the displacement over time of good jobs by crap jobs (as measured by pay). In effect, Alpert argues, crap jobs are becoming the norm. Policymakers and corporations (over whom banks hold the whip hand far more than during most of the twentieth century) prefer it that way.

Why have wages stagnated during the past four decades? The EPIs Bivens and Lawrence Mishel argued last month that the blame rests with high interest rates, proliferating trade deals, ever-more-brazen wage theft (i.e., employers failure to pay minimum wage or overtime), an eroding legal minimum wage, diminishing legal overtime eligibility, judicial decisions restricting the ability of workers to sue their employers, deregulation, privatization, economic concentration, a fissuring workforce (meaning a trend toward outsourcing labor within the U.S. to smaller, less scrupulous companies), and declining union power. These were policies consciously pursued by government at all levels at the behest of the business lobby.

I’m inclined to believe that the decline of union power - that is, the shrinking proportion of private-sector workers who belong to unions, amid steep government barriers to union organizing - is the linchpin. Ultimately, it all comes down to the exercise of power, and workers just don’t have any. That won’t change until the labor movement is rebuilt. The House-passed Protecting the Right to Organize Act would be a good start, but nobody expects it to pass anytime soon. It is therefore a childish fantasy to presume the American worker is gaining any real leverage over employers. Management has little to fear.

Timothy Noah is the author of The Great Divergence: Americas Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It.

SOURCE

---

Job searches haven’t jumped in states canceling unemployment benefits early

By Denitsa Tsekova
Yahoo Money
June 22, 2021

Job seekers in the 10 states that canceled federal unemployment programs early haven’t accelerated their online searches for new jobs, DATA from Indeed found.

In fact, job searches in those states are below late April levels and lower than the volume in states that aren’t opting out of the programs.

“We aren’t seeing a jump in search activity right around the time that those benefits ended,” Jed Kolko, Indeed’s chief economist, told Yahoo Money. “That search activity in those states that have already opted out the enhanced federal UI benefits is a little bit below the national trend.”

Twenty-six states - all but one with GOP governors - eliminated or plan to eliminate the unemployment programs this month or in early July, including the popular $300 weekly bonus.

Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, and Missouri canceled the programs on June 12, the earliest states to do so. Job search activity ticked higher after the cancellation, but is down 4% from the baseline national job search level in late April.

Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Wyoming ended the programs on June 19. Similarly, job search activity there also edged higher before the expiration, but remains 1% lower than the baseline national job search level in late April.

Only 19.6% of unemployed workers were on temporary layoff unlike early in the pandemic - meaning fewer workers are being recalled and more are looking for new jobs instead.

Other factors that are probably holding people back from searching’

Twenty of the 26 states have halted or intend to halt the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs. PUA provides benefits to workers like contractors who dont otherwise qualify for regular unemployment insurance. PEUC provides additional weeks of benefits.

In those 26 states, more than 4 million workers will see their benefits slashed by at least $1,200 a month in June or early July, losing a total of $22.1 billion in benefits, according to estimates by the Century Foundation.

Several studies have found that the extra pandemic-era unemployment benefits largely don’t keep workers from accepting new jobs - most recently a PAPER by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. If seven out of 28 unemployed workers received job offers they would normally accept, only one declined because of the extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits, the paper found.

“There are other factors that are probably holding people back from searching like continued concern about the virus,” Kolko said. “Some people might be waiting until later in the summer when schools are closer to opening and when people get a chance to take some time off.”

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 05/03/21 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home
Page 1 of 1 pages

Statistics

Total page hits 10791694
Page rendered in 4.4397 seconds
41 queries executed
Debug mode is off
Total Entries: 3353
Total Comments: 338
Most Recent Entry: 09/10/2021 12:39 pm
Most Recent Comment on: 02/13/2021 10:19 am
Total Logged in members: 0
Total guests: 19
Total anonymous users: 0
The most visitors ever was 172 on 12/25/2019 07:40 am


Email Us

Home

Members:
Login | Register
Resumes | Members

In memory of the layed off workers of AT&T

Today's Diversion

I don't know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. - Albert Einstein

Search


Advanced Search

Sections

Calendar

September 2021
S M T W T F S
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    

Must Read

Most recent entries

RSS Feeds

Today's News

ARS Technica

External Links

Elvis Picks

BLS and FRED Pages

Favorites

All Posts

Archives

RSS


Creative Commons License


Support Bloggers' Rights