In his latest industry outlook, Interact Analysis CEO Adrian Lloyd takes a look at labor shortages. According to Interact Analysis' data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, several regions have been hit hard by labor shortages in manufacturing, in particular the U.S. (with 800,000 manufacturing vacancies), Germany (150,000 manufacturing vacancies), and the United Kingdom (68,000).
Post-COVID was a talking point as vaccines started to roll out to the general public, but that momentum has stopped, especially with the emergence of the Delta variant.
"Furthermore, swaths of global industry are still suffering from a hangover from the pandemic, with a number of negative factors playing out—vaccine hesitation, semiconductor shortages and labor shortages being three major drags on sustained recovery," Lloyd said.
While the U.S., Germany and the U.K. have been hit hard with labor shortages, France has not been as unlucky, reporting just short of 6,000 vacancies.
"The answer is a perfect storm of factors, which vary for each country but the common denominator is always the pandemic," Lloyd said.
Lloyd pointed at one way the U.S. could recover: the fact that pandemic unemployment benefits are scheduled to stop in the fourth quarter of 2021. Job retention has taken a back seat to high use of unemployment benefits. With those benefits ceasing, jobs could start to be filled again, but there is another problem: the workforce retiring.
"However, as in Germany, there has been a historical shortage of skilled manufacturing labor owing to an aging workforce," Lloyd said. "That’s because the U.S. has historically experienced difficulties in attracting younger people into this sector."