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Here’s why the U.S. labor shortage may not be such a bad thing

A Now Hiring sign is seen on April 17, 2021 in Orlando, Florida, USA. Businesses in Central Florida are having difficulty filling openings, with owners attributing the shortage of workers to COVID concerns by employees and a preference by many to remain at home while receiving state jobless benefits combined with the weekly unemployment bonus of $300 provided for under the American Rescue Plan. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via AP)

As businesses in the United States begin to reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are replacing the “closed” signs in their windows with another: “Now hiring.” Labor shortages have emerged in a broad range of industries as people take stock of the last year, but three Northeastern economic scholars say it might not be such a bad thing.

The latest jobs reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics present a puzzling fact: Millions of people remain unemployed even as many employers complain of worker shortage. So, what’s going on?

“For the most part, it’s not a shortage of workers that’s the problem, per se,” says Robert Triest, professor of economics at Northeastern, “it’s a sign that employers just need to offer better packages of wages and working conditions to attract workers.”

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

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