Saturday, November 27 2021

It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on the US economy. In April 2020, the national unemployment rate hit an all-time high, and although it recently hit its lowest level since the start of the epidemic, it is much higher than it was before the outbreak. start of the crisis.

Despite this, there are plenty of opportunities for Americans who want a job to go out and find one. In June, the United States had a record 10.1 million jobs available. In fact, there were so many open positions that many companies struggled to hire.

Although there are jobs to be found, today’s workers face challenges re-entering the workforce. And until these are resolved, we may continue to see a huge mismatch between the number of jobs available and the workers available that is limiting our economic recovery.

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Childcare and health issues keep workers away

The US bailout, which placed stimulus checks in Americans’ bank accounts, increased unemployment benefits by $ 300 a week until early September. Since then, many states have ended the boost, believing that because the unemployed received an increase in unemployment benefits, they were not inspired to find work.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story. In fact, two issues still constitute barriers to returning to work.

The first is child care. In 2020, the average weekly cost for a child to attend daycare was $ 340, according to For families whose children are too young to go to school, this is a huge burden.

Currently, the federal minimum wage is $ 7.25 an hour (although it is higher in some parts of the country). Someone who earns that salary and works full time would earn $ 290 a week, and that’s before taxes. That wouldn’t even be enough to cover full-time care, and until this issue is resolved, many businesses are likely to be struggling with labor shortages.

There are also health issues to consider. We are still in the midst of a pandemic, only now we are dealing with an even more transmissible variant than previous versions of COVID-19. It is difficult to motivate people to re-enter the workforce when it could pose a huge threat to their health.

The fact that the US economy is full of jobs is a good thing. But the barriers to entering the labor market are not so good. When there are too many jobs available, it can actually hamper our economic recovery, and right now that’s the situation we seem to be stuck in.

While some economists predict that the unemployment rate will continue to decline in 2021, we will have to pay attention to more than that number. The national unemployment rate measures the number of people who are available for work and who want to work but cannot. But that ignores people who have been forced to retire, even though they prefer to work and earn a living.

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