Oct 10, 2021 - Axios on HBO

Biden's labor secretary is stumped by the worker shortage

The Biden administration remains perplexed by the number of eligible workers who aren't taking available jobs, U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh tells "Axios on HBO."

The big picture: The U.S. economy added just 194,000 jobs in September, far below economist expectations.

  • Particularly surprising was the seasonally-adjusted drop in public school employment.
  • Walsh suggested that COVID concerns, particularly for public-facing service jobs, could be keeping people out of the workforce. He also mentioned that the pandemic caused many people to seek out a new career.
  • Some economists and elected officials, particularly Republican governors, had argued that ending expended unemployment benefits would result in a major jobs uptick. But the evidence, so far, has not borne that out.

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