Despite 10 million job openings in the US, only 210,000 payrolls were added in November. This is far below expectations.
Maybe the reasons for this are simple; people are not going back to work because the conditions in the country aren’t good enough.
Earlier, Insider reported that about 12,4 million Americans don’t have access to the basic necessities of life.
Among the 7.4 million unemployed Americans, 2.2 million of them have been looking for work for at least 27 weeks, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
In addition, 4.3 million of them work part-time because of economic reasons, and 5.9 million aren’t actively looking for work but have said that they want a job.
Despite the 10 million job openings in the country last November, none of these categories saw much improvement in their job prospects.
Low wages, limited childcare options, and restricted paid leave may be causing this labor shortage, among other factors.
More so, according to Insider’s Juliana Kaplan, people’s expectations have changed since the pandemic, and they will no longer tolerate low pay.
Recent months have seen leisure and hospitality hiring grow, but employment in the industry “changed little,” in November according to the BLS.
More importantly, wage growth in the industry for nonsupervisory employees has decreased.
The labor shortage is also dominated by the issue of child care. The numbers of daycare workers continue to decline.
Moreso, parents who work and care for children at home have a difficult time returning to work due to rising childcare costs.
A similar problem exists with respect to the lack of paid family and medical leave. The United States does not guarantee paid leave, which prevents many women from enrolling in the labor force. Senator Bernie Sanders and other Democratic lawmakers want President Biden to fix this in his Build Back Better agenda, dubbing the US policy “a disgrace.”
It’s worth noting that the House version of the bill included four weeks of paid leave.
Vicki Shabo, a paid-leave expert at New America, told Insider previously that millions of Americans unable to take paid leave would benefit from it now.
“This will have implications on women’s labor force participation and earnings, on the ability of people caring for loved ones to be able to remain in the workforce, and to improve their financial security, both in the short term and for retirement,” Shabo said.
There is a chance that the policy will be left out of the Senate’s bill, which won’t help with filling for millions of vacancies across the nation.
In line with Biden’s statement on Twitter that economic recovery has been strong following the pandemic, conditions for workers must improve to ensure they are feeling the same.