Companies Beg for Workers - June 9th, 2021

During the month of April, the number of job openings in the U.S. increased a record 1 million to an all-time high of 9.3 million, per U.S. BLS data.

Since January, the number of openings has surged by over 2 million.


A record-high 48% of small business owners in May reported unfilled job openings, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

Yet, the economy is 7.6 million jobs below the 152.5 million February 2020 peak, as of May’s employment report.

What’s going on

Why are companies begging for workers? Probable reasons:

  • Enhanced unemployment benefits
  • Inability to find child care
  • Fear of Covid
  • Early retirements
  • In resort communities, a lack of foreign students that would normally be available

Bottom line

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

Massive stimulus, coupled with falling Covid cases and relaxed distancing restrictions, has helped the economy recover.

But job openings have risen sharply, and severe labor shortages could slow growth and/or lead to higher wages, which could get tacked on to retail prices.

For much of the year, however, investors have looked beyond economic distortions and have focused on low interest rates and the reopening trade.