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    经济学人下载:高失业率下,为何美国还是招人难?(1)

    Source: Economist    2021-05-13  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

    Labour shortages in America 

    美国的劳动力短缺

    Help wanted 

    急聘

    Why workers are hard to find, even though unemployment is high 

    为什么在失业率高的情况下,工人还是很难找到

    The pandemic has led to all sorts of weird economic outcomes. The latest oddity is the growing chorus of complaints in America about a shortage oflabour, even though 8m fewer people are in work today than before covid-19 struck. In early April Bloomberg reported that Delta Air Lines had cancelled 100 flights for lack of staff. People are so hard to find that one café in Florida has turned to robots to greet customers and deliver food. A branch of McDonald's is paying potential burger-flippers $50 just to turn up for a job interview. 

    大流行导致了各种奇怪的经济结果。最近的一个奇怪之处是,尽管美国的就业人口与新冠肺炎爆发前相比减少了800万人,但对劳动力短缺的抱怨却越来越多。彭博社四月初报道称,达美航空公司因缺少员工而取消了100个航班。员工极其难招,以致于佛罗里达的一家咖啡馆已经开始用机器人来招呼顾客和送餐了。麦当劳的一家分店向潜在的汉堡厨师悬赏50美元,就为了等面试的人出现。

    The data back up the anecdotes. Total vacancies are running at their highest level for at least two decades, indicating that firms have plenty of unfilled positions. Furthermore, job openings are leading to fewer hires than you would expect based on the historical relationship between the two. And even accounting for changes in the composition of the workforce, wage growth, at about 3%, has been surprisingly robust, suggesting that firms are offering bigger pay packets to tempt workers. If they persist job shortages could eventually fuel inflation, threatening the economic recovery. 

    有数据支撑这些奇闻轶事。职位空缺总数达到了至少20年来的最高水平,这表明公司有大量空缺职位。此外,根据两者之间的历史关系,职位空缺导致的招聘人数比你预期的要少。即使考虑到劳动力构成的变化,工资增长(约3%)也异常强劲,这表明企业正在提供更大的薪酬来吸引工人。如果就业持续短缺,最终可能加剧通货膨胀,从而威胁到经济复苏。

    There are three potential explanations for the puzzling shortages: over-generous benefits; fearful workers; and a reallocation of labour between industries. Start with America's huge fiscal handouts. The latest stimulus cheques, posted in the spring, were for up to $1,400 per person. Seemingly every American knows of a neighbour's cousin's boyfriend who received a "stimmy" cheque, then quit his job in orderto sit on the sofa. A federal supplement to unemployment insurance (UI), currently $300 a week, ensures that four in ten unemployed people earn more from benefits than they did in their previous job. Economic research has long concluded that more generous benefits blunt incentives to look for work. 

    出现这些令人困惑的短缺有三种可能的解释:过于慷慨的福利;忧虑的工人;以及产业间劳动力的重新分配。先从美国的巨额财政援助说起。今年春天发布的最新刺激支票每人能拿到高达1400美元的金额。似乎每个美国人都知道邻居表亲的男朋友收到了“吝啬”的支票后,为了坐在沙发上而辞掉了工作。外加一项联邦失业保险(UI)(目前是每周300美元),能够确保四成的失业者获得的收入比他们在上一份工作中获得的收入还要多。经济研究长期以来得出的结论是,更慷慨的福利会削弱人们找工作的动力。

    Yet this relationship appears to have weakened during the pandemic. The fact that increases in UI payments have been time-limited may make workers reluctant to turn down a job with longer-lasting rewards. In the early part of the pandemic the UI supplement was even more generous, at $600, but its expiry in the summer had "little effect on overall employment", according to a paper published in February by Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Likewise, in the areas where the current $300 is a relatively larger boost to income, employment growth has not weakened since January, when that uplift was introduced. 

    然而这种关系在大流行期间似乎有所减弱。失业救济的增加是有时间限制的,这一事实可能会让员工不愿意拒绝一份有长期报酬的工作。根据马萨诸塞大学阿默斯特分校的阿润德拉吉特·杜布2月份发表的一篇论文,在大流行的早期,失业保险补贴金甚至更慷慨,为600美元,但在夏季到期时“对总体就业几乎没有影响”。同样,在那些目前300美元对收入的提振作用相对较大的地区,就业增长自今年1月开始增长以来就没有减弱过。


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