US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

Labor Challenges: Where Did the Workers Go?

Labor issues are a common theme among the news and among analysts around the virtual watercooler... but just where did these people go?

  • Some left for better paying jobs in other industries
  • Some left for better working conditions in other industries
  • Some retired
  • Some died as COVID-19 hit the US population hard
  • Some left the workforce to provide caregiving for family members, children and/or the elderly, especially with remote schooling, limited access to quality day care, concern about elder care living facilities in light of pandemic isolation and tight staffing, and an aging population
  • Some chose to work part-time
  • Some did not immigrate, as international movement slowed in the pandemic period

Many companies have been turning to automation and artificial intelligence to cover the gaps. However, public policy and workplace innovations will be needed to fill the gaps left by these changes in the workforce. To be clear, changes were needed as the retirement of the large baby boomer cohort was inevitable and pending, but pandemic era-related changes accelerated the need.

Freedonia analysts will continue to watch trends affecting the workforce, from labor participation, immigration, and retirement trends to automation, employee incentives, workplace flexibility, and other solutions.

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