According to Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics, 4.4 million workers voluntarily quit their employment in September. Retail employees, hotel and service workers, and truck drivers are in particularly short supply as the countrywide labor deficit continues to gather up the pace. Even though hiring Santas for appearances currently costs upwards of $300 an hour, there is a lack of Santas.
America’s workforce and firms are battling to find workers who aren’t the only ones affected. The labor shortage affects almost every sector of the economy, which might lead to problems with your Christmas plans and your budget.
Coronavirus worries have caused some employees to leave their employment; others are afraid of acquiring the virus or spreading it to loved ones. The “Great Resignation” is a rising movement of people who are quitting their jobs searching for better working conditions, better salary, a new profession, or even simply a more extended vacation.
Businesses are finding it more difficult than ever to acquire and keep staff, regardless of the reasons given by workers for departing. On the other hand, consumers might be in for some problems just in time for the holidays.
Since of this, many companies are being pushed to reduce hours and services because they cannot meet customer demands if they don’t have enough employees. Businesses that provide increases and incentives to entice staff are likely to pass those additional expenses on to consumers through increased pricing as potential employees acquire more power.
A look at what you might expect throughout the Christmas season, including travel delays, shortages of toys, and food shortages at the grocery.
Flights for the holidays and other travel woes
As Soon As Today online news, staff shortages have the unfortunate effect of reducing travel options. More than 1,000 flights were canceled by American Airlines last month due to severe weather and staffing issues. More flight cancellations are inevitable over the busy Christmas season, given that Southwest has had to cancel over 2,000 flights lately due to a severe labor shortage.
If your flight is delayed or canceled, it’s not only you who will be affected. According to an article in the Sacramento Bee published only last week, the airport’s food and beverage concessions have been forced to close or restrict their hours because of a lack of workers.
Travelers can expect delays, cancellations, and other inconveniences as demand for Christmas travel increases, particularly now that the United States has removed its ban on foreign visitors.
Rescheduled or no-show Christmas presents
Many businesses have difficulty getting goods from crowded ports into warehouses and onto store shelves because of a lack of truck drivers and retail staff. Many popular Christmas presents, such as video game systems, Pokemon cards, and Squishmallows, are either sold out or impossible to locate due to supply chain delays compounded by a personnel shortage.
There is also a growing willingness of the American public to spend money. According to Deloitte, holiday spending will rise between 7% and 9% above last year’s figures.
The main message is that if you have your heart set on a particular present, start your shopping early to prevent disappointment. According to Morning Consult, over half of the customers have previously faced supply chain concerns, such as out of stock or delayed merchandise. The finest savings may be found after the Christmas season if you’re patient enough to wait for the early reductions offered by big retailers such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Wayfair.
Higher pricing due to food shortages
As a result of a labor crisis, several grocery shops have cut down on their hours to fill available jobs. In response to a “difficult labor market and altering consumer shopping behaviors,” Schnucks, a midwestern supermarket chain, announced earlier this autumn that it would shut most of its shops an hour before. In September, Harris Teeter, a grocery store chain, likewise reduced its hours.
Many large food firms have announced price increases due to increased labor costs and difficulty locating employees. Oreos, Doritos, Ben & Jerry’s, Skippy peanut butter and many more popular goods are witnessing price increases. The parent firm of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Unilever, informed a distributor in September that some flavors will be de-prioritized due to workforce shortages.
The ongoing supply chain problem, which is also to blame for specific stock difficulties and shortages on grocery store shelves, adds to the supermarket labor concerns. To ensure that you have enough turkeys and cranberries on hand for the holidays, it’s good to stock up early.
Shopping at the store may be more costly than average since inflation has reached a 30-year high of 6.2% annually in October, with food costs (in restaurants and at home) increasing by 5.3% annually over the last year.