Economists are missing the elephant in the room:

Where are all the missing workers?

Well, it’s not workers in their prime who have kids and families. The share of workers from 25 to 54 has returned close to pre-crisis levels.

The shortfall is mostly among the young and old.

“Two notable exceptions are 20-24 and 65+ year olds,” wrote money market economist Thomas Simons of Jefferies LLC in a note to clients.

Source: A U.S. labor shortage is planting the seeds for lots of layoffs. Here’s how – MarketWatch

There might be a clue in this chart (and then compare to population pyramids from recent decades) – hint – the new, young cohort is so much smaller than what we had in the past versus the rest of the population:

Older workers were furloughed, laid off, or quit during the pandemic. They are not coming back.