WASHINGTON D.C. - Amid the heating up of the economy emerging from the coronavirus crisis and a bevy of lockdown measures, the United States faces a dilemma.
Companies are encountering difficulties in addressing the problem of labor shortages, as consumption expenditure rose due to the increase in the rates of inoculations, the lifting of restrictions, and extensive stimulus assistance from the federal government.
Nonetheless, companies engaged in food service, construction and manufacturing sectors are finding it increasingly difficult to hire workers. The Labor Department and privately-run recruitment websites pointed out that vacancies in the United States during the spring season were higher, as compared to before the COVID-19 crisis struck in March last year, with fewer individuals in the workforce.
Studies bring to light reasons behind people choosing not to work now. Several million adults stated that they are not working over concerns of contracting or transmitting the coronavirus.
Also, many businesses have reopened before schools, leaving parents in a fix due to there being no child care. And many individuals are being paid more through unemployment compensation, compared to their earnings if they go back to work.
Recruitment, however, has been strong, in spite of a shortage of labor. The Labor Department reported a spurt in hiring in the United States, with the addition of 916,000 jobs in March, and economists forecast that the report of jobs for last month, to be made available on May 7, will show employers adding another one million jobs.
Nonetheless, the lack of available employees poses a looming threat that could hinder a strong post-COVID-19 recovery of the nation's economy.
Also, some businesses are opting to skip work by not bidding on projects, others are declining jobs because of the slowdown in the delivery of parts, or choosing to not open certain restaurant sectors, thereby lowering the speed of economic growth.
Some firms are increasing salaries to attract workers, which can result in customers having to face price hikes or owners having to do with smaller net margins.