And just like that, UC Riverside researchers are saying the same thing as this blog:
Supply chain struggles have been widely blamed for the inability to meet consumer and business demand throughout the pandemic. While fixing the supply chain should be a top priority, it is worker scarcity, driven by the lack of basic, long-term population growth that is the true underlying cause—and a critical future challenge for the economies of the United States, and particularly California, according to a new analysis released today by the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.
Source: Demographic dilemma: slowing population growth, not pandemic, at the root of U.S. worker shortage | News
I started watching these trends in the mid-1990s:
Thornberg notes that these population trends have been observed in the data for many years, but because it’s the kind of thing that happens gradually, the issue simply hasn’t been a primary focus for policymakers or business leaders.
Pandemic policies, recessions, and so on, are noise issues on the fundamental signal. The fundamental signal is a fertility rate below replacement rate for the past 20-30 years, and this is now a global phenomenon. As pointed out here in other posts in this series, many “experts” blame lots of issues – but seldom get to the root cause problem: we are entering a new territory of shrinking populations (soon).
The researchers note California (where their work is focused) has made it harder to hire workers, particularly with new restrictions on “gig” employment. The State, they say, should add incentives for workers not to retire, reduce licensing requirements, and increase work flexibility. Like all economists, they also call for increased immigration and greater education access.
Regarding the latter, imagine what the effects of public health pandemic policy school lockouts will have on new worker skills in a few years. Numerous studies have found students are now significantly behind and it is unclear they will ever catch up.