Labor Shortage

Friday, August 12, 2022

Like many other Americans, I wonder why there’s a shortage of people willing to seek jobs. Most folks I ask are quick to blame a lack of willing workers on generous benefits people are receiving from the Federal Government. That’s not a satisfactory explanation for today.

I keep wondering about this, as one in the front line, so to speak. In my grocery checker job, numerous customers buy groceries with Food Stamps, including young people who appear strong enough to work. Many Food Stamp customers purchase alcohol, too, using debit cards to pay for it.

Online research reveals that a critical cause of today’s worker shortage is an average of four million people retiring monthly. Retirees now have savings and assets and are in a good stock market environment. Many aren’t interested in returning anytime soon to work.

A population overweight in aging citizens seems a reasonable explanation. Added is the burnout factor caused by Covid, affecting workers in medical, service, and travel professions.

I get it, as an elder who doesn’t need to work. Nonetheless, I must. Working offers a way to be out there, to mix, mingle, feel current, and be involved.

Numerous permissive and non-permissive factors go into decisions about whether to keep working. Attitudes toward yea or nay are related to individual lives. Alongside whatever availability of assets, there are essential factors of differences in family ethos and living conditions.

Many aging customers appear at my check-stand and ask why I am still working. It’s been curious, the questioning. While I may be viewed as a statistical outlier from the outside, from my perspective, those not working might be socially deficient.

I think of how such differences are playing out politically. The national turmoils around voting rights often are driven by social attitudes about having versus not having.

Dear Friends: It’s about a sense of how working relates to social awareness. Diana

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