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Where has the labor force gone?

MRBXXXFVVS1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
1,297
With widespread labor shortages, where has the labor force gone? I know some folks have had to stay home to take care of children, others retired early. But for the vast majority, where did they go? Will they come back once unemployment and eviction moratoriums end?
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
47,514
What’s happening in conjunction with all the reasons you listed is a mismatch.

One in skill set in what employees need and what skills employees have.
Two geographically. Where the jobs are vs where people live. Lastly, perhaps an expectation mismatch.

 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
12,022
I retired.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
8,717
I was only back in the rat race for two months before the pandemic came along and shut us down. Then the kids were remote learning from March 2020 until June. Kids were home all summer and then remote learning from September until June.

Now it looks like I will be homeschooling our youngest so it doesn’t look like I’ll be working for a while.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
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The companies that are offering full time work with benefits even if the wages are not super high are getting a ton of applications for every job opening here.
Place offering even 15 an hour part time with no benefits are getting sworn at and told where to shove it.
People are tired of working crap jobs and covid has shown them that working 2-4 part time jobs to make ends meet has no future.
Look behind the unemployment numbers, what is actually being offered? Mostly crap jobs.
If they want workers they are going to have to take some of the crap out of them. Full time and benefits is a good start.

Edit: I hope I caught all the swear words if not im sorry.
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
10,558
The companies that are offering full time work with benefits even if the wages are not super high are getting a ton of applications for every job opening here.
Place offering even 15 an hour part time with no benefits are getting sworn at and told where to shove it.
People are tired of working crap jobs and covid has shown them that working 2-4 part time jobs to make ends meet has no future.
Look behind the unemployment numbers, what is actually being offered? Mostly crap jobs.
If they want workers they are going to have to take some of the crap out of them. Full time and benefits is a good start.

Edit: I hope I caught all the swear words if not im sorry.

I haven’t done any research and don’t have any studies to cite, but...

this.

Many American businesses have been treating their workers as an expendable, easily replaceable commodity for years. They use just-in-time scheduling for their employees the same way they use just-in-time delivery for other inputs. Lower level workers in the fast food industry for example generally do not have the luxury of having the same work schedule from one week to the next, making it difficult to plan for classes, a second job, or child care. Other businesses have made an art of replacing full-time employees, who might require - shock - benefits such as health care or paid time off, with contract employees.

I have to cheer when I see some of the larger corporations (finally) sweetening the pot to hold on to their employees. And I do know that it isn’t just the big corporate employers who are caught in the current labor crunch; many small businesses are being hurt as well. But I have to applaud when I see employers making wage snd benefits concessions to attract and keep employees in this new environment.
 
Q

Queenie60

Guest
As an employer who is willing to pay well above average. Bottom line - The State of California is paying them $400 per week and the Federal Government is paying them an additional $300 per week, plus the rental moratorium in California - due to COVID, they are not required to pay their rent despite the additional income and landlords are not allowed to evict them, mind you - us landlords must pay our maintenance, mortgage, utilities and employees to help run the properties. In summary, don't be so harsh towards the employers of small businesses, the government is supplying them with enough to get by and it appears that's enough for them - no need to work. In my opinion, this is what has happened to the labor force.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Apr 3, 2004
Messages
33,733
As an employer who is willing to pay well above average. Bottom line - The State of California is paying them $400 per week and the Federal Government is paying them an additional $300 per week, plus the rental moratorium in California - due to COVID, they are not required to pay their rent despite the additional income and landlords are not allowed to evict them,
Why should I go back to work ? when I can receive more money by staying home drinking beer all day long.
 

Asscherhalo_lover

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Aug 16, 2007
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5,159
Most of the people I know who are home are there because of childcare. Prices have gone up A LOT because of COVID restrictions, many don't get paid enough for it to be worth it to work. My mother watches my kids, if she couldn't DH would quit his job and stay home with them. What his company pays isn't worth it if we had to pay for childcare.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
8,717
Yes, I would like to point out that when I was on unemployment it was the duration of the time I had to sit with our six year old son on Zoom. Five days a week from 9-3, so that was basically my job.

I don’t drink beer but it probably would have been frowned upon to have a glass of wine on a Zoom meeting with first graders :lol:
 

ItsMainelyYou

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
1,908
As usual, absurd faux news talking points without evidence. The idea that folks are just sitting at home choosing not to work bc the govt pays them enough is absurd.

It's also a lie.
80% of people who receive benefits work full time. Every state has work requirements and all welfare is finite. I learned all of this working for a local branch of The United Way during my senior/gap year before college. It was eye opening. We're the only first world where our largest employers hand out welfare information in their employment package upon hiring- and give tips on how to sign up. I feel absolutely no sympathy for corporate America, and very little for small business.
If you can't pay living minimum wage- then you don't have a viable business model.
Talk about entitlement.
We are the only first world that shows such open contempt of it's people and such slavish subservience to it's corporate 'job creators' who historical evidence shows, create no jobs.

“no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By ‘business’ I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level — I mean the wages of decent living,”.
~President Franklin D Roosevelt, 1933

PAY THEM and offer benefits on par with EVERY other first world.

This parallels the Black Plague somewhat in a catastrophic event causing people to stop and take stock of their worth/ and know their power. It's about time.
*This is what essentially ended feudalism in Europe. Though even in medieval Europe they had more time off.
Yeah, for real, they did.

Also nobody should have to defend what they had to do to survive a pandemic! Just stop! You didn't do anything wrong.
Raising/educating children is not wrong.
Taking care of your own or someone else's health is not wrong.
Wanting a living wage so you and yours don't starve and have basic necessities like healthcare is not wrong.
Stop apologizing. 'Bootstraps' mentality is bull****
That is something we've been conditioned to do.
It's also one of the greatest indicators of America's weakness.
A strong country country takes care of it's people as a point of pride.
 
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lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
14,084
It's also a lie.
80% of people who receive benefits work full time. Every state has work requirements and all welfare is finite. I learned all of this working for a local branch of The United Way during my senior/gap year before college. It was eye opening. We're the only first world where our largest employers hand out welfare information in their employment package upon hiring- and give tips on how to sign up. I feel absolutely no sympathy for corporate America, and very little for small business.
If you can't pay living minimum wage- then you don't have a viable business model.
Talk about entitlement.
We are the only first world that shows such open contempt of it's people and such slavish subservience to it's corporate 'job creators' who historical evidence shows, create no jobs.

“no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By ‘business’ I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level — I mean the wages of decent living,”.
~President Franklin D Roosevelt, 1933

PAY THEM and offer benefits on par with EVERY other first world.

This parallels the Black Plague somewhat in a catastrophic event causing people to stop and take stock of their worth/ and know their power. It's about time.
*This is what essentially ended feudalism in Europe. Though even in medieval Europe they had more time off. Yeah, for real, they did.

Exactly. It's a stupid talking point that is provably false.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
8,717
Just to be clear, I’m not apologetic about having to be on unemployment. There is just this ignorant stigma about people who collect, not everyone has a wonderful safety net of family to fall back on.
 

MrsBlue

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 30, 2013
Messages
492
I've seen job listings in my field listing salaries about 20% under pre-pandemic levels.

That's only viable if the position is wfh or hybrid. Nobody wants to risk getting infected at work. And seeing how "essential workers" got zero support during the peak, I don't blame any of them for not wanting to return either. Nobody wants to risk death so that people can have their frappuccinos.

For people I know, the younger ones moved in with family to weather the storm and the ones in more economically stable situations are just making do with less.

American workers will come back when they can do so safely and at a decent wage. Businesses can soothe themselves with the billions in PPP loans that were allotted.
 

ItsMainelyYou

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
1,908
Just to be clear, I’m not apologetic about having to be on unemployment. There is just this ignorant stigma about people who collect, not everyone has a wonderful safety net of family to fall back on.

Of course- I didn't mean it to come off that way at all!
I didn't mean any particular person; it's more of a collective exasperation because it is something Americans overwhelmingly do as a matter of course. This rugged individualism mantra is a lie to keep people isolated and unquestioning due to shame. The people who perpetuate it are almost always doing so from a place of entitlement- until it's pointed out.
 

wildcat03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
767
Most of the people I know who are home are there because of childcare. Prices have gone up A LOT because of COVID restrictions, many don't get paid enough for it to be worth it to work. My mother watches my kids, if she couldn't DH would quit his job and stay home with them. What his company pays isn't worth it if we had to pay for childcare.

Not to mention the frequent daycare closures for COVID exposure that leave people without childcare make working almost impossible. And forget finding a nanny. My friend no longer needed her nanny and helped her find a new family - new family pays her $50/hr!!!!
 

wildcat03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
767
It's also a lie.
80% of people who receive benefits work full time. Every state has work requirements and all welfare is finite. I learned all of this working for a local branch of The United Way during my senior/gap year before college. It was eye opening. We're the only first world where our largest employers hand out welfare information in their employment package upon hiring- and give tips on how to sign up. I feel absolutely no sympathy for corporate America, and very little for small business.
If you can't pay living minimum wage- then you don't have a viable business model.
Talk about entitlement.
We are the only first world that shows such open contempt of it's people and such slavish subservience to it's corporate 'job creators' who historical evidence shows, create no jobs.

“no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By ‘business’ I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level — I mean the wages of decent living,”.
~President Franklin D Roosevelt, 1933

PAY THEM and offer benefits on par with EVERY other first world.

This parallels the Black Plague somewhat in a catastrophic event causing people to stop and take stock of their worth/ and know their power. It's about time.
*This is what essentially ended feudalism in Europe. Though even in medieval Europe they had more time off.
Yeah, for real, they did.

Also nobody should have to defend what they had to do to survive a pandemic! Just stop! You didn't do anything wrong.
Raising/educating children is not wrong.
Taking care of your own or someone else's health is not wrong.
Wanting a living wage so you and yours don't starve and have basic necessities like healthcare is not wrong.
Stop apologizing. 'Bootstraps' mentality is bull****
That is something we've been conditioned to do.
It's also one of the greatest indicators of America's weakness.
A strong country country takes care of it's people as a point of pride.

THIS! I just read yesterday that Wal-Mart is now going to give college scholarships. HOW ABOUT YOU START WITH HEALTH BENEFITS AND A LIVING WAGE, WALMART?
 

Cerulean

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
3,015
People are fricken’ tired! Wage stagnation has been a problem for decades. Employers have manipulated and abused employees for decades in all forms…some more nefarious than others.

It’s no wonder that the tip-based workforce isn’t coming back, clamoring for below minimum wage jobs only to get harassed by sh***y people at work for pennies. Remember the thread that was just created about being harassed in service jobs? If it’s so prevalent among this community, imagine elsewhere?

I also think that there’s a misalignment of skill sets. A lot of jobs were simply eliminated after furloughs, and they aren’t coming back. This is in the white collar workforce and I’m especially thinking technology which is my industry.

Companies found themselves able to operate without these less specialized, often administrative roles, and are taking up a lean workforce and instead hiring for very skilled roles that cost $$$. The problem is, some of these highly skilled roles are difficult to fill even under normal circumstances because they are so specialized, meanwhile technology adoption is happening at an unprecedented rate. The war for specialized tech talent has been going for a while, but companies that fail to offer flexible benefits and better pay…well talent can just leave and find a job in a matter of weeks.

If tech companies don’t start upskilling and training their own workforce or investing in better visa programs to hire from abroad, they won’t have a pipeline to hire from.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
11,698
Another place they are is, waiting for chips so they can go back to work.
~6000+ workers are idle here while the auto plant waits for chips. Multiply that by most of the auto plants in the US and that is a lot of people.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
4,813
As usual, absurd faux news talking points without evidence. The idea that folks are just sitting at home choosing not to work bc the govt pays them enough is absurd.

It's not faux news. At the small business that I work at, we used to get calls from temp agencies all the time for manual labor positions. A year ago, you could get someone reliable for $15 an hour, plus markup. These days, we put out job posts for full time positions with benefits all the time, and people are demanding $20/hour to stay with less experience than candidates we used to get.

I should add, instead of temp agencies calling us, this year we called them week after week, and they couldn't give us any candidates.
 

ItsMainelyYou

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
1,908
It's not faux news. At the small business that I work at, we used to get calls from temp agencies all the time for manual labor positions. A year ago, you could get someone reliable for $15 an hour, plus markup. These days, we put out job posts for full time positions with benefits all the time, and people are demanding $20/hour to stay with less experience than candidates we used to get.

I should add, instead of temp agencies calling us, this year we called them week after week, and they couldn't give us any candidates.

Just out of curiosity, are these temp contracts? Is this skilled labor? Is there guarantee of permanent employment?
 

wildcat03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
767
It's not faux news. At the small business that I work at, we used to get calls from temp agencies all the time for manual labor positions. A year ago, you could get someone reliable for $15 an hour, plus markup. These days, we put out job posts for full time positions with benefits all the time, and people are demanding $20/hour to stay with less experience than candidates we used to get.

I should add, instead of temp agencies calling us, this year we called them week after week, and they couldn't give us any candidates.

But, is $15/hr really a living wage? Where I live (mid-size, East Coast city) it really isn't.
 

ItsMainelyYou

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
1,908
But, is $15/hr really a living wage? Where I live (mid-size, East Coast city) it really isn't.

No. It's only 31k @2080hr/yr.
Where I live at $20 at hour, a rent or mortgage of 1200.00 is 36% of gross wage. Alone.
45K is the adjusted poverty line for a family in my area.
Actual 'middle class' as Americans think it is (with 50's buying power, owning a home/car/investments/vacations/affording higher education) @120k or more.
Only 10% of American households make over 118k.
 
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