Where Have My Employees Gone?

August 4, 2021


There is no doubt that the lock down that resulted from the covid 19 pandemic was devastating. Non-essential businesses were either shut down or saw their sales plummet. As businesses shut down or just plain gave up and closed their doors, employees were left wondering where their next paycheck was coming from. Luckily for the newly unemployed, federal and state governments stepped in to provide assistance in the way of enhanced unemployment insurance to get through the pandemic. 

As time passed and businesses slowly recovered, a phenomenon occurred; their workforce was missing. Many politicians, and not just a few business owners, put the blame on those enhanced unemployment checks as the culprit for why employees weren’t returning to their jobs. Why flip burgers or answer phones for eight hours a day when you could make as much sitting at home, being paid by the government was the theory. 

“Turns out, the enhanced benefit wasn’t the 

reason for employees not returning to the workforce.”

To answer the call to get America back to work, 23 states ended the additional $300 federal benefit that has been blamed for employees not going back to their jobs. Did it work? Not exactly.  Instead of increasing employment, all that happened was the most vulnerable of the unemployed have been hurt more. Turns out, the enhanced benefit wasn’t the reason for employees not returning to the workforce.


istockphoto-1284290965-612x612Creator: ablokhin | Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

So, what is happening? Where are all of those employees? Firm after firm are complaining that they can’t find employees to work. Hospitality and travel seem to be hit the hardest. There might be a number of reasons employees either can’t, or won’t return to the workforce. 

I am not sure you can rank these reasons in order, so we will just start spilling them out. 

  1. Daycare is a big factor.

    As businesses closed, so did daycare for working moms and dads. Although some have reopened, they have limited enrollment due to the pandemic. That has also raised tuition making daycare more expensive.  Then there is covid. Let’s face it, the pandemic hasn’t gone away. Moms and dads are hesitant to send their kids into an unvaccinated environment, no matter how much disinfectant is poured on the desks. 

  2. The jobs are no longer there.

    Some jobs have just been eliminated and workers don’t have those jobs to go back to. Retail jobs had been dropping for years, it only accelerated its decline with the shut down as more retailers turned to online to survive. That’s if they survived.

  3. Education.

    Many workers stuck at home took that opportunity to take classes to improve their skills so they could look for better jobs after the recovery. Why work weekends for minimum wage when you could sit at home and get paid to get a degree. Armed with new degrees, employees are less likely to settle for the first job offered. 

  4. Wages.

    Having a year to reflect on your career choice, many workers now feel they can do better and are worth more.  Although states like California and New York have minimum wages $15.00 or higher, many states are still at the federal minimum of $7.25. Those lower paying jobs are usually the hardest with the worst hours. Think hospitality. No one wants to get paid $7.25 an hour to work nights and weekends, just to have disgruntled travelers yell at them that their room isn’t available, their flight was delayed or they have to wear a mask in the lobby. 

Well there you have it. A recovery that is desperate for employees and no one is showing up. If you are on the employer side and need to speed up your cash flow to attract talent, take a minute and give AeroFund Financial a call. We have been showing up for you for more than 30 years.