Help Wanted: The Labor Shoe is on the Other Foot

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“US unemployment is low (5.2% in August; economists consider 5% or lower to effectively constitute ‘full employment’). Those who ‘want to work’ are working. Why do so many seemingly not ‘want’ to? Put simply, they’re not being offered as much for their time and effort as they consider it to be worth. … Labor is a commodity. It’s something the worker sells for money. And as with any other commodity, supply versus demand tells the story. When there’s plenty of supply versus demand  — that is, high unemployment — employers can drive a hard bargain. ‘Don’t want to clean toilets for $7.50 an hour? No problem. There are ten other people who will.’ But when demand exceeds supply, as now, the shoe is suddenly on the other foot. ‘Don’t want to pay $20 an hour to get your toilets cleaned? No problem. There are ten other employers who will.'” (10/04/21)