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There isn’t a worker shortage in the U.S. — there’s been a worker awakening

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Many politicians, pundits and business owners have said pandemic-era enhanced unemployment benefits are keeping would-be workers at home. But that's a much too simplistic explanation of today's employment situation.

The big picture: Many hard-hit sectors are rebounding faster than anecdotal evidence would suggest. And when jobs are hard to fill, a broader worker awakening over the past year is part of the reason.

Why it matters: Blaming the jobs surplus on the supplemental unemployment support reduces labor to no more than an equation of wages and output. It ignores the full worker experience and all the factors that make it less appealing to return to certain jobs.

 

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