Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » The debate continues over the labor force participation rate
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
The debate continues over the labor force participation rate

Friday, Oct 22, 2021

* Yahoo Finance

In September, the labor force participation rate was 61.6 percent, down from 63.3 percent in February 2020, pre-COVID-19, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“That’s a dip of about 4 million people in the labor force,” Johnson said.

In September, Illinois’ labor force participation rate was 62.8 percent, down from 63.7 percent in February 2020.

* AP

Earlier this year, an insistent cry arose from business leaders and Republican governors: Cut off a $300-a-week federal supplement for unemployed Americans. Many people, they argued, would then come off the sidelines and take the millions of jobs that employers were desperate to fill.

Yet three months after half the states began ending that federal payment, there’s been no significant influx of job seekers. […]

An analysis of state-by-state data by The Associated Press found that workforces in the 25 states that maintained the $300 payment actually grew slightly more from May through September, according to data released Friday, than they did in the 25 states that cut off the payment early, most of them in June. The $300-a-week federal check, on top of regular state jobless aid, meant that many of the unemployed received more in benefits than they earned at their old jobs. […]

Nationally, the proportion of women who were either working or looking for work in September fell for a second straight month, evidence that many parents — mostly mothers — are still unable to manage their childcare duties to return to work. Staffing at childcare centers has fallen, reducing the care that is available. And while schools have reopened for in-person learning, frequent closings because of COVID outbreaks have been disruptive for some working parents.

* NY Times

Conservatives have blamed generous unemployment benefits for keeping people at home, but evidence from states that ended the payments early suggests that any impact was small. Progressives say companies could find workers if they paid more, but the shortages aren’t limited to low-wage industries.

Instead, economists point to a complex, overlapping web of factors, many of which could be slow to reverse.

The health crisis is still making it hard or dangerous for some people to work, while savings built up during the pandemic have made it easier for others to turn down jobs they do not want. Psychology may also play a role: Surveys suggest that the pandemic led many to rethink their priorities, while the glut of open jobs — more than 10 million in August — may be motivating some to hold out for a better offer.

The net result is that, arguably for the first time in decades, workers up and down the income ladder have leverage. And they are using it to demand not just higher pay but also flexible hours, more generous benefits and better working conditions. A record 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August, in some cases midshift to take a better-paying position down the street.

* CNBC

Economists say changing demographics like ageing and retiring workers are a factor behind the shortages, as well as border controls and immigration limits, and demands for better pay and flexible working arrangements. […]

“We believe there is a more permanent loss of workers driven by a large number of older workers taking early retirement. The thought of returning to the office and the daily commute may seem unpalatable for many people and with surging equity markets having boosted 401k pension plans, early retirement may seem a very attractive option,” [ING economists Carsten Brzeski, James Knightley, Bert Colijn and James Smith] noted, adding that border closures will have curbed immigration and slower birth rates mean fewer young workers are now entering the workforce.

* Business Insider

Joey Holz recalled first hearing complaints about a labor shortage last year when he called to donate convalescent plasma at a clinic near Fort Myers, Florida.

“The guy went on this rant about how he can’t find help and he can’t keep anybody in his medical facility because they all quit over the stimulus checks,” Holz told Insider. “And I’m like, ‘Your medical professionals quit over $1,200 checks? That’s weird.’”

Over the next several months, the 37-year-old watched as a growing chorus of businesses said they couldn’t find anyone to hire because of government stimulus money. It was so ubiquitous that he joined a “No one wants to work” Facebook group, where users made memes deriding frustrated employers. […]

Two weeks and 28 applications later, he had just nine email responses, one follow-up phone call, and one interview with a construction company that advertised a full-time job focused on site cleanup paying $10 an hour.

But Holz said the construction company instead tried to offer Florida’s minimum wage of $8.65 to start, even though the wage was scheduled to increase to $10 an hour on September 30. He added that it wanted full-time availability, while scheduling only part time until Holz gained seniority.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

12 Comments
  1. - Chicagonk - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:18 pm:

    Keep attracting immigrants and make it easy for undocumented workers to get jobs (as long as they are getting paid minimum wage or above and not being exploited).


  2. - Ares - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:20 pm:

    The answer will depend on the company and the industry, but is the “shortage” one of genuine lack of applicants for a job, or 3 applicants / 1 job opening v 30 applicants / 1 job opening? Years of underinvestment by govt in training / education, in favor of headline-grabbing tax incentives and corporate-relocation beauty contests, have also contributed.


  3. - Mayo sandwich - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:23 pm:

    This might be interesting: https://www.businessinsider.com/worker-applied-to-60-jobs-got-one-interview-labor-shortage-2021-10


  4. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:25 pm:

    ===This might be interesting===

    Yeah. It’s actually IN THE POST. For crying out loud, read before commenting. Sheesh.


  5. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:26 pm:

    A devastating disease wiping out hundreds of thousands and debilitating others, yet hardly mentioned.


  6. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:27 pm:

    The time of working crummy jobs for crumbs is over.


  7. - Lynn S. - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:39 pm:

    Sure sounds like Mr. Holz is getting schooled by karma.

    Gotta wonder if he’s rethinking his Facebook groups and their posts.


  8. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 3:00 pm:

    It’s not really a debate anymore, is it? Seems clear that the side arguing that the extra unemployment benefits made people too lazy to go back to work were quite wrong.

    And yet…


  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 3:05 pm:

    There is this feeling that the pent up anger towards immigrants or “libs” or “young” or whatever group is threatening the “hardworking” angry white Republicans who are anti-union, anti-raising the minimum wage, and “people are lucky to have jobs” folks looking to point anger… somewhere.

    If we take away and purposely hurt people to force them to work, that’s good for America… and yet… cutting benefits…


  10. - Lt Guv - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 3:15 pm:

    == It’s not really a debate anymore, is it? Seems clear that the side arguing that the extra unemployment benefits made people too lazy to go back to work were quite wrong.

    And yet… ==

    It’s all their simple minds can handle. Depth and nuance is not their thing.


  11. - KSDinCU - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 4:07 pm:

    Lynn, I think the part about the Facebook group is a red herring. From the NYT article:

    “Some businesses seem determined to wait them out. Wages have risen, but many employers appear reluctant to make other changes to attract workers, like flexible schedules and better benefits. That may be partly because, for all their complaints about a labor shortage, many companies are finding that they can get by with fewer workers, in some instances by asking customers to accept long waits or reduced service.”


  12. - Mayo sandwich - Friday, Oct 29, 21 @ 10:36 am:

    Apologies.
    Here is a different BI article along the same veins. https://www.businessinsider.com/software-engineer-job-hunt-357-rejections-talent-labor-shortage-tech-2021-10


TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Chicago man arrested by feds in January 6 probe had apparent ties to Bailey campaign
* Flash Index rises slightly
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser list
* The bridge that almost wasn't
* News from the campaign front
* The numbers are pretty clear, so don't believe 14-3 is a safe bet
* It's just a bill
* Maybe things really are changing
* Open thread
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller