By this point, it's no secret the U.S. is dealing with a massive labor shortage, with an estimated 11 million job openings nationwide, and the labor force still millions short of what it was pre-pandemic. The question now is what caused this massive shortage, and what is prolonging it? The Biden administration has blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for keeping people on the sidelines. But voters don't agree. According to a new FOX Business poll, one third of voters blame government handouts like extra unemployment benefits and stimulus checks for causing the labor shortage. Conversely, only 19% blame the pandemic.
Vance Ginn, economist at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, agrees that government policies have led to the labor shortage. "Sure, some people might still be concerned about going back to work over fears of COVID-19, but I think what we're really seeing is a result of the Biden administration's policies of paying people not to work for so long," he says.
In addition to the 33% of voters who blame government handouts, another 16% blame vaccine mandates. So essentially half of the voters polled blame a Biden policy for the labor market issues. "With these vaccine mandates, the fear some people have of getting the vaccine is also creating a situation where they don't want to return to work," says Ginn.
Ginn believes the president, not the pandemic, ultimately bears the blame for the labor market woes. "These sorts of policies and fear that have been put out there by the Biden administration are directly resulting in a large number of people not wanting to go back to work," he continues. "What I think we need to see is a change of these policies, which I hope can start to happen from the failure of the Build Back Better Act."