Sunday, January 16, 2022

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2022 will be about jobs, too


  (My new American Thinker post)

As we walk into 2022, we are painfully finding out that everything is more expensive, from food to gasoline to lumber. 

Going out to dinner is quite an experience. First, the menu is more expensive. Second, there are staff shortages. 

However, there is another problem hanging out there for the Biden administration. It's a 4-letter word. It's "jobs," as we read in this New York Post editorial

It’s not just inflation dogging the US economy: Unexpectedly high jobless claims last week serve as a reminder that America’s labor market, too, remains messed up — even as President Joe Biden claims he’s making “progress” on the economy.

On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that US workers filed 230,000 initial jobless claims, the highest since November, and about 15 percent higher than projected. They’d been running at historic lows, but some analysts fear businesses now may be closing down and laying off workers, thanks to the Omicron surge. Vaccine mandates may be fueling the closures.

An even bigger problem, of course, is the extremely tight labor market: A record number of workers quit their jobs in November, and job openings (10.6 million) remained near historic highs. Plus, the labor force participation rate remains low. The manpower shortages, in turn, feed price hikes.

Be glad the Supreme Court on Thursday nixed President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for employers. Already, state and local diktats like that one have worsened staffing shortages, both in the private sector and government services.

Yes, there is your 4-letter word for the week: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.

We learned last week that the unemployment rate was 3.9%. Normally, that's the kind of news report that makes you want to pop champagne. However, how does that number make sense in light of this uncertain economy? Do we need to revisit how we calculate unemployment with millions quitting their jobs? 

Get ready for the year that inflation and jobs dominate our conversations. And don’t be surprised if you start eating at home rather than going out.

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