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American Companies Are Desperate to Find Skilled Workers

The 737,000 deaths from COVID are partially to blame

America's worker shortage is alive and well, much to the misfortune of US companies that need staff to keep up with demand.

The National Association of Business Economics (NABE) found that nearly half — 47% — of respondents to its Business Conditions Survey reported a shortage of skilled workers in the third quarter. That's up from 32 percent reporting shortages in the second quarter of the year, which already was too high for comfort. And nobody thinks the labor shortages will just disappear as 2021 turns to 2022.

Labor shortages are now a hallmark of the recovering pandemic economy, most prevalently in the goods-producing sector, according to the NABE survey. Companies have a hard time attracting the workers they need to feed increased demand from consumers, while the risk of infections remains. Some people are also waiting for the right opportunity to come along before they return to the labor force, quit in order to take better positions or are kept home due to family and care responsibilities. From the companies' points of view, 27 percent cited they had not received enough applications, while 20 percent reported the job seekers who apply do not have the right skills.

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