According to Ed Rensi, a former CEO of McDonald’s USA, Americans are experiencing the labor shortage as a result of a “perfect storm,” and the situation is “a nightmare,” according to a statement released on Tuesday.
Rensi, who spoke on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast,” also cautioned that the ongoing expansion of job vacancies in the face of a labor shortage will result in a “catastrophe.”
After it was discovered that a record number of Americans had abandoned their jobs in November 2021, he made the remarks, which served to highlight how continuous turmoil in the labor market has made it difficult for firms to fill unfilled positions.
As of Tuesday, the Labor Department reported that an unprecedented 4.5 million Americans, or around 3 percent of the workforce, had departed from their employment in November, matching the previous month’s peak.
This represents an increase from the previous record of 4.2 million in October, and it surpasses the prior high of 4.4 million in September. The population was approximately 3.6 million people prior to the outbreak.
Meanwhile, the number of job opportunities unexpectedly declined to 10.6 million by the end of November, from 11.1 million at the beginning of the month. The information was gathered before the extremely contagious omicron strain of the coronavirus began causing economic disruption.
In November, the majority of resignations were in the areas of accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance, transportation, housing, and utilities, and other related fields. The vast majority of people leave their jobs in search of fresh opportunities.
Rensi stated on Tuesday that if the current trend “continues in the same direction,” the result will be “nothing but an increasing and increasing calamity.”
Workers who have recently gained more power are departing their jobs in favor of better income, working conditions, and hours as businesses compete for their services with greater salaries, according to the latest data, which has been nicknamed the “Great Resignation.”
Rensi brought attention to a topic that he believes is being overlooked, namely, the increasing number of retirements that are contributing to the situation.
In his remarks, he pointed out that the oldest baby boomer is 76 years old and the youngest is 58, and that “the first child of the baby boomers is starting to reach 56 years of age, so the retirement numbers are going to start to accelerate, and there’s going to be a lot of upward mobility because they’re leaving the workforce, which will leave a shortage at the bottom end.”
“It’s a nightmare,” he continued, emphasizing that “we’re feeling it big time at restaurants, barbershops, and daycare centers.”
He also believes that the pandemic is a contributing factor to the issue at hand.
The presence of this new strain of the virus is prompting individuals to stay at home because they are sick and applying for unemployment benefits.
“Unemployment benefits are extremely generous, so there is no incentive for people to return to work,” Rensi asserted.
Increasing COVID-19 cases have prompted a slew of pubs and restaurants to declare temporary closures, limited service, or vaccination restrictions for indoor eating — challenging decisions that echo industry mandates from the pandemic’s inception.
According to research from Johns Hopkins University, the United States experienced a record-breaking number of more than 386,000 new daily COVID-19 infections last week.
It has been brought to Rensi’s attention that there is “a confluence of events here that are really beginning to pile on top of one another.”
“We’re approaching the summer season, when we’ll be in need of part-time workers at restaurants and other places due to seasonality,” he continued, adding that “we’re never going to be able to get them.”
Rensi also expressed concern about the increasing prevalence of automation as a substitute for human labor.
Continuing, he said, “We’re also resetting the business, notably in the restaurant industry, resetting menus, resetting operating hours, and cutting back on the number of days we’re open.”
“There will be a significant shift in the way things are done in the restaurant industry and other small enterprises as a result of this scarcity.”