Shortage Of Workers


Karen Jones, Journalist

Do you know there is an employee shortage going on? There are so many jobs available, but a shortage of workers is affecting businesses horribly. Since COVID began, we know that many people lost their jobs and joined unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate as of October 2021 is 4.6%, and we have 7.1 Million unemployed people. However, employers are desperately asking for help, but because some Americans are unemployed and making much more from home doing nothing than going to work, no one wants to work!! This is a major issue!! 

Being an essential worker myself during this pandemic has been fairly difficult. Working at a grocery store is hard enough, but with the pandemic it has caused many more disadvantages than usual. For example, my store is low on workers for each department and getting supplies takes longer to stock the shelves than usual. Also, there are complications with the workers that we do have; some are the brave, retired elders who work the mornings, then there are the 14-15 year olds who can only work for 3 hours a day, and lastly there is the 17+ team members who basically are there everyday  working numerous hours to meet the demand of the customers and the store. On average, I work 25 hours a week, in addition to attending school full time.

When interviewing my manager at Shaws’, she discussed some of the difficulties that she has encountered with this pandemic.  She said, “Two people called out, so you have one closer tonight.”  This is a sentence I hear at work a little bit too often from my manager Michelle. That is not something that you want to hear five seconds into your shift; trust me. It is very stressful on managers and on the closers. Having to juggle school and now extra shifts that we have to pick up can definitely be a challenge. “I don’t know how many times we need to advertise that we need workers,” says Michelle, the Customer Service Manager. 

According to USA Today, since the Coronavirus pandemic broke out, the government has given out more than $800 billion in unemployment. As of Labor Day the unemployment benefits were cut down by $300. According to, at most, in Massachusetts,  an unemployed person can receive roughly $975 a week. That is a huge check to be receiving each week. Although having a big check come in the mail each week may feel absolutely amazing, as a country we do need to get back into the workforce. 

Businesses are so desperate that they are giving out bonuses to people who are applying; for example CVS is giving a $600 sign on bonus for delivery drivers. Two more examples are FedEx is giving a $1,000 bonus when you apply and Amazon Warehouse is offering a $3,000 bonus. The jobs are out there just waiting to be filled. “We need more people to start working, we’re all being overworked and stressed out by the managers; this is crazy.” said a fellow student., Caitlin Leet. 

Working is actually good for you. According to Forbes, “What’s more, studies have found that the mental demands of a job can be a force for staving off cognitive decline, an insight summarized by the catchphrase “use it or lose it”.  Although the pandemic is still happening, it is time we come together and get back on our feet.  Working will help ourselves, our friends, and our country. (picture credit)