Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 68

Thread: Worker Shortage?

  1. #1

    Default Worker Shortage?

    I've been seeing these stories for a while now and the public message is finally starting to shift from "lazy workers" to "horrible employers". All those sob stories of no one wanting to work are just covers for companies who make bank forcing locations to run on skeleton crews for minimal pay.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/work...ortage-2021-10
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  2. #2
    Really depends on the labor market you are in but many places are raising their wages, and they wouldn't be doing it if they had ample employees.

  3. #3
    But that started before the pandemic and was largely contributed to it being cheaper to pay competitively than the existing cycle of training and having them move to a competitor.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  4. #4
    There is shortage of workers where companies want to underpay workers.
    Even in Germany you see arguments about "the jobs Germans do not want to take" and when you look closer, it is a job of almost slavery with discrimination mistreatment attached.
    Freedom - When people learn to embrace criticism about politicians, since politicians are just employees like you and me.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    I've been seeing these stories for a while now and the public message is finally starting to shift from "lazy workers" to "horrible employers". All those sob stories of no one wanting to work are just covers for companies who make bank forcing locations to run on skeleton crews for minimal pay.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/work...ortage-2021-10
    I think there are many intersecting factors at work here, most of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic but not directly caused by it. Treating it as something as black and white as either 'lazy workers' or 'horrible employers' is obviously simplistic.

    The reality is that we do have extremely high levels of job openings in the current economy, and a number of places are badly shortstaffed. For every story about someone who applies to jobs and can't get an interview, you have various employers who talk about open positions for which there are no applicants. And Lewk is right that there has been a trend (accelerating lately) for lower wage work to have more generous pay provisions, mostly due to staffing pressures.

    I suspect that the current labor market turmoil is related to many different factors:

    - Some workers are unhappy about Covid risk due to either inadequate precautions or personal circumstances
    - Some workers are unhappy about vaccine mandates or other restrictions (e.g. distancing, masking) and are staying away/leaving
    - Some workers are unable to join the workforce because they are caring for children/etc. who would otherwise be in full time school but might even now be in some sort of hybrid learning - or, if they're back full time, might be leaving every few weeks for mandatory isolation/quarantines. This schedule is incompatible with many jobs, especially in person ones.
    - Some workers are just fed up with crappy conditions/pay and won't be enticed back until compensation/conditions improve or their situation becomes untenable without a traditional job.
    - Some workers are fed up with life in general and are leaving their jobs for something different.

    The people who work in my company are paid far better than the kinds of jobs discussed in your link - even our interns make way over $15/hr, let alone FTEs. But we've still had a number of resignations during Covid - one due to the first reason listed above, and several for the last reason. My wife's company is hemorrhaging scientists, engineers, and managers. Our own recruiting has been finding a lot of people who are gainfully employed in good jobs but who are just looking for something else. The Big Quit isn't just overworked/underpaid Gen Z types, it's affecting all kinds of jobs of wildly different pay/conditions/Covid risk. Thus simply describing the phenomenon as 'lazy workers sucking from the government teat' doesn't explain the huge numbers of resignations and talent shortages at high skills jobs... but neither does 'awful bosses exploiting the little guy'.

    I think the labor shortage is real, and precisely because it's real, workers at the bottom end of the income ladder have way more leverage - and can afford to tell a crappy employer to shove it. But I think the proliferation of bad boss stories is not a cause of the labor shortage, but rather a symptom of it.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  6. #6
    I'm going to be joining the ranks of the lazy soon. Burnt out by the students (work ethic has plummeted to a level I would never imagine), by political interference, and general decline in positive social interactions (having to do this for a mediocre salary doesn't help). I have no doubt Covid contributed to each of those factors.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  7. #7
    Are you quitting? Moving elsewhere? Leaving the ivory tower? Whatever you end up doing, good luck!
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  8. #8
    People deciding to change from one job to another job doesn't create a worker shortage.
    Don't hide the lies we can see, don't feed the fire within me
    You strike me down and I'll be rising once again
    Don't doubt the fear that you know, don't miss what history shows
    The warpath will lead us to your end

  9. #9
    Actually, it does. There's friction in the labor market - it takes time for people to finish up one role and start another and get up to speed - productivity takes a real dip when you have lots of turnover in the market.

    There's other things driving more the shortage, of course - we've always been running at a shortage for certain kinds of work, which is exacerbated if people take time off between roles. I haven't even touched on the effects of delayed graduation for a bunch of students who took off time from Covid, or challenges in importing talent from elsewhere in the current environment. And many large companies are ramping up production of nearly everything right now because of dramatically increased and sustained consumer demand. Then there are lots of Covid-specific shortages that have cropped up - I think I've already mentioned how my company is competing directly with Covid vaccine manufacturers for manufacturing and process development talent. They're hoovering up huge numbers of employees (and certain raw materials, equipment, etc...).

    My point is that the current labor crunch is variegated and has many different causes across different regions, sectors, and skill levels. There are rarely simple stories to explain such a profound and wide-ranging issue.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  10. #10
    The first stories about labour shortages and companies struggling to find staff started appearing back in May, if not earlier.
    Don't hide the lies we can see, don't feed the fire within me
    You strike me down and I'll be rising once again
    Don't doubt the fear that you know, don't miss what history shows
    The warpath will lead us to your end

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Are you quitting? Moving elsewhere? Leaving the ivory tower? Whatever you end up doing, good luck!
    Not sure if quitting is the right word in academia. But I won't be coming back for next academic year. I'd leave earlier than that, but I don't want to be homeless. Definitely leaving this location. The academic part is up in the air, but if I do remain, it won't be in a place like this. I'd definitely take a non-academic job if I was properly compensated for it. As a non-engineer, finding that kind of a job straight from academia isn't terribly easy though.

    Thanks. Looking forward to a new start.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    The first stories about labour shortages and companies struggling to find staff started appearing back in May, if not earlier.
    I'm certain that there is an implied point here, but I am unclear about what it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Not sure if quitting is the right word in academia. But I won't be coming back for next academic year. I'd leave earlier than that, but I don't want to be homeless. Definitely leaving this location. The academic part is up in the air, but if I do remain, it won't be in a place like this. I'd definitely take a non-academic job if I was properly compensated for it. As a non-engineer, finding that kind of a job straight from academia isn't terribly easy though.

    Thanks. Looking forward to a new start.
    Good luck! Academics is a really hard nut to crack, so there's no shame in deciding it's not for you - or moving to a place that's a better fit.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  13. #13
    Based on numerous conversations this year, if people had an alternative, we'd be looking at a majority of non-senior people leaving (a significant, but smaller, number is leaving regardless). It really is that bad. I'm assuming it's not unique to my particular college.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I'm going to be joining the ranks of the lazy soon. Burnt out by the students (work ethic has plummeted to a level I would never imagine), by political interference, and general decline in positive social interactions (having to do this for a mediocre salary doesn't help). I have no doubt Covid contributed to each of those factors.
    Come to Uppsala. It sucks, but it's good.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Come to Uppsala. It sucks, but it's good.
    I actually would, but there are no openings in my field and I doubt I could get it over some of the ridiculously hard-working Nordics.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  16. #16
    I was just reading today that the five (10?) states with the highest rate of people leaving jobs in July (last month with data fully collated) were also the ones with the highest covid infection rates at that time.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I actually would, but there are no openings in my field and I doubt I could get it over some of the ridiculously hard-working Nordics.
    Pfft they're not that hard-working, they're just excellent liars in all seriousness, I think there's just a very different balance here, between research (and leisure) and other demands on time and attention (teaching, bureaucracy, job-security issues, etc). It frees up a great deal of time and energy for productive work. Every time I get a glimpse of the working conditions of American academics outside STEM fields—esp. those who're in an early stage of their careers, or, at least, without tenure—it makes me wonder whether all these fantastic institutions actually want their academics to be productive or not. The whole setup seems designed to sap people of creative and intellectual energy. But I hope you find a path forward that makes you happy—and, hopefully, takes you far away from Georgia.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  18. #18
    To combine the two posts above: when you realize your government is knowingly taking steps that might kill you, frequently as a show of deference to you know who, it's hard to rationalize making sacrifices for the sake of one's employer.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    I was just reading today that the five (10?) states with the highest rate of people leaving jobs in July (last month with data fully collated) were also the ones with the highest covid infection rates at that time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    To combine the two posts above: when you realize your government is knowingly taking steps that might kill you, frequently as a show of deference to you know who, it's hard to rationalize making sacrifices for the sake of one's employer.
    Problem solved you guys:



    I gotta admit I've been surprised by the extent to which colleges and unis seem to have drunk the MAGA kool-aid... I can see how many businesses may be incentivized to jeopardize their employees' lives, but I see no reasonable justification at all for this sort of nuttery in colleges and unis. What utter dingdongs.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  20. #20
    Public colleges are ultimately run by officials appointed by governors or state legislatures. Those officials rarely have any educational experience and are chosen for financial contributions to the ruling party. So if the ruling party is outright hostile to universities, it makes sure the officials running the system are as well.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  21. #21
    Don't hide the lies we can see, don't feed the fire within me
    You strike me down and I'll be rising once again
    Don't doubt the fear that you know, don't miss what history shows
    The warpath will lead us to your end

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Based on numerous conversations this year, if people had an alternative, we'd be looking at a majority of non-senior people leaving (a significant, but smaller, number is leaving regardless). It really is that bad. I'm assuming it's not unique to my particular college.
    Academia is hard

    Any chance you can do consulting in your field or not really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    I think the Longshoremen union at the Port of Los Angeles is partly to blame here, but overall the whole system is clogged so to some extent it's hard to say this is really the fault of Amazon or the Longshoremen.

  23. #23

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    Academia is hard

    Any chance you can do consulting in your field or not really?
    It's harder in a red-state where your employers have zero interest in your mission. As an example, student performance is an at all-time low across the board (based on an objective rubric), but this isn't even on the radar of the higher-ups.

    I tried, but like in most fields, most jobs in consulting require you to have already worked in consulting. Hopefully, more will open up before I'm collecting unemployment checks.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  25. #25
    See entire thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/Professors/..._in_particular

    Current academia in a nutshell.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  26. #26
    A modern parable.

    Don't hide the lies we can see, don't feed the fire within me
    You strike me down and I'll be rising once again
    Don't doubt the fear that you know, don't miss what history shows
    The warpath will lead us to your end

  27. #27
    When they say there is a worker shortage, it means they are not getting enough candidates for low pay jobs with miserable conditions.
    Freedom - When people learn to embrace criticism about politicians, since politicians are just employees like you and me.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    See entire thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/Professors/..._in_particular

    Current academia in a nutshell.
    Damn, that's bleak.

    But since you have a PhD in Political Science, it's kinda surprising that you didn't anticipate these (mostly political) problems years ago, when you were a TA yourself. Did the Covid Pandemic make you "woke" to all the bureaucratic red tape that turns Academia into a pain in the ass, or was it something else?

  29. #29
    Most of these weren't nearly as much of a problem as long as most students at least pretended to care. The admin side is what it is.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  30. #30
    Made me think of Jackson Browne's song The Pretender

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ROK1-VvOQ0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •