Employers anticipate shortages this holiday season


Art by Stella Fetherston

Juliana Villanueva, Staff Writer

Labor shortages have escalated, taking a heavy toll on employers, regardless of their market.

Santa and his reindeer are arriving shortly, and the joy of spending time with families and friends will soon commence. However, this holiday season will be grueling for businesses and employers struggling to meet their customers’ needs.

“We are seeing a shortage of workers in distribution and warehouses. Part of that is the timing of getting the products, even from the port, to the timing of these products getting into a distribution and warehouse area,” Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist of the National Retail Federation, stated in a CNBC article.

With the ever-growing demand for products, compounded by the fact that they are arriving in an untimely fashion, companies and consumers alike are facing negative impacts because there’s a limited number of goods being delivered and produced. Furthermore, businesses will ultimately struggle due to low sales.

In recent years, labor shortages have never been so high, and the pandemic is a strong factor in the shortages.

“The pandemic was hugely disruptive to the labor market, particularly in the United States, where the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.8 percent in April 2020 before coming down to a still-elevated 5.9 percent in June 2021,” Michael Wolf of Deloitte Insights disclosed.

Withal, the aftermath of the pandemic left many in disarray. The caution for safety was implemented during this crucial time.

Due to the increase in worry brought on by the pandemic, more people are shifting to jobs where they do not come in contact with people, or where they can stay home with their families,” assistant professor of economics at Hamilton College Pritha Chaudhuri stated in a News 10 article.

Not only are businesses and employers struggling in labor shortages, but many facilities such as health facilities are also facing labor shortages as well. Rainalda Villanueva, a manager of a department at Oregon Health Science University, shared her experience facing labor shortages.

“[People are experiencing] lifestyle changes, financially; if they get a job somewhere else that pays more, I think also dissatisfaction in the workplace are causes for our labor shortages we are experiencing,” she said. “I think that with the pandemic, a lot of things changed, so I think that the pandemic has affected a lot of people financially, emotionally and mentally. I think if you really want to garner staff, you really have to prioritize what’s most important, such as emotional support.”

Economic experts warn that businesses should not only focus on labor shortages, but rehabilitate and brainstorm ways to recruit more individuals by offering benefits. Suggested benefits can include supporting co-workers and increased pay. Ideas for offering others benefits if they accept the job are not only limited to increased pay, but can incorporate welfare – i.e. health care and dental.

A welcoming workplace can also be enticing to workers. Figuring out ways to satisfy future employees with benefits for working in any position could boost the number of employees in a business.