Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Vaccine mandates vs labour shortages

CNN, 31 October: “American Airlines canceled another 634 flights on Sunday, more than 12% of its total operations for the day, the company said Sunday. The airline has now canceled more than 1,500 flights since Friday, as it deals with weather issues and staffing shortages that started last week.” Some media claim that vaccine mandates are causing those staffing shortages. I’m inclined to take that explanation serious.

Vaccine mandates during (high) unemployment should cause little nuisance to employers. It is, however, hard to understand why employers would be interested in introducing vaccine mandates during labour shortages. Considering Western demographics, such labour shortages will likely get worse (eg, ING).

A recent George Friedman article, Explanations for the Labor Shortage, offered several suggestions but no explanation. Worse, nobody seems to understand. One article even claims that “Burnout, not vaccine mandates, remains the driving force behind labor shortages”. Note: bold marking in quote by LO.

The future labour pool will shrink due to (i) demographics (ie, average # of children per female), and also (ii) changing work ethics of young adults worldwide (eg, lying flat movement in China, Europe, Japan, UK, USA). Hence, labour shortages can only increase. It appears that AI & robotics will be plugging the gaps (eg, CNBC, FD).

The global skyrocketing housing prices may well have caused an early retirement wave during Covid-19, and relocations to cheaper (housing) areas. An increase of the pension age (eg, from 67 to 70) may then even result in more early retirements, without offering the labour market a temporary solace.

Future labour shortages (eg, carpenters, electricians, mechanics, nurses, truck drivers) will likely need to be replenished by young adults from Africa and/or Middle East (eg, SEO). Eventually, nationalism (eg, Brexit) may loose from common sense because food shortages may spark riots and/or revolts (eg, History, Phys).

Some day, the post-Covid-19 analysis may highlight a cascading effect of (micro) human errors, misjudgments and plain stupidity causing (macro) havoc to economic systems, global and local supply chains, as well as poverty and starvation in African and Asian populations.

Food for Thought (1980) by UB40
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Note 1: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise;

Note 2: “the band UB40 is named after Unemployment Benefit, Form 40 – a form issued to people claiming unemployment benefits. The name was suggested by a friend of the band because all the members were unemployed.” (reddit)


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