There are a record 10.1 million job openings across America, the highest number of available vacancies since the Labor Department began tracking this statistic in 2000 and more than the number of unemployed Americans.
This should be cause for celebration after government-enforced lockdowns caused small businesses to shut down and unemployment to skyrocket. Instead, it’s a flashing warning light that the engine of our economy, Main Street small businesses, is in crisis.
What makes the labor shortage so shocking is its sheer scale.
Consider a recent national survey published by the National Federation of Independent Businesses: “small business labor shortage hit a new record in July.” Nearly half of small business owners polled said they have unfilled job openings they could not fill.
A staggering “93 percent of those owners hiring or trying to hire reported few or no ‘qualified’ applicants for the positions they were trying to fill in July.” One in four business owners ranked labor shortage as their top business problem.
It should be no surprise that U.S. small business optimism has taken a hit, and owners are less confident about America’s economic recovery.
The cause of this crisis is unintelligent spending by Democrats in Washington.
Government-mandated closures created unprecedented obstacles for small businesses across America. And at a time when they thought they were finally able to catch their breath, policies pushed by the Biden administration, and every Democrat in Congress, created even more hurdles – work has been disincentivized, and our economic recovery jeopardized.
In March, Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion “Covid” spending splurge that had almost nothing to do with Covid on a party line vote. President Biden promised that help was on the way. Instead, help wanted signs were.
Since then, small businesses have had to deal with the predictable consequences of competing for employees against a federal government that can print its own money at taxpayers’ expense.
Small business owners directly blame the federal government’s enhanced unemployment for the labor crisis they are suffering through. These businesses have hit a breaking point:
- “We’re overrun with business which is a great thing but we can’t find people that want to come and work… We’ve had quite a few people tell us blatantly that they’re getting enough money in stimulus checks and unemployment that they’d rather not work.” – Kevin Wakefield, owns three restaurants/bars in Ormond Beach, Florida
- “Everybody needed a win. And then we phased into this labor crisis…. It’s honestly more stressful and harder to manage than Covid was… There’s 20 rooms a night I can’t rent because I can’t keep them clean. That’s 600 rooms a month. That’s a phenomenal amount of money, and that’s hurting us. I think it’s a long-term issue. I think it’s going to take a long, long time to rebuild it.” – Colin Davis, owner of Chico Hot Springs Resort in Pray, Montana
- “We’re all getting hit with this one-two punch. We should be rejoicing and feeling happy that everything is re-opened, but we’re all fighting all these different issues and it’s twice as challenging as it ever has been.” – Matt Marple, owner of 7 Hermits Brewing Company in Eagle County, Colorado
- “It’s going to be really hard for us to open up more because we just don’t have the personnel.” – Mario Arroyo, the owner of Arroyo’s Restaurant in Stockton, California
These testimonies provide a small glimpse into the struggles small businesses continue to navigate to simply survive. Sadly, their stories are not uncommon. If you have eaten out, traveled, or visited your favorite local bar in the past several months, you have probably noticed “help wanted” signs or warnings of slower service or higher prices due to the labor shortages.
As Republicans have warned for months, reckless government spending has caused an economic crisis, not an economic recovery. Today, Democrats doubled down on their plan to continue their reckless spending spree by passing a $3.5 trillion socialist spending binge that will crush families, dismantle our economy, and reshape our country in the worst possible way.
The government has hiked prices and made it harder for these small businesses to survive. If the labor shortage continues, the next year will be devastating for the American Dream.
Anyone championing trillions more in government spending should keep this very real crisis in mind.