What Is Causing The Worker Shortage?

Fed Chair Jay Powell attempted to answer some questions Wednesday regarding the worker shortage our country is facing. While this phenomenon isn’t recent, as it has been a hard hitter since the beginning of the pandemic, it is still threatening our society today. Powell said that there are around 3.5 million fewer workers now than was forecasted for this time. A large portion of that group, around 2 million people, is attributed to “excess retirements.”

Factors of the COVID-19 pandemic, like health concerns and inflation issues, have attributed to reasons many have retired earlier than expected without a new group at an age ready to replace as fast as necessary to keep numbers where they would need to be to escape shortage status. Without a new working-age population ready to take over and a lack of immigration, the country is where it is currently – with many worker shortages across the country pausing demand chains for a variety of goods and services.

Powell however mentioned that the Fed’s role in labor is to manage the demand rather than supply it. So he can only provide suggestions as to why the force is the way it is. His one suggestion, which he stated has stood for decades, is that Congress could potentially help population growth issues.

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