Mitch McConnell claimed that the labor shortage in the United States is due to people’s unwillingness to work because they are “flooded at the moment”.
The Senate Republican minority leader was speaking at an event in Paducah, Kentucky, on Tuesday when he laid out his theory about why companies are so hard to hire people.
“You have a lot of people sitting on the sidelines because, frankly, they’re flush right now,” McConnell said. “What we hope is that once they run out of money, they will start to conclude that it is better to work than not to work.”
After several federal bailouts, many Americans have been able to build up some savings during the pandemic. According to Moody’s Analytics, American households amassed an estimated $2.6 trillion in additional savings during the pandemic through the end of last year.
The Kentucky senator rejected President Joe Biden’s stimulus bill that had it pass through the House and Senate with only Democratic votes in late February and early March 2021.
The Trump administration was able to get two stimulus packages through Congress during the pandemic, but Republicans still blamed the $1,400 direct payments to Americans included in Biden’s US bailout for driving inflation and helping people avoid work.
Instead, economists said, multiple factors must be taken into account to understand the labor shortage, such as people moving away from areas with open jobs, the inability of parents to return to work due to the uncertainty created by the pandemic, and that open jobs may be inappropriately advertised. In terms of wages or experience for those looking to change jobs or re-enter the job market.
This means that there could be other solutions to ending the labor shortage beyond McConnell’s suggestion that people need to run out of savings. Employers can offer better salaries as well as more adaptable workplaces.
They can also change their job descriptions and requirements to get more people to apply.
While McConnell is pushing the idea that people are trying to avoid work, the job market is getting stronger and stronger, having regained at least 96 percent of the jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the from the inside. The labor market is on its way to a full recovery by the end of this month.
The employment-to-population ratio in a demographic that includes Americans aged 25-54, considered the highest age for employment, is now higher than it was in July 2019, well before the pandemic, Figures appear from the Federal Reserve in St. Louis.
according to Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Department of LaborThe unemployment rate was 3.6 percent. Right before the pandemic hit the US, in February 2020, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent. The last time the unemployment rate reached this level It was a low level in 1969.
Americans have been leaving their jobs near record levels over the past year, but the number of open jobs remains high, which could indicate that employees are leaving for other, better paid jobs, particularly in industries where lower wages are common.