You have no doubt seen the scary headlines warning of a “labor shortage” caused by the additional pandemic unemployment insurance payments. The coverage of this story is widespread, even though most economics reporters can find no credible evidence linking unemployment checks to a labor shortage. EPI economist Heidi Shierholz joins us to explain why UI and stimulus payments aren’t causing a “labor shortage”, and why the answer to this made-up problem is so clear: it’s the low wages, stupid.
Heidi Shierholz is the Senior Economist and Director of Policy at the Economic Policy Institute.
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Unemployment benefits are not creating a worker shortage: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/worker-shortage-unemployment-benefits_n_609056c3e4b09cce6c21a850
Is unemployment insurance behind the fast-food labor shortage? https://prospect.org/labor/is-unemployment-insurance-behind-fast-food-labor-shortage/
Restaurant labor shortages show little sign of going economywide: https://www.epi.org/blog/restaurant-labor-shortages-show-little-sign-of-going-economywide-policymakers-must-not-rein-in-stimulus-or-unemployment-benefits/
U.S. Labor Shortage? Unlikely. Here’s why: https://policydialogue.org/opinions/worker-shortages/
It’s not a ‘labor shortage’. It’s a great reassessment of work in America: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/05/07/jobs-report-labor-shortage-analysis/
The Myth of Labor Shortages: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/20/briefing/labor-shortages-covid-wages.html
Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer