Employers Are Baffled as U.S. Benefits End and Jobs Go Begging

Bloomberg (09/20/21) Dmitrieva, Katia; Rockeman, Olivia

Emergency unemployment benefits expired two weeks ago, but there has not been much increase in job applications, which employers had been expecting. “People who have been on the sidelines have by and large stayed on the sidelines,” said Richard Wahlquist, president of the American Staffing Association. “Nothing has changed in regard to the benefits that have fallen off and the need for people continues to grow.”

Staffing firms and companies across the U.S. have yet to see a marked increase in employees. Joanie Bily, chief workforce analyst at Atlanta-based EmployBridge, said applications at the firm rose about 10% in the two dozen states that ended emergency benefits early—but that increase lasted only a few weeks.

The reasons for the lack of workers include child care challenges, a skills mismatch, health worries, and a mass reallocation of work as people reconsider their careers.

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