The Worker Shortage Will Get Worse, Not Better

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from Maudlin Economics,

While the labor market is indeed losing some momentum, employers are still listing far more open positions than we have warm bodies available.

All this is happening for specific, long-term reasons. Some folks keep thinking those reasons will change. They won’t.

First, modern sanitation and healthcare extended average lifespans. US life expectancy was about 65 at the end of World War II. By 2019 it was up to 79. COVID and related problems dropped it back to 77.

The second change: fewer children. In 1957 the average fertility rate in the US was 3.61 children per woman. Twenty years later it was down to 1.7 and has stayed in that range ever since.

The number of elderly people is rising while the number of working-age people is flattening.

The reason the labor shortage is happening and will continue is simple: The non-productive population is growing faster than the working-age population.

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