Where are all the people?

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Staffing Agency President comments on local employment trends

I get asked this all the time, and there is no good answer.  Many suggest it must be people getting benefits, but that is simply not true. Pandemic benefits ended in September of 2021, yet a ridiculously low unemployment rate of 3.5% persists.  

We spend our days searching for candidates to place at open jobs, good jobs.  Basic production roles are paying $19/$21 to start with NO experience required, yet the elusive entry-level candidates still don’t come.  What does this mean to our economy and our Nation?

At the same time, we are facing a recession, defined as two quarters in a row with lowering GDP, and I’ve not seen one article linking the two.  The lack of people wanting to work should certainly be in the discussion as to why our economy is faltering.  

A labor shortage means less goods are being produced, and this results in lower sales from companies poised for growth but are stunted because of this phenomenon.  They have orders but can’t get them out the door. And, if they do, it’s difficult to find truckers to move them.  It would be one thing if sales slowed down due to lack of demand, but that is not the case.  It is my belief that our new recession is born out of a labor shortage.  

What might reverse this trend if significantly higher wages, more lax hiring standards, THC friendly companies, even Felony friendly companies aren’t getting the candidates they need?  

Our country has become very holy about every single soul being e-Verified, and that has taken its toll. Not often talked about, but I assure you, it’s a factor.  While we have over 10 million open jobs in this country, we are sending asylum seekers on buses to New York by the tens of thousands only to make them wait a minimum of 180 days (That’s 2 Quarters!), giving them gobs of needless paperwork which even perfect English speakers would struggle with, and making it nearly impossible to get through this process to begin to work in this country. Why?

Why not expedite this process and send those eager for work to areas where people with language barriers can land a job, like farms, meat packing facilities, factories, etc.? Again, 10 million open jobs and growing. 

The state of the job market clearly remains an employee’s market.  Employers are begging for more laborers, plunking thousands of ad budget on job boards like Indeed, Zip and others, but it’s become diluted due to all of us vying for that same candidate.  The effects are now causing slowdowns in our nation’s ability to compete. 

So, if you know where all the people have gone, please do let me know.  They are needed for our economy to thrive.