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With 8 mil Americans out of work, why are more companies not filling jobs?

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By Ann Saphir and Lucia Mutikani

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As the economy revs up to meet the rapacious demand of tens of millions of newly vaccinated Americans, employers say they cannot fill their yawning need for labor.

What a conundrum! It is because companies refuse to raise wages. I thought the glorious invisible hand of the free market would automatically make companies raise wages to attract staff if there was a dearth of workers? Workers need money to survive as do companies in the pandemic.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Still, he's betting the upward wage pressure is temporary.

By September, he said, people will be willing to take "$15 or $16 because they are so desperate."

And many companies are relying on COVID desperation and lobbying Republican legislators to cut unemployment benefits to coerce people back to work with unlivable wages.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Current unemployment money is now at $300 per week. The extra money that was being paid by the states in addition to the federal money ended almost 8 months ago.

$300 a week is $7.50hr. If companies can't pay more than that, then they deserve to suffer. Many of those unfulfilled jobs are part time, so pay far less than $300 week.

Another reason is lack of daycare and schools still closed to physical attendance. Many parents cannot go back to work.

A third reason is lack of transportation. Public transport is still limited. Many people also lost their cars from lack of money. Outside of NYC, public transport in America is bad to non-existent in a good year. You must have transportation to work in America.

A fourth reason is vaccination. Only half of the nation has been fully vaccinated.

A fifth reason is illness. If they had the virus, it takes months to recover.

A sixth reason is not that many jobs were actually available.

As Dagon, said, many companies are complaining in order to have Republican legislators cut unemployment benefits to coerce people back to work with unlivable wages. That is the ONLY reason we are hearing complaints.

Nobody is living well on $7.50hr. Nobody. And every penny of that goes right back into the economy just to survive.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Free money from the government is a great way to to idle workers.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Large numbers of migrant workers have been repatriated, although the article appears to ignore this. Economies depend upon them and have done for decades. Having banished so many of them back to where they came from, employers are finding it difficult to find reliable people to do tough jobs for long hours. Also not mentioned, a chunk of citizens are not reliable, stable, physically strong or competent enough to be reliably employed in some sectors.

The nationalist dream of getting rid of foreigners via the Covid response and being self-sufficient is a fantasy.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Where I live in person school is optional and only half day. One group in the morning and another group in the afternoon with no overlap. None of the usual before and after school programs are running. Fridays are still distance learning only. It is tough to keep a job when you have a little kid, in our case a kindergartener, when I still have to remain at home for significant amounts of the day to provide necessary supervision of our little boy. Until the school situation is back to the pre pandemic situation there will remain a lot otherwise able to work adults who will have to stay home at least part of the day to provide for their kids.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Free money from the government is a great way to to idle workers.

Ever actually had to get by on unemployment. Unemployment benefits are nothing close to regular wages. It barely covers rent and food. If you have any kind of payments to make, or a mortgage, you will be getting visits from the repo man and other bill collectors. It's no vacation and it is definitely not better than working.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

ArtistAtLarge - You forgot perhaps the seventh and possibly the most important reason - health care; or rather, the lack of a national heath care system which makes even a $15 an hour wage unlivable. Folks need to recognize that the US willingly refuses to offer affordable health care to all citizens who pay their taxes, while competing against countries that do offer universal care. If a US employer does offer health care, it's often a High Deductible High Co-pay (HDHC) plan, in which the employee (with dependents) usually to pay on average premium of in excess of $15K plus the deductible of another $8K before the insurance pays anything. So most low-wage employees forsake health care, as they'd only clear about $8.2K if they were to use forced to use their full insurance and had to pay the deductible (i.e. ($15 an hour*2080 hours (i.e. 40 hours a week)) (-) $15K+$8K) = $8.2K)). Until health care becomes affordable in the US, even offering wages at $30 an hour isn't going to resolve anything.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

employers say they cannot fill their yawning need for labor.

Then they give an example of a restaurant job which of course most people don't aspire to. I am glad President Biden will keep the federal unemployment benefits until September or longer. In the past 50 years workers have been shafted and it doesn't bother me one bit if some of them get a bit of a relief with higher unemployment for a few months.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It’s very simple. You wouldn’t work a single minute for yourself, but instead for Biden, BLM, drug gangs , intruders from the southern border and last but not least your exploiting new boss. It would be idiotic to want or go for that and additionally risk infection during commuting or at the workplace.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

ArtistAtLarge - You forgot perhaps the seventh and possibly the most important reason - health care; or rather, the lack of a national heath care system which makes even a $15 an hour wage unlivable.

Thanks for the reminder Weasel. My fault for assuming that was common knowledge.

Medical care and insurance in America is a giant scam at every level.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My fingers are crossed there will well paid jobs all round

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Medical care and insurance in America is a giant scam at every level.

And if one is on unemployment one generally has no access to healthcare. Been there, done that. Even was fired from a job for an off the job injury that took longer than expected to heal. Nothing like losing your health coverage in the middle of treatment! Yep, unemployment is such a good deal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Many of those low-paying service sector jobs are not, unsurprisingly, all that appealing to local workers. And it is unlikely those kinds of jobs will ever, without government intervention, pay a living wage. If history is anything to go by they will eventually be filled by recent migrants. The previous administrations policies have put a dent in those numbers which is now more apparent especially in the service sector industry.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't buy it!! This is nothing but an excuse to continue to say Americans are out of work, on one hand you have the establishment providing long term unemployment compensation and you have the other side large corporations in restaurants and manufacturing complaining they don't have enough workers to take the "LOW PAYING" jobs that will not take care of Americans basic needs. This makes it all ripe to say open the borders and let illegal immigrants in to fulfill these low paying jobs which would sooner or later drive down American wages.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Here, in the US, we are paying people to stay home.

I'm not kidding.

Elect stupid people... and you get stupid policies.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Here, in the US, we are paying people to stay home.

I'm not kidding.

You may not be kidding but you are not seeing the whole picture. In my community in person school is optional. Those who do go back to in person school are only there half a day four days a week. There is one group that goes from early morning to about noon and second group that is in school in the afternoon. Only four hours for each group. Fridays are still 100% distance learning. The normal before and after school programs working people depend on are not yet being offered. Now tell me again how the government is "paying people to stay home" when the local schools are not yet fully open? Answer that please. Hiring day care to cover the time a child is normally in school or in a before or after school program is prohibitively expensive and especially so for low wage workers in the hospitality industry. Please take the ideological blinders off and see the world as it is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't buy it!! This is nothing but an excuse to continue to say Americans are out of work, on one hand you have the establishment providing long term unemployment compensation and you have the other side large corporations in restaurants and manufacturing complaining they don't have enough workers to take the "LOW PAYING" jobs that will not take care of Americans basic needs. This makes it all ripe to say open the borders and let illegal immigrants in to fulfill these low paying jobs which would sooner or later drive down American wages.

I think a lot of the former hospitality industry workers and food service workers, now that they have been out of that grind for a while and had some time to think, are probably never going back, especially not for the low wages and ridiculous hours they suffered with. One thing I could never understand or tolerate was the way work schedules changed every week. There are so many things the hospitality and food service industries could do to make their work more attractive that are not strictly pay raises. The working conditions and schedules are often horrible. Hard not to sympathize with someone for not wanting to go back to that grief.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And before I forgot, why is nobody asking these companies WHY they are short of employees? What did they do with their interest free, forgiveable loan from the federal government they were given, to... KEEP their employees?

Where did THAT money go? WHERE DID THAT MONEY GO?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you had any idea how many able-bodied young Americans sit around in their pajamas playing Xbox Live on the dole in their dole estate, you might be unpleasantly surprised.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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