My friends keep complaining about the shortage of staff, particulary in customer service industry jobs, but I didn't think that unemployment benefits were actually making up for lost income on that level. What is happening there?

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People got fed up with poverty wages and decided to flex their working class muscles. ✊

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You mean, people got fed up with employment and would rather stay home ✊

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The unemployment benefits vary by state but on average, combined federal + state averaged to almost $25 an hour which exceeded the wage of about half the people who lost their jobs during the pandemic. There other other factors (childcare) as well but to pretend that unemployment benefits didn’t drive this staff shortage is ridiculous

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Good on states like Florida for ending COVID benefits. I’m willing to bet that we’ll see the largest workforce participation and consequently largest increase in GDP output from those states.

Hopefully all the woke migrating Californians don’t push those policies out the back door!

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When you give up unemployment benefits you also have to factor in things like commute, childcare, etc. And with min wage minus all those expenses you actually end up with less than unemployment benefits.

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I think people who imagine this being some sort of unorganized workers revolt are correct to a certain extent. What they don’t realize is that this has a real possibility of speeding up automation as the marginal cost of labor approaches the marginal cost of capital.

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Mind blown in a bad way.

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I discussed this post with a friend and they pointed out something that I forgot. Many restaurants use a combination of full time and part time employees.

The part-time high school students segment appears to be avoiding work. The theory… their income is discretionary so they are deciding to not work. Earlier this might have related to the vaccine age but 12-years and up can get the vaccine now.

In 2019 around 19% of 16 to 19 year olds were employed while enrolled in school. This population segment is around 6.5% of the US population in 2019.

In raw numbers the population is approximately 21,370,000. 19% of ~21M is 4M.

The elderly part-time workers have also withdrawn from the labor market if they could.

This could be playing a role with the labor shortage and it has nothing to do with unemployment payments… but rather people who have make choices and investing their time differently.

Also there appears to be an increase (but we won’t get statistics until 2022) in multi-generations living together (grandparent, parents, children). If the grandparents don’t have to pay for housing, they may not need the part-time job.

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