The ‘Double Whammy’ that is holding our Economy by the Throat

By: Zach Betzing, Leo Mathis-McKee

As the U.S. economy has started to open up through the past few months, businesses all around the country have been opening, and customers are back in the brick and mortar stores. This spike in demand throughout businesses worldwide has put a lot of stress on manufacturers and shipping companies, all frantically trying to meet these expectations and satisfy their customers with needed goods and supplies.

Through all of these factors, a bottleneck occurred. This influx of shipments into ports and spike in demand for materials created a new supply chain shortage, which has been torturing businesses for months now. Prices on common goods have spiked, and stock has been extremely limited. Grocery stores and supermarkets like Walmart, HEB, and Whole Foods have been heavily affected by this large shortage, along with the enormous amount of loyal customers, who are now struggling to find necessities.

This is not the only shortage occurring, though. As the pandemic continues, not all of America has been able to get out of the house and back into the workforce. To put this issue into perspective, a survey conducted in mid-2021 by SHRM shows that 9 in 10 surveyed organizations are having difficulty filling certain open positions. This shows really bad news for business owners, as they have to limit hours or close altogether due to a low amount of employees. Most importantly, SHRM also reported that 93% of these unfilled positions are manufacturing jobs, which can partially explain the supply chain shortage previously mentioned. Countless businesses around the country, including restaurants that can’t serve tables/certain food, or supermarkets that cannot stock shelves are struggling from the  combination of these shortages. This has ultimately left employers scrambling for employees, doing anything they can to fill positions, like raising wages, increasing benefits, and less restrictive application requirements or job experience. This leaves great incentives for people to get back into the workforce, get some extra money, and help get us out of this widespread shortage.

As seen above, however, there is a silver lining: this shortage won’t last forever. As USA TODAY said, the “…worker shortage should ease in 2022, as COVID wanes…” (Davidson 1). This gives us hope, as there could be an end in the near future to this issue. For now though, we’ll have to power through these shortages, and get more people back in the workforce.

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