America is thirsty for labor

American companies face a severe shortage of human resources, due to the impact of Covid-19, the trend of early retirement and limited immigration workers.

Job announcements appear more and more across the United States, amid the unemployment rate in the country is 3.5%, the lowest level in history.

According to US government data, even as companies sped up their recruiting efforts, more than 10 million vacancies were left vacant in June, while less than 6 million people were looking for jobs.

“We have a lot of jobs, but we don’t have enough workers,” said the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC), which represents US companies.

Many workers have not returned to the job market since the first wave of Covid-19 devastated the US economy in early 2020. “There should be 3.4 million more workers in the job market. “, the USCC said, adding that the percentage of the working-age population who are currently employed or actively looking for work has fallen to 62.1%, from 63.4% before the pandemic.

The question is where did these people go? Many Americans simply decided to retire early after the pandemic.

“Another reason is that the US population continues to age,” Nick Bunker, a labor market expert at job site Indeed, told me. AFP.

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange, US, October 4, 2012.  Photo: AFP.

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange, US, October 4, 2012. Image: AFP.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at professional services firm KPMG, said that while the bulk of the “baby boomer” generation was born during the post-World War II boom, began to leave the labor market, the US continues to face a wave of early retirement since the Covid-19 pandemic occurred.

Millions of Americans have chosen to stop working due to health concerns and have accumulated enough wealth to leave the labor market, as stocks thrive and real estate prices soar.

“In the short term, the US is unlikely to bring the size of the workforce back to pre-pandemic levels because of the aging population,” Bunker said. “We also don’t have enough immigrants to replace retired baby boomers.”

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and tightening border control measures under former President Donald Trump have significantly reduced the number of foreigners immigrating to the US.

The USCC also highlighted the impact of generous support policies during the pandemic, which “strengthens people’s economic stability, allowing them to continue to stay out of the workforce”.

Recruitment sign in Londonderry town, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA, November 29, 2021.  Photo: AFP.

“Recruiting” sign in the town of Londonderry, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA, November 29, 2021. Image: AFP.

In 2020, the US recorded a large number of women leaving their jobs, partly because schools were closed for a long time because of the pandemic, causing many mothers to leave work to stay at home to care for their children. Meanwhile, the shortage of human resources also occurs at childcare facilities.

Ms. Swonk, an expert of KPMG, noted that the impact of Covid-19 on the labor market has not been properly assessed, causing many companies and businesses to short of employees. To attract workers back to work, many parties have been forced to increase wages and benefits.

Contrary to the predicament of employers, the US workforce is benefiting. Last year, millions of Americans quit their jobs, mainly in search of more attractive positions, with higher salaries and better working conditions.

This “great layoff” contributed to the rise in average hourly wages in the US. The median wage in the private sector is now $32.28 an hour, up 5.2 percent from last year.

Labor thirst in the US is expected to cool down in the near future, when the US Federal Reserve (Fed) continues to raise interest rates to curb inflation and the government ends generous subsidy programs. , forcing many Americans to return to work.

Duc Trung (Theo AFP)

Leave a Comment