Why is there a labor shortage? A local economics professor has some answers

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UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Both here in Central New York and across the nation, businesses are experiencing staffing shortages. Assistant Professor Pritha Chaudhuri of Economics from Hamilton College discussed why these labor deficiencies are happening.

Things have changed drastically since COVID-19 hit right. I think one reason is there were a lot of jobs that were lost, but also people have re-adjusted their preferences, what would they accept in terms of benefits. Not just starting bonuses but even the benefits the jobs provide which is why I think there are certain industries that are having a hard time hiring.

Pritha Chaudhuri, Assistant Professor of Economics at Hamilton College

Overall, Chaudhuri says that due the increase in worry brought on by the pandemic, more people are shifting to jobs where they do not come in contact with people, or where they can stay home with their families. Professor Chaudhuri explains that the unemployment benefits were apart of the reason for the shortage. However, now that these benefits have stopped there are other factors that have made an impact.

“There are a lot of things that now people realize they can just do online. Jobs that have kind of switched things online so I think there are alternatives the COVID-19 pandemic its still there people are still getting sick the virus keeps changing but now people can say that’s a very risky job,” said Chaudhuri.

So, what can we do to entice people to come back to work?

One thing that we keep saying is raise the minimum wage, which is something New York State has done. the other thing is the benefits you’re going to get. I know there are jobs that are thinking of providing starting bonuses to people, but you know retirement benefits, healthcare benefits.

Pritha Chaudhuri, Assistant Professor of Economics at Hamilton College

Professor Chaudhuri says that this will have an impact on the economy, because the structure of the market itself has shifted due a large amount of businesses offering similar options to employees.

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