Workers See Their New Power, Quit in Record Numbers to Get Better Jobs at Companies Struggling to Fill 10.6 Million Openings

Workers come out ahead, a phenomenon not seen in many decades, as desperate employers poach workers from each other amid widespread labor shortages.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

The number of workers who quit jobs to work for another company, or to stay home and fix up the house or take care of the kids or who feel like they don’t have to work anymore after booking big gains in their stocks or cryptos, or whatever, spiked in November to a record of 4.53 million (seasonally adjusted).

In the private sector, “quits” spiked to a record of 4.31 million, 30.6% higher than in November 2019, a year when the job market had also been hot and the number of quits had reached record levels. Private sector quits accounted for over 95% of total quits. Only about 216,000 folks quit jobs at federal, state, and local government agencies.

This is not based on online job postings that can be all over the place, but on a survey of the payroll departments of 21,000 nonfarm businesses and government entities by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, released today in its JOLTS report.

Record quits are a sign that employees feel confident.

Workers either have a better job lined up, or are confident they can easily get a better job, or are confident that they can pull off starting their own business, and the number of new businesses has exploded in 2021.

Others made big percentage gains in stocks, cryptos, and real estate and are confident that these gains will be endlessly repeated, year after year, and they’re confident that they don’t have to work anymore. We did some of that thinking in the late 1990s. The dotcom crash put an end to those well-laid-out plans as people scrambled to get their day-jobs back.

Record quits are a sign of churn: employers poach each other’s’ workers.

Employers are offering higher pay, better benefits, signing bonuses, and/or more flexibility – hours, working from home, etc. – to hire workers. And they’re hiring workers that already have jobs with a company somewhere else, which creates a huge amount of churn, which is precisely what workers are using to improve their own situation.

When a company hires a worker away from another company, it counts as a quit, reported by the company that lost that employee, and the job opening shifts from the hiring company to the poached company. Poaching employees from other companies doesn’t change the overall count of job openings; it just shifts them. But it does increase the quits.

The “quits rate” in the private sector – the number of quits as a percent of total private-sector employment – jumped to a new record of 3.4%:

The highest quits rates were in:

  • Accommodation and food services, rose to 6.9%
  • Retail, remained at 4.4%
  • Health care and social assistance, rose to 3.0%
  • Professional and business services, rose to 3.7%.

Job openings remains in an astronomically high range.

In November, there were 10.6 million job openings (seasonally adjusted), up by 53%, or by 3.65 million job openings, from November 2019, and in the same astronomically high range that has prevailed since last July:

Hiring is now hard to do.

Strong hiring numbers and rising employment levels indicate that most of the people who quit jobs are staying in the labor force and are using the arbitrage opportunities offered by desperate employers in a red-hot job market amid labor shortages. Workers have discovered their power in the labor market – a phenomenon not seen in many decades.

The number of people that were hired by private sector employers in November rose to 6.3 million (seasonally adjusted), compared to 4.3 million workers that quit jobs — most of them to be hired by another company. The number of hires in November was up by 13.2% from November 2019 — held down by the difficulties that companies now have in hiring people amid the widespread labor shortages:

Whether or not higher wages and signing bonuses and better benefits are sufficient to pay for the surging prices of everything, including housing, depends on their personal situation, and we wish them luck.

The jobs report for November, released in early December, showed that total employment with establishments – the number of people on regular payrolls – was still down by 3.9 million people from February 2020 and was about 8 million below trend, amid this strange phenomenon of record quits and churn, record job openings, widespread worker-poaching by employers, and loud complaints of labor shortages

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  196 comments for “Workers See Their New Power, Quit in Record Numbers to Get Better Jobs at Companies Struggling to Fill 10.6 Million Openings

  1. rodolfo says:

    im poachable and a good worker. will work for bitcoin.

    • wadge22 says:

      “Would I ever leave this company? Look, I am all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I’m getting paid for here is my loyalty. But… If there were somewhere else that valued my loyalty more highly… I’m going wherever they value loyalty the most.” -Dwight Schrute

      • Joe Saba says:

        when I started out as computer programmer in 1990 I got taken advantage being newly degreed, recession, etc.

        I would change jobs once I got enough experience for next level
        oh, and the repeated layoffs(3 in 5 years) every few years due to budget cuts/grants not funded and lousy economy

        but when Y2K hit in earnest I was optimal resume/worker
        great 8 years on road – but family called
        after 9/11 rates dropped and I QUIT racket
        in 2002 – they wanted me to work for $30 an hour – in california
        nope took the money and ran
        now I make what I make and earn living wage (on 15-20 hours per week)

    • leanFIRE_Queen says:

      > Employers are offering higher pay, better benefits, signing bonuses, and/or more flexibility – hours, working from home, etc. – to hire workers.

      Employers should simply offer free housing, flexible hours to be decided by the employee and a 1099 income, forget about all the other fat.

    • JK says:

      I’m poachable too. I’ll work for gold.

    • Brant Lee says:

      Robot employees just aren’t evolving quickly enough for corporations is the problem. Automated burger-flipping has yet to be perfected.

      Another problem is the endless flow of people who will work for anything ended with the pandemic benefits. I would say it only takes six weeks of getting paid to sit on the couch to watch TV will change anyone’s mindset forever.

      But still, corporations will never fold to the point where jobs could be made interesting. What is better than having someone stand at a cash register with a blank stare on their face? (Actually, employees are called ‘A Body’ by the management).

      Why charge the atmosphere with employee incentives to sell more product such as a bonus, percentage of increases, etc.? There used to be heads of departments in stores who knew about the merchandise and inventory, actually good jobs.

      Sorry corporations, the government killed off your Metropolis-style jobs paying your peon supply to stay home.

      • sc7 says:

        There are some difficult limitations (namely with servos) that keep robotics from being able to mimic the dexterity and speed of humans. We’ll get there eventually, but it could be 1-2 decades away.

        Near-term, I see AI augmenting a lot more white collar jobs, and eliminating a fair number of them. That said, there’s also a lot of hype and bluster (created by people who don’t understand AI), that ignores some very hard limitations in that space.

        • Brant Lee says:

          Yeah, good thing they started with self-driving cars instead of flipping burgers. Sounds logical to me.

        • Anthony A. says:

          Brant, we are still many years away from self driving, and even when that comes, there will be serious limitations.

        • Robotics and servos took scientific management off the charts. From making humans work like robots to making robots work like humans. The people who are buying up Tesla stock know it is a play on AI. The short sellers see another car maker. The only thing AI is good for is crypto transactions. None of it makes sense.

        • sc7 says:

          @Brant Lee

          They don’t really need dexterity for self-driving cars, though. They AI will adjust the mechanisms within the drivetrain directly. In many ways from a mechanical standpoint, a self-driving car is actually easier to make than a machine that would make a complete burger.

          Where I think the play has been overdone is a massive, massive underestimation (and charlatans like Musk deceiving people) of the AI capability needed to solve the last 20% of the problem (driving off main roads). That problem could take another 10-15 years to fully solve.

        • nick kelly says:

          ‘We’ll get there eventually, but it could be 1-2 decades away.’

          Given our knowledge of the basic physics, which is down to the level of quarks and the Higgs Boson, any technical problem to which the solution can’t be mapped out for solution in five years may as well be ‘some day’ i.e., the ‘not for- seeable future’.

          The magic wand, AI, relies on the assumption that the past rate of progress in computing power and cost can be extrapolated into the future. But the so- called ‘Moore’s Law’, that memory density and cost will fall forever, is history. The layers of transistors can’t be thinned much more. We’ll have to see how close they can come to the density of information storage in DNA. There the code is stored at the atomic level, the theoretical limit.

        • sc7 says:

          @Nick Kelly

          You raise a good point about the timeline. In the 1960s they envisioned flying cars (still not here), but not (smart) cell phones.

          That said, Moore’s Law isn’t the constraining factor for AI. Companies know we are bumping on that limitation, but cars themselves don’t really need more processing power than can currently be put into them. Model training is done in supercomputing clusters, and even across multiple clusters. 5G will eventually enable accessing cloud computing power directly. 5G technology may also enable a framework for self-driving vehicles to communicate with others. (I have a multitude of security concerns with that).

          But, more importantly, neural model development continues to dramatically improve. Code optimization will continue to improve. There have been several AI breakthroughs that have arrived BEFORE anyone’s predicted timeline. Companies are developing specialized chips for AI processing, unlocking a whole new level of processing power within current physical limitations. Every year, the Neural Engine on Apple’s A-Series chips continues to make dramatic performance leaps. Google has Tensor processors, Amazon is working on their own, as is Tesla.

          There’s plenty of runway left before physical limitations stop AI development.

        • Jay says:

          Amazon will be a primary barometer of when robotics has matured enough from whatever real limitations there are today. As such, when their warehouse employment plateaus and then starts to decline, we all know what comes next. The only question is at what pace.

          I wouldn’t want to be a radiologist today at least in terms of long-term job security. In about 10 years, this job function will be obliterated by AI. Two years ago, a company’s AI was 86% correct in diagnosing a group of 200 different types of medical issues compared to the doctor’s 95%.

          At some point not too far in the future, AI is going to start killing off lots of jobs. It’s inevitable. Again, it’s just timing and two decades seem too generous. In two decades, AI & quantum computing will have fully merged. Think Skynet.

        • sc7 says:

          @Jay

          I agree with you that AI is poised to eliminate a lot of jobs, but for now it is going to augment many more than it eliminates. All of the AI today is still really neural networks and training, just on larger and larger data sets. To fully emulate (not simulate) the number of neurons in a typical human brain with current software packages, would require nearly all of the computing power on earth. Absent that large leap in computing power (which isn’t needed for a number of AI applications like autonomous vehicles), there are some very real hard limitations with no path forward identified before they can get to anything resembling human level intelligence.

          I have family working in the field at top tech firms, it seems those actually working in the field are a lot more “realistic” about where things are and what will be achieved.

        • nick kelly says:

          I’m sure AI etc. is going to do a lot. But self driving? Next time yr in a crowded park lot, note what you do all the time without being aware of it. You see a car waiting to exit a lane u want to enter. You look at the driver to see where he’s looking. If not at you, you wait until you see what he’s doing, If you make eye contact maybe u wave him to go.

          If full i.e., no human control self- drivers were declared legal next week, Wally etc., would set up a zone for them like a bus stop and bar them from main lot, lest they drove humans into a rage.

          Next: When I visit Victoria ( big city to me) I have to park on a narrow two- way street with MANY cars parked. This is a long street, over hundred yards. When two cars approach each other, one has to pull into a vacant spot. You have to figure this out when the cars are still up to 50 yards apart. It’s a bit intimidating and from what I’ve seen of self drivers, not only can they not do it, I don’t see it in the future. What happens if 2 self- drivers meet. If they don’t do it right, one would have to back up a whole block, Which means the street is blocked.

          If you think drivers are impatient with a slow driver now…just wait until its a robot that pissing them off.

          Is there a limited urban role for SD, sure. But why aren’t all buses already SD? Same route, own parking spots…

        • nick kelly says:

          Sc: not only do we not have flying cars, we don’t have airliners that fly any faster than 50 years ago: 550 mph. The only attempt to double it, Concorde, needed half its take- off weight as fuel to fly 100 passengers. There is no reason to believe the physics will be overcome in the future: resistance in a fluid varies as the cube of velocity.

          Note my exact wording. I didn’t say computing power won’t improve, I said we can’t assume: ‘that the past RATE of progress in computing power and cost can be extrapolated into the future. Given the past rate, which started from vacuum tubes, we can be certain it won’t. But this assumption is the magic wand being waved at self driving etc.

          The problem with self- driving of autos is not servos or mechanics, it is vision ( detecting path via any part of the EM spectrum) seeing what is ahead, processing that info, and reacting correctly. The last 20% of the problem will be solved in 15 years? How about the first 20%; it just snowed. everywhere. They can’t drive in snow.

      • Sams says:

        Other places self check out at stores and ordering from a touch screen at Mc Donalds and other fast food eateries are common.

      • fajensen says:

        I would say it only takes six weeks of getting paid to sit on the couch to watch TV will change anyone’s mindset forever.

        I would say that six weeks of “mild” Corona will also do that.

        There’s just something about feeling that one is about to croak and the boss whining about his problems, that will make one de-prioritise “the office” in favor of people and activities that one enjoy!

      • Kurtismayfield says:

        “Robot employees just aren’t evolving quickly enough for corporations is the problem. Automated burger-flipping has yet to be perfected.”

        I’d argue that most of the “innovations” of the past twenty years have been consumer related businesses making the customer do the labor that they used to get for free, and that robotics will not solve anything in the consumer industry.

        Manufacturing.. yes robotics has worked.

  2. Mike says:

    The part of the free market “capitalists” hate. :)

    I’m glad workers have the upward mobility. a
    It’s not always the case that workers who want more pay and working conditions can easily go out and get it. So I hope this sticks around for a while.

    • Big G says:

      I am still shocked at how many people still think we have a capitalist economy. We have not been a capitalist economy or more precisely a remnant of a capitalist economy since we got off the gold standard in 1971 and it is exactly when inflation became higher than wages. This situation is an oligarchy losing control of it finances not capitalism. Real capitalism doesn’t bail out anyone. Doesn’t favor anyone. Also we do limit capitalism by getting rid of monopoly and those close to it like duopoly. We also are supposed to get rid of collusion on prices and keeping people from being able to break into a market. We didn’t appoint CEOs of companies into government office like a revolving door. That breeds a flavor of Fascism which is what we have today. Capitalism died in 1971 when Nixon took us off the gold standard. We need to get rid of the kings economy ( Fed Reserve) A central bank might as well be a kings economy because it does not allow money to flow to demand. We get less than 1% because they can print. If they did not print we would have 3 to 9% bank rates depending on time. Cash has been trash as Robert Kiosaki says ever since 1971 and exactly why borrowing is cheaper than saving. (The way the 1% gets richer)

      • Marcus Aurelius says:

        Capitalism died in 1913.

        The Income Tax and Federal Reserve are right out of Karl Marx’s pamphlet.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          I’m with MA,,, but only in the most formal sense:
          1913 was when the takeover of the financial aspects of USA was formalized by the establishment of the FRB, a wholly owned subsidiary of our owners, the international oligarchy.
          While it IS open to newcomers who can and do prove their worth, the owners are families that have been and continue in control of the vast majority of the real assets of the world, just as has been the case since at least the 14th century, in spite of or perhaps because of King John’s apparent letting some of the barons, etc., become ”nobility” instead of being his property as had been the case previously.
          WE the Peons were still owned entirely by the King(s) at that time, but were gradually auctioned off to the new nobility, as is still the case even though we are now called wage slaves instead of serfs, peasants, etc.
          The owners have been and will continue to play ”the long game” to maintain their world wide control: this includes getting back the entire part of USA stolen from them in the 1840s, as well as other equally ”global” activities that have been going on for eva in most areas of the world.
          Capitalism probably happened between about 1776 and approximately 50 years later when the oligarchs ran off Andrew Jackson; since then we might generously allow our economic system to be called ”crony” capitalism, but in reality, it has been corruption as usual.
          Get used to it.

        • drifterprof says:

          @VintageVNvet

          I don’t understand your focus on an international oligarchy as causal throughout the history of the United States. From the histories I’ve read, it seems like the American oligarchs were originally home- grown industrialist robber barons (Rockefeller, Morgan, etc.). Some did team up with British oligarchs to manipulate the gold market, cause American banking crises, etc., but the American oligarchs seemed like a class of their own.

          In the late 1800s / early 1900s, the U.S. had some of the most violent and murderous repression of union activity. Until I learn otherwise, that seems like it was home-grown and independent of a globally integrated oligarchy.

          The Bretton Woods international agreement established a new world financial order, in which it seems like American oligarchy was dominant and in control. And it hadn’t significantly melded with the world oligarchy network yet.

          The United States used it’s financial and military power to support and even establish non-democratic oligarchies. But until the American oligarchs fully betrayed their homeland (by considering it a post-industrial society not worthy of investment), it seems like they were not fully melded with global oligarch networks.

          For example, my interpretation is that the Trilateral Commission was developed by Rockefeller to extend and consolidate American financial and military power, not play equally on an international oligarch team.

      • Escierto says:

        You are exactly right! Well stated, Big G.

      • Finster says:

        Bull’s eye. I’m not sure what word describes it best – maybe there isn’t just one – but corporatism beats capitalism.

        In any case it’s not a free market economy … the Land of the Free ironically harbors the world’s most powerful central planners.

      • Sams says:

        Feudalism, crony capitalism, oligarchy, corporatism and fascism are capitalism as good as any. Especially to those at the top that rake inn the profits. It is also “free market”, in the sense that capital is free to self-regulate and make the law to their own pleasure. Remember capitalism is about only one thing, the bottom line. Maximum profit that is, by any means.

        A ”free market” where there is competition and capital do not write the law is a regulated market with capitalism hold in check by others than capital owners.

        An example, there is not much freedom for capital in anti-trust laws, on the contra ordinary such law severely limits the freedom of capital to maximize profit

    • Old school says:

      If someone told you there was going to be 3.9 fewer people working, would you have predicted stock market would be up 50% ? I wouldn’t and I didn’t.

      • Anthony A. says:

        Stock market has to go up to solidify and maintain the wealth of the governing class.

  3. nick kelly says:

    ‘Employers are offering higher pay..’

    Please don’t mention ‘wage inflation’ to JP (the least transitory inflation.)
    He’s been feeling a bit blue over the holidays and this might upset him.

  4. MonkeyBusiness says:

    I am happy for the workers, truly. It’s about time.

    • MiTurn says:

      Two of my sons both WFH in the tech industry. One just got an out-of-blue $10k raise….just beause.

      I guess his employer is pro-actively heading off a pouching.

      • RockHard says:

        This is exactly the way it was in the late 90s in tech. I’d get a raise every 6 months just to keep me from leaving.

  5. sunny129 says:

    The coming BLS employment report coming this friday:

    Economists expect the U.S. to have added 422,000 jobs in December, up from November’s result of 210,000. Such an increase would be positive in that people going back to work would have money to spend, but markets don’t want to see a jobs number that beats that estimate by too much. That could mean higher inflation in the near term, giving Fed officials more need to act to rein in prices. The market will need a Goldilocks number that shows solid job growth but isn’t too strong (h/t MW)

    And the bubble can keep on rising, and every one happy, right?

  6. polecat says:

    If I may Wolf, a question.. (delete if too off thread..)

    Just how many of those quits, whether job jumping or not, could actually produce ANY of their own food .. should personal necessity call, even if it were but a fraction of their daily/monthly/annual consuming quotient?

    I ask, because it appears we be $lipin over into the event horizon of ELI – short for ‘EL-ite-induced- I-nflation’ – a blackhole $oo ominous, that All the eggs will be .. how shall we say – ‘WEFianized’ .. or some such, by those asset-weaponized ghouls of deceit and hubris .. which seem to abound .. devouring not just the golden eggs, but ANY and All that can be had!

    Many people, once they grok how baddly things will swing, will totally wig, not knowing where to start when it comes to the most basic of ‘skills’ – Procuring FOOD – and I don’t mean seven11 .. or even COSCO..

    Hope all those tony high-flyers in their silk suits and their bueaucratic sycophants who tend to jet through Egoclouds – to finer days and finer ways, don’t eventually find themselves on the public menu.

    • Truckman says:

      Around here, a number of newly-moved couples are now one job (remote-working) + one (who used to be employed) working at home, growing at least some of their own food.
      The economics are now such that it often benefits the family for one partner to be home-based, rather than both employed by others.

      • Marcus Aurelius says:

        That is very true.

        Do the math.

        For most “jobs”, it is better for one spouse to stay home and find ways to cut costs, etc.

        • Truckman says:

          It also makes sense for people to retire early and do that, rather than continue working, especially with all the hassle associated with work now. Who, at 50, or 55, needs Covid, compulsory jabs, and overwork because of everyone else being off or leaving?

        • Anthony A. says:

          “For most “jobs”, it is better for one spouse to stay home and find ways to cut costs, etc.”

          Haha….choose carefully…my EX stayed home and did the opposite!

  7. Iswhatitis says:

    As an employer, we saw this coming from a mile away, and we knew, as a successful bootstrapped tech company, we could not compete against the insanity of venture funding, which is funding massive salaries at VC backed companies generating massive amounts of losses with no regard for P&L.

    We rebuilt our entire team structure going right into Oct 2020 to lean heavily and make a bet on INTL workers. We have full teams of people in Asia and Eastern Europe and we layer that in with key positions in the US. This way, our US team gets paid way above market, and they’re also expected to deliver above market of course. And, our INTL team gets paid way above market.

    In December 2021, 4 of our employees in India took home a pay check > $3,000 USD. That is quite literally 4x what they were making before we hired them, and it’s all based on performance (high bonus, relatively low base salary). Nearly all of our INTL employees are making 2x more than they were before they joined us. These are sophisticated jobs that often require technical skillset or analytical skillset.

    In the US, our key employees are now making 30-50% more. It’s a bit harder to deliver a 2-4x gain in the US, of course.

    The result? Our revenues grew > 200% in 2021, we had the best operating margin in years, and everyone has made lots and lots and lots of money. No one is going anywhere.

    So, we’re going to continue with our INTL plan. Though, we now see many doing this already, and really pushing up salaries. For example, some devs in Ukraine are now making about as much as US counterparts pre-pandemic.

    The kicker: INTL workers have a chip on their shoulder and they work harder than their US counterparts. The right US hires are still indispensable glue, so we layer in 1 US based hire for every 8-10 INTL. In this way, we can set it up to be a life changing arrangement for the entire team, rather than just the founders like myself.

    Quite frankly, this is all global supply and demand.

    I don’t understand why I see US tech employees making huge amounts of money for doing pretty much nothing day in day out. Will it last? If it does, the US is going to lose a lot of its clout as INTL startups are gaining funding, traction, and success around the world with a work hard vs. lazy US culture.

    • Lynn says:

      It’s the exchange rate. If US workers were paid 2x or 4x what they usually make on the US market you would certainly attract the harder working people. A regular worker – not CEO or upper management, will usually make more money working for themselves IF they are hard working, intelligent and knowledgeable. Or, even if not, if they have enough starting capital and a little common sense..

    • MarkinSF says:

      “we could not compete against the insanity of venture funding, which is funding massive salaries at VC backed companies generating massive amounts of losses with no regard for P&L.”
      “I see US tech employees making huge amounts of money for doing pretty much nothing day in day out”

      This pretty much illustrates the current state of high end employment. As Wolf pointed out regarding the 90s dot com crash, once things unraveled in the markets, everything worker bees took for granted vanished overnight.

      Pretty much the same thing happened by year 2 of the GFC circa 2009.

      Circle back to Wolf’s article on office vacancies and a landslide isn’t difficult to imagine. Not hard to guess what happens next.

      VC funding becomes very selective and “assets” of all kind are now for sale.

    • Petunia says:

      I’m an old techie, so I have been around the tech world for a long time, decades. What you are doing is very profitable now, but make sure you protect your intellectual property, or your biggest cheapest competitors will come out of India and the Ukraine. I guarantee it.

      • Apple says:

        Companies have been outsourcing for several decades now.

        As Iswhatitis noted, the cost savings is no longer compelling.

    • Truckman says:

      Several points need mentioning.
      Whilst your policy has shown benefits in the short term:
      1) Without the lower positions, you have cut off the supply of US employees who will later become the “key positions”
      2) Without the lower positions, no sane US undergraduate is going to pay for a US degree in the appropriate subject.
      3) Your INTL employees are spending your money in other countries.
      I’m not criticizing your decision from your personal economic standpoint, especially as the VC industry is clearly insane, but I would have a plan to be out of the industry within 10 years.

      • Iswhatitis says:

        Truckman,

        It is what it is.

        If I could employee US only, as I had done in the past, I would.

        But, I can’t. Everyone in the US bare minimum wants 3-5x (3x for Ops, 5x for Dev) what they were making in 2015 in tech. And, I tried that for a while and nearly lost my company by burning up millions of dollars of my own capital to fund their salaries. Our balance sheet looked like one of those shitty tech companies for a while, I learned my lesson. It’s a lot better to burn other people’s money if you’re taking the VC model. What changed since 2015? Just a lot of VC funding and lots of money losing companies.

        BTW – we only hire experienced and high paid in the US, we aren’t interested in hiring anyone short of phenomenal. And we pay them a lot to be phenomenal.

        I also love the fact that we are helping other economies in the process. Who’s going to work harder? A comfortable American or an uncomfortable foreigner that is coming up from something? I think the foreigner with a chip on their shoulder 1000% of the time UNLESS it’s a life changing opportunity for the American. We can change their lives, as well as the lives of our most highly paid US employees. It’s win-win IMO. In the end, I hope to make my US employees millionaires, and my foreign team rich in their local currencies. I’ve made a lot of money, and I’ve shifted towards conscious capitalism over the years.

        And quite frankly, you can blame the VCs for making INTL markets so competitive. By injecting massive capital into massive money losing operations (with most of them failing, not succeeding) in the US, we have no choice whatsoever because we operate for a profit.

        It’s not just us afterall. We’re seeing a huge rush of VC capital towards outsourcing nowadays. You know, you can find a Ukraine developer who gets paid $100k+ USD a year? That is absolutely bonkers.

        And of course, now INTL companies are growing rapidly. In a few years time, our 3-4x multiple on foreign workers may close, but we’ll be able to pay more still is the difference vs. the US.

        • Truckman says:

          I don’t dispute what you say, but none of that changes my three points. I’m putting the viewpoint of the school leavers and undergraduates I used to teach, most of whom are now looking at being HVAC technicians rather than graduate engineers. My own niece decided not to go to college but to pack boxes in a warehouse. Two years later she’s a supervisor in Quality Control, has an apartment, no debt, and the company is going to pay her to study further. Makes a lot more sense for her than being halfway through a very expensive degree. Not good for the nation however, as she’s in a warehouse handling some other countries’ products.

        • Bill ted says:

          I won’t let my kids go in to tech because of a holes like you that pay slave wages and get rich off the intellectual computer skills that require decades to learn that you don’t have. Outsourcing is a total disaster and you are being ripped off cause you are cheap and ignorant, time will tell, but merit is no longer used to hire.

        • Kenny Logins says:

          That sounds like a transitory opportunity.

          So yeah, make hay while the sun shines.

          But no one can do that and then complain about the state of the USA.

    • David Hall says:

      In 1999 the Help Wanted section of the Washington Post was one of the thickest sections of the Sunday paper. It was mainly tech job ads. Some quit jobs to go to school to learn to write software code. Startups were awash in cash. Companies were showing top line growth, but bottom line losses. Start up companies kept going back to Wall Street to sell new stock issues for additional funding. In early 2000 Robert Shiller of Yale published, “Irrational Exuberance.” He won a Nobel Prize. It started the biggest stock market sell off in years.

    • Sams says:

      At the current US dollar exchange rate…

      Next problem, in a few years some of those INTL workers have got the knowledge and experience to start on their own, make a profitable business without the US workers and substituting them for someone cheaper.

    • phleep says:

      So, physical immigration into the USA is more for the lowest end (most analog, physical hands-on) service jobs (including the “informal economy” of those types of workers, who can stay competitively in the economy that way). That was GOP’s latest pitch to the USA inhabitants most of whom won’t take those jobs anyway. I notice India and Ukraine are organized well enough to produce skilled digitally outsourceable workers. USA can look forward to even more of a permanent dole underclass.

      • Anthony A. says:

        Yes, I think that is the plan here. I’ve been in south Texas for 30 years now watching the influx of millions of Hispanics and they usually work in lawn care, flipping burgers, cleaning services, Walmart type stores, etc. I don’t see any of these migrating in this area of the country working in professional services.

        The Canadians that migrate here come to retire, vacation for while, or for medical care. I have no idea what other incoming folks end up doing.

    • steve says:

      The EU doesn’t have the super high US tech salaries, but they rank above other industries. We have been down the outsourcing route for 20 years, eastern Europe, India, everywhere… In the long term it doesn’t work, you get a benefit short term but eventually local salaries increase and the best employees jump ship for other companies doing exactly the same thing as you.

  8. MarkinSF says:

    Sign posted on the window of a flower shop in my hood reads:

    “NOW HIRING

    Anyone who shows up”

    • iswhatitis says:

      Lynn – the problem with your argument is that you assume highly paid US employees are hard workers. I find that to be completely untrue. Most folks I know making $300k a year are mostly fiddling their thumbs.

      So, what price do we have to go up to? $500k/yr? I’m not going to pay that. I’ll let some crazy VC backed company burning mountains of cash do that.

      MarkinSF, it’s a frothy market. I don’t know when the party stops, but it still seems to be heating up.

      Petunia, I’m up for the challenge. I’ve already thought this through many times over, and we have more than a few safeguards built in. I’m not decades old, but I’ve been a techie for a long time and seen it all, including sabotage. I’ve managed to stay rich (starting w/ becoming a liquid millionaire in my mid 20s with a $200 starting investment) by making wise decisions (and course correcting on poor decisions). Most of our dev team is INTL and has been since 2015 (when we started to see our US devs getting massive raises to quit with us… it became obvious what we had to do next), we’re doing great here. Mostly, it’s the ops team that has shifted INTL. So much for your guarantees! Spectators always have a ton to say.

      For us, it was and is very clear. Either, raise venture capital and lose control of the business, or do it this way. We did it this way. I like my distributions + growth focus, rather than growth-at-all-costs focus of VC. I invest in others to do that.

      • Truckman says:

        Companies hate exceptional employees, in my experience.
        Exceptional employees will quickly work out, whilst trying improve things like their jobspec requires, all the illegal, incompetent and dangerous things companies are doing. And because they are also moral go-getters, like the advert said the companies wanted, they won’t let up about it.
        And HR knows this, so the exceptional resumes end up in the trash immediately.
        Careful what you wish for.

        • Iswhatitis says:

          Personally, I don’t think so.

          We operate on an ethical level that surpasses the laws we’re subjected to, so I am always 1000% OK with anyone and everyone knowing exactly what we do at the company. We have always sacrificed short term revenues for our conscious, and we’ve seen many competitors do the opposite and fail. The competitors still around mostly operate like us.

          We’re proud of it, as I think many companies are.

          Now, let’s say you work at Google. Google has transformed from its “no evil” perspective to fully evil IMHO, and it employees a significant chunk of tech workers.

          The employees I know there don’t question it, because their stock options have given them millions in dollars of gains without working like a dog for themselves like most millionaires have done in the past. Who cares what Google is up to and how harmful they are to society to an employee that only cares about getting rich off Google’s back themselves? And if you can get away with doing nothing too contributory, even better.

        • Truckman says:

          Well, I have friends in 7 countries, and they are all seeing the same as me.
          Well done you, though. I personally agree ethical actually works in the long run, though it needs ethical and competent senior management (take that as a compliment). I had ethical employers back in the last millennium ;)
          What industry are you in?

        • Iswhatitis says:

          We are in advertising technologies – we both build technologies for hundreds of our clients to use, as well as monetize the tech with our own consumer facing brands.

          BUT – very, very key difference, we build in a segment of the market that rewards users (with gift cards, points, etc.) and gives them full control of their privacy, rather than stalks them.

          Most of ad tech is terribly unethical stalking.

          This is the niche we’ve carved out for ourselves over the last decade, one where consumers are actually very happy.

          83% of our users rate our services as “excellent”, 8% as “great”, 3% as “average”, 1% as poor, and 5% as bad. Most of that 5% is users we’ve banned from utilizing our services, due to abuse of our services. We’re proud of it.

        • Petunia says:

          Iswhat,

          Google is a terrible example because they are a front company for the surveillance state. They employ people mostly to keep them from working for other productive companies. The money they make is to keep them quiet about it.

        • MarkinSf says:

          @ Petunia
          “Google is a terrible example because they are a front company for the surveillance state.”

          Yes they are. Do no harm?

        • polecat says:

          ‘Do no harma to those fat, bloated Pharma!

        • robert says:

          Exceptional employees are difficult to manage; companies (and especially the managers) prefer competent employees who follow the rules. EEs also tend to showboat; a direct threat to managers.
          They will often tend to job-hop, not wishing a career within the organization (unless they steamroller and take it over!) Employment at one company is just considered a stepping stone to the next opportunity. It’s all personal.

      • Lynn says:

        iswhatitis

        Yeah, I’d agree. Most people paid $300K a year and up are twiddling their thumbs. In any profession. If you’re very lucky they have some skills in delegating. If not they just stop everyone else from doing their jobs efficiently.

        I’m talking about regular workers. Most techs AFAIK don’t make $300K pr year.

      • Lynn says:

        I think Truckman’s 3 points etc really hit the nail on the head.

        • Lynn says:

          It’s also discouraging to workers if their manager who twiddles their thumbs makes a huge amount compared to their own pay. Sets up a weird power dynamic with lack of trust on both sides. One side afraid of competition and stifling and the other hiding resentment and unable to put their heart into it. I don’t know that that is happening with your company. Might not be. Just mentioned it as common human behavior, & because that situation is common now and considered normal. Just some food for thought.

      • Flightdoc says:

        I enjoyed the perspective of your comments on this topic and respect the moral avenue you are pursuing.

      • boikin says:

        I will fiddle my thumbs for 50% less and be happy to do some work on the side. Where do I sign up for these jobs?

      • phoenix says:

        lmao of course you’re in ad tech. Worthless

    • MiTurn says:

      The local Burgerking is advertising a starting wage of $15. About five months ago the MacDonald one block down from it was advertising $13.50 an hour to start.

      Burger wars.

    • Anthony A. says:

      Today I went to Denny’s for breakfast with my wife. They were short servers and one cook. Sign on the door was “Now hiring”. That sign has been there for a month now.

      Then I went to Walmart to pick up some yogurt and get gasoline. Sign on the door was “Now Hiring”.

      It’s everywhere..

      • Depth Charge says:

        There is no worker shortage, only a pay problem. Do you think the local Walmart would have a “Now Hiring” sign if their starting pay was $100 per hour? Of course not. But what they’re offering right now is ridiculous to other extreme. Somewhere between what they’re offering and $100 per hour will put a permanent end to that “Now Hiring” sign, but I doubt they’re interested in that.

        • Lynn says:

          It’s not specifically a wage problem. It is a wage compared to prices problem. The problem is if wages go up then landlords and utilities etc will take advantage of it and go up as well. It’s not enough to raise wages without putting some limits on asset, medical and food prices. Directly or indirectly such as caps on foreign investments in all US resources. And housing and medical systems OUT of the stock markets. The food system works better- it is government subsidized and maybe better trade regulations.

        • georgist says:

          Lynn, yes you know how prices are set. Land value tax!

      • Billybob says:

        Target today. $18.50/Hr.

      • Dave Kunkel says:

        When I checked out at Safeway a few days ago,”Now Hiring” was printed on my receipt.

  9. Lynn says:

    Blue collar and lower payed workers are going through scattered migrations right now, especially in highly inflated areas. If people can’t afford rent they move out of the area. Some of them become homeless.

    One town south of me is a seaside vacation town. It has always had a lot of second vacation homes, which families had used for generations, but now there are very few rentals- most have been converted to Air B&Bs or held as investments. The town’s business people are panicking. They now have very few workers.

    Gas station owners are the ones working their own stations, restaurants are short help, hotels have no maids to hire. There are a few trades people who have owned their own homes in the area for a long time and so are able to stay, but many have left. They are short teachers and medical workers as anyone wanting to work there can not find housing they can afford. The volunteer fire dept is in crisis as the younger people from families who have been there for generations have had to leave.

    There is nothing but rich people, homeless and a minority of other people who have managed stable affordable housing.

    I visited a very expensive area closer in SF North bay recently. Saw the inside of a $1m+ home with very good quality materials and really crappy workmanship. I mean all angles off on most finish work, and some bizarre decisions. Evidently the contractors there are housing their crews of workers in single small rooms because there are no affordable rentals. I think most good crafts people are not going to put up with that and will move out of the area. Especially those with families. Evidently people there are having a very hard time hiring private housekeepers for their homes who will actually work and not steal stuff as most have left the area. Same for hotels and motels. Etc etc.

    Wilhelm, from his translation of the I Ching;

    “Evil must itself fall at the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus consumed the energy to which it owed its duration.”

    • Iswhatitis says:

      Lynn

      This is going to have to be fixed, and it probably will be the free market that fixes it since the govt has no intention to fix it (and will botch it).

      The over financialization of the economy is nonsense, and that nonsense is finally starting to show up everywhere. People put up with it for a long time, until it was no longer possible to put up with it.

      Now, they want fair pay. And, they should get it. Or, those who live comfortably should suffer the same/ the consequences so many have suffered in reverse.

      • Truckman says:

        Our little corner of the World (Atlantic coast) is seeing exactly what Lynn is.
        It’s not just that government can’t fix it, it’s that government has created it. The free market no longer exists. And to fix it, they’ll have to repeal all the laws they passed, admitting they were wrong, and fire all their cronies from commissions and NGOs they created – which is NEVER going to happen.

      • Lynn says:

        I don’t think the free market is going to fix it. For one thing it’s not a free market. For another thing, as an “entity” it is by nature unthinking and reactive.

        Raising wages helps temporarily until the landlords etc raise prices once again.

        Either they put limits on foreign (global) mega corporate and private equity ownership of residential properties of all kinds (and medical for that matter), or the market crashes, or pitchforks and more flash mob robberies.

      • MarkinSF says:

        The so called “free market” has a 95% Equity stake in Government

      • Iswhatitis On my part I am on record as have been pointing out the need for change for many years, gosh, got a full Business page in Investors Chronicle in May 1978, and over the years had set out my viewpoint in much greater detail; particularly about what I describe as a feudal mercantile economy on iTulip; which in turn became my free PDF book; The Road Ahead from a Grass Roots Perspective . . . which in turn got me invited to many finance related conferences for more than a decade. What we are now experiencing is a part return to what I have described as a Free Enterprise Equity Capital economy . . . Free enterprise? – Free enterprise is founded upon the concept of the manager of the business owns the business. Ownership is an inalienable freedom; the right to own your own life, work, home, thoughts, et al. In which case, freedom also applies to the inventive and industrious, as the right to own the product of their industrious intellect. No different to an artist or writer; owning the right to their work. Thus free enterprise is an inalienable freedom; the right to own the business they have created. Just as employees are free to work, or not, in any such free enterprise . . .
        That the best driver of local community prosperity is competition for the employee driven by the availability of free enterprise equity capital from the local community, as direct investment back into that same community. Something that had been largely stopped in it’s tracks by the creation of the financial services industry; followed by the gigantic levels of leverage within Wall Street that created all those multi-billion $ Hedge funds and the like . . . today the source of all that totally unprofitable VC funding. When the dust settles, as it will, but not right now, please give some thought to a snail mail letter. We might have good reason to work together.

        • Dan Romig says:

          Chris Coles,

          “Ownership is an inalienable freedom; the right to own your own life, work, home, thoughts, et al. In which case freedom also applies to the inventive and industrious, as the right to own the product of their industrious intellect.”

          Thank you. Those are two beautiful sentences.

          One of the most uplifting experiences I relish is buying food at the local farmers market from the people who have grown what they selling themselves.

        • Dan Romig . . . you are very kind and I thank you. Happy new year. We live in desperate times that have their origins mid to late 80’s. Very sadly, it is the kids that will have to, eventually, pick up the pieces when the dust settles, and all any of us oldies can do is try our best to get them onside, with an understanding of where to go for a better future.

      • phoenix says:

        The free market (what free market? There is no free market) is not going to fix this.

    • Digger Dave says:

      Holy Moley. You just described my town. I am one of the tradesmen that owns their own modest 2 bedroom home (free and clear, purchased for less than $150k in a neighborhood where similar homes now sell for $500k in just a few short years). I have watched rich people (young tech & old retiree) invade this town in droves. I am also fortunate to have purchased some rental properties before the insanity hit. When doing income and background checks on the young techhies, my jaw drops. I’m well past shock at what some of these people earn, and I’ve moved onto acceptance – I don’t feel anyone in their 20s making close to or more than $200,000 for some remote job is fairly compensated compared to what they produce for society. Nor do I feel the same about many people that earn salaries of that level or higher. I’ve become disgruntled because I grew up in a working class family where (gasp) managing and owing modest rental properties was a way to make an honest living, not a speculative one. I cannot make a living doing this alone, because the numbers just do not work, nor can I compete with people making salaries like that who can afford to pay insane amounts for real estate like that. So now I rely on my skills more and more to earn money in the trade. And now I am part of inflation. I have pushed my billable hourly rate to an unthinkable level (more than 2x or 100& increase) just a few years ago. Each cycle of raises to that rate has started with doubt and ended with surprise that the new locals will pay it without batting an eyelid. But there’s still a huge disconnect. No self-employed tradesperson anywhere is going net 6 figures without putting in an insane amount of hours (and only after having spent countless hours honing the trade). And we wear out our bodies. I don’t know where this ends, but I long ago gave up thinking that things were fair. I feel bad for my kid’s generation. I feel like I barely got in the door and I’m just hanging on.

      • Lynn says:

        It’s everyone’s town at this point, really. Just more extreme in some areas. I went on a camping road trip before covid and stopped to do laundry in in a backwoods bumfk Utah town and the guy working the laundromat was complaining no one could afford the new prices on rent. This little town had NOTHING. Just flat gray ugly desert. He said he didn’t know where everyone was going to move to (!!). Same in rural NH and even Montana (brrr!!!) and the bigger towns in Maine.

        I used to work for myself and occasionally hired people. Made good money for a good job. I used to have the unspoken ***hole fee- people who were not good to work for paid more. “Add-on” people paid more. People full of themselves with more money than consideration paid more. It supplemented some of the others. If you’re doing good work and they’re not batting an eye and you are barely hanging on then increase it again. You can always go lower for those people like you who are still left in town and struggling.

        Glad to hear you as a working person got a few rentals. & even if things crash you’re in a good place- you can fix things yourself.

        • Digger Dave says:

          I live in in the sticks. It’s an hour drive to the nearest service town in any direction. My town is very small and it’s the biggest town around – I have thought about having different rates, but word gets around fast in small towns and it won’t reflect well. But I’ve been in the trades long enough to know when to give a FU price on fixed/bid work that more than makes up for the aggravation. Just about every tradesperson does this. Sometimes you’re too busy, sometimes you don’t like the job particulars and sometimes you just don’t like the customer. Saying no never looks good. So for this price I will bump you to the head of the line, account for the difficulty of what you’re asking, or the difficulty of dealing with your difficult personality. If you say no, I lose nothing (didn’t want the work to begin with). If you say yes, I get to snicker and laugh all the way to the bank. I also do a lot of charity work for locals, waving part or all of my labor if their situation merits it. I’m a sucker for fixing the work of hacks for little cost. I’m never going to be hurting – there’s always work to do in a country where less and less people want to do the actual labor. But my business plan is shot until the next recession. I started working right after the dot-com bust and was just getting to breakeven by the time the last recession it. When you’re making trades pay, it takes a lot of time to build up down payments for real estate. I do grit my teeth every time I hear about someone (or more likely do work for them) making stupid money just throwing down a huge down payment (or full cash offer) on some overpriced property and contributing to driving the ROI down to peanuts for everyone else. My business plan was to buy/build up to 20 units/apartments of housing and quit my trade by my mid 40s and just work/live off of that. I have 6 units now and two pieces of land that can accommodate four to eight more. The last 3-4 years has put a big pause to that. Now I’m sitting on cash (making bubkiss) waiting for the house of cards to fall. It can’t happen soon enough.

      • phoenix says:

        So you’re upset because you can no longer be an effective rentier (exploiter) because there are others who do it better than you? Landlording is not an honest living. Tough luck

        • NBay says:

          YEP!

        • Digger Dave says:

          So driving up prices to the point that local working class renters can no longer afford to live in their own hometowns is being better at landlording? My tenants work at mcdonalds, a department store, a hvac company a local bank and the hospital. And all of their rents are below 30% of their take home pay. I grew up in an immigrant neighborhood where new arrivals were provided decent housing at reasonable rates by the previous gerational wave of immigrants. No one got greedy and unless someone studied in your miserable school of life, a vital need was met. Should everyone own their own house? Even people that don’t want to? I’m not going to buy something where the only residents that can afford it are the ones making this more and more of an unaffordable resort town. I sleep fine at night, thanks.

    • Depth Charge says:

      “Evil must itself fall at the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus consumed the energy to which it owed its duration.”

      If we can just 6uild 6ack 6etter, it will all be fixed.

      • Lynn says:

        You and I have a lot of the same sentiments but very different political views. I also don’t like the BBB plan for probably different reasons. I think it gives money in the wrong places without vetting and doesn’t really build much. It’s not well thought out. We could have national healthcare for all that and it would benefit almost everyone without benefiting people who have more and more children… just because.

        • Depth Charge says:

          You and I do not differ as much as you might think. I’m all for a national healthcare. I hate politicians. ALL OF THEM. I’m neither party. I think they both need to be dissolved, replaced by a new “peoples” party. We’ve seen enough cronyism to last centuries.

    • Depth Charge says:

      “There is nothing but rich people, homeless and a minority of other people who have managed stable affordable housing.”

      Welcome to the wonderful world of gigantic asset bubbles. In the end, they hurt almost everybody but the wealthiest of the wealthy, and sometimes, destroy them completely, too. Greed is a disease.

      • MiTurn says:

        Speaking of ‘managed stable affordable housing’, the choice in my area is now an RV in the multitude of ‘RV Parks’ popping up everywhere. Mostly seniors.

        • Depth Charge says:

          When you do the math on RVs and RV Parks, tow vehicles, fuel, maintenance, repair, etc., it’s even more expensive than paying rent. Unless you’re going to be living out in the wilds of the west where you have no monthly, it makes zero sense from a financial standpoint.

      • Jon says:

        America is fast turning into a third world country.
        Full disclosure:: I came to America from a third world country 25 years back and spend couple of months a year in my native country.

        My native country has become much better in many ways and America has become much worse in all ways.

        I am in a unique position as I have lived and experienced both the country and still do.

        Pretty sad to see America going this way!

    • Lynn we have exactly the same problems here in the UK. someone, soon, has to grasp the nettle and tax the hell out of second home owners.

      • Lynn says:

        I have mixed feelings about that, but probably yes. My family owned a second home from the 1930’s. It was an old hunting cabin my grandfather bought. It was used by 4 generations at the same time, and used a lot, in all seasons. My family had to sell it recently because the town was smart enough to increase the tax substantially on all the second homes.

        I have more of a problem with empty investment homes, air B&Bs, third and fourth homes and thousands of homes bought by billionaires and corporations. But you’re probably right- there are too many second homes right now not being used much if at all.

        I think the UK has it worse than the US. London looks like a ghost city from the news photos I’ve seen.

  10. Winston says:

    “Quitting” A combination of retirements, disabilities, death and actual quitting.

    Indiana life insurance CEO says deaths are up 40% among people ages 18-64 – January 1, 2022

    “And what we saw just in third quarter, we’re seeing it continue into fourth quarter, is that death rates are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic,” he said. “Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be 10% increase over pre-pandemic,” he said. “So 40% is just unheard of.”

    More preliminary evidence of a huge spike in deaths
    January 4, 2022

    For Prudential, they have had a massive 87% increase in death benefits paid comparing the third quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2021. Such a detailed breakdown wasn’t available for New York Life, but their 2021 year to date (1 Jan to 30 Sep) death benefit payout is up by 27%. Examining Pacific Life documents identifies multiple units. For Pacific Life, the year-to-date claims are up by only 12%. But for a subsidiary, Pacific Life and Annuity, claims are up by over 80%.

    Cumulative All-Cause Excess Mortality – United States

    2021 through week 50: 430,284
    2020: 411,998

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Winston,

      OK, I’m going to be repeating this over and over again until everyone has read it and folks stop posting this 40% comment that has gone viral because people might not understand what it means:

      This is a “rate of a rate.” People need to be careful with a “rate of a rate.” I put the math to this 40% a few hours ago in my comment when this came up in terms of office space requirements:

      https://wolfstreet.com/2022/01/03/the-office-glut-in-houston-san-francisco-manhattan-los-angeles-chicago-washington-dc-seattle-q4-2021/#comment-399630

      So Let’s do some math to this 40% increase of the death rate.

      As tragic as this increase is, its impact on a company’s office footprint is nil:

      The death rate of working age people in 2018 ranged from 38 per 100,000 working 15-to-24-year-old women (lowest death rate) to 1,119 for 100,000 working 55-to-64-year-old men (highest death rate). I just looked it up. So let’s ballpark it as an average death rate of 500 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2018.

      So an employer with 10,000 workers in one big office complex in 2018 could expect 50 of those employees to die over the course of the year, for a variety of reasons, ranging from illness to accidents and suicides.

      So every year, 50 people of 10,000 employees in that big office complex die.

      A 40% increase of that 50 deaths among 10,000 workers means that now an additional 20 people among the 10,000 die per year. For a total of 70 per year.

      The numbers – as tragic as they are, and as expensive as they may be for life insurers – are way too small (an additional 20 deaths per year among 10,000 workers in a big office complex) to impact that company’s office footprint.

      Also, the company would just hire 20 new people to fill the newly vacant 20 jobs. Regular churn among employees, with employees quitting and having to be replaced is far, far higher.

      • SocalJim says:

        Most people understand this, and it is big. In your example, going from 50 to 70 in a population of 100,000 is a big change.

        • Harvey Mushman says:

          50 to 70 in a population of 10,000

        • Harvey Mushman says:

          For a population of 100,000 his example would 500 to 700 people.

        • drifterprof says:

          “Most people understand this, and it is big.”

          My Ph.D. was a cognitive experimental study how human thinking related to probabilities (which often involves percentages). I’m confident that most people do not understand the rate change of a percent. That is why the 40% meme spreads.

          The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study by OECD in nearly 80 nations of 15-year-old students’ scholastic performance on mathematics, science and reading.

          PISA Program for International Student Assessment (2018) – Average Score of Mathematics, Science and Reading:
          Students in the United States were 37th in mathematics ability. So one would expect an even smaller proportion of Americans to understand rates of change of another rate.

        • Poor like you says:

          Next time you’re around 10,000 people, see if you can tell the difference if 50-70 people leave.

        • sc7 says:

          @Poor like you

          I can. My organization of ~12k did strategic layoffs at the start of COVID. Granted, it was closer to 200, but almost every department cut at least some headcount. Just about everyone knew at least one person who was let go.

      • GSH says:

        The 40% is simply a relative rate. Common statistics scam. You always need to look at absolute rates.

        Say, you have a group of 1 million people. Say 5 people die. Now next month, 7 people die. That is a 40% relative increase. But it is totally meaningless. The absolute increase was just 2 one millionth.

  11. Cashboy says:

    If I was young now;
    I would buy a small van, buy a mattress to put in it.
    Join a gym group that is 24/7 and use that for showering and internet and build up my personal capital with a 6 year plan.

    • Chris says:

      Live in a van by the river.

    • Lynn says:

      Been there, done that in my 20’s and then again in my early 30’s and it’s awful. And I had the full support of my friends- places to shower, get mail and hang out. When I lived in Santa Cruz many years ago many of us took turns doing that to save money. It’s fun for about 2 weeks. If you do so you will gain a great appreciation for the inventions of indoor plumbing and the safety of 4 walls.

    • Depth Charge says:

      Living in a car is unacceptable. The fact that this is what young people are forced to do now is criminal. I cannot say what I think needs to happen to Jerome Powell and his ilk here (and all of the corrupt politicans who oversaw the entire thing), but I hope they rot in hell. They are evil scum.

      • ivanislav says:

        We certainly have the technology to mass-produce housing at lower cost per-unit than we do per unit, but it would require a very different social/economic/political framework. For example, existing property ownership might get in the way if this was done on a large scale, and we would also have to prevent private ownership of these units going forward, or else ownership would re-centralize over time.

        • ivanislav says:

          edit – at lower cost per-unit than we do *right now*

        • Lynn says:

          I personally like the idea of land redistribution better. A la Latin America. Large land tracts. But I’m a DIY kind of person.

          Or the more socially acceptable idea of market crashes.

    • phoenix says:

      Gee, it’s such a mystery why the fertility rate is in free fall.

  12. economicminor says:

    I watched a series on Roku Great Courses called the Black Death. That pandemic changed the world then. The world moved on from the Middle Ages into the Age of beginnings of the Renaissance.

    The people who were left were able to leave feudalism and demand higher wages and more opportunity.

    Different today I know but with the aging population and Covid a similar thing seems to be happening. Interesting how history rhymes.

    • Truckman says:

      Not quite the same situation.
      After the Black Death, feudalism still continued for more than a century, but was now more flexible. Previously, workers were unable to leave their Lord for other employment without his permission. The system relied on the new Lord checking back with the original Lord. Those checkbacks stopped happening when the new Lord was desperate for labor. Of more significance were two aspects of the Peasants’ Revolt in England, 1381, about a generation after the Black Death. The first being that the rich were dodging their taxes (nothing new there ;) ) and dumped the excess on the poor, who refused to pay (the new movement of labor meaning they could work but avoid registering for the tax). The relevance is the increase in modern workers who, no longer able to afford to be homeowners and thus being of no permanent abode, are more easily able to work and dodge taxes without consequences. The second is that government plans collapse when they can neither get the employees or the money.
      We did a lot on this at school, as two leaders of the Peasants’ Revolt were former pupils (very old school). One got executed having done nothing strictly illegal (show trial), and the other did lots of illegal stuff and managed to become a wealthy landowner afterwards – there’s a lesson there ;)

      • WES says:

        And the king quickly double-crossed the peasants! His signature wasn’t worth the paper it was written on!

        • Truckman says:

          ..and consequently the entire peasantry rallied round Henry Bolingbroke a few years later, and the ex-King starved to death in the dungeons of Pontefract Castle.
          “Count no man happy until the end is known”, as Solon said.
          Starvation and dungeons are bad enough, but Pontefract? If they gave England an enema, that’s where they’d stick the hose ;)

      • Depth Charge says:

        “After the Black Death, feudalism still continued for more than a century, but was now more flexible.”

        With history as our guide, we can see that great evil against humanity can last a very long time. This New Age of the Robber Barons might go another 50+ years, nobody knows.

    • Truckman says:

      Speaking of Peasants’ Revolts, I see Borat’s had enough, and it’s all kicking off in Kazakhstan. Fuel price rises were the trigger.
      The point being that it’s not just about wages, but wages relative to prices.

      • Lynn says:

        I see Nursultan Nazarbayev and family have manged to leave the country even though the airport was taken over. I wonder how much RE he owns in the US.

        Apparently they also use propane for heat in Kazakhstan.

        • Lynn says:

          Evidently quite a lot; “Big Houses, Deep Pockets The Nazarbaev Family’s Opulent Offshore Real Estate Empire”

    • Old school says:

      Not sure. Yellen is supposedly expert on labor. Did her PhD on it I think. I suspect policy is intentional to get labor share of output up. Why pay people not to work? Economy is messed up for multiple reasons, but rapid price increases and products not being available are bad sign that real economy not doing well. Real economy more important than financial.

      • Depth Charge says:

        Yellen is an expert on NOTHING, unless it means flapping her lips while lies spill forth from her hideous troll head.

      • Truckman says:

        ex = has-been
        spurt = drip under pressure

    • Poor like you says:

      Also, this pandemic is chump change compared to the Black Death. What percentage of the world population has died so far? Like… less than .07%? Imagine the WTF charts from a world where the pandemic kills billions.

      • Duvall says:

        Once again, the CCP has proved inept at innovating. We need a true American unicorn to disrupt the pandemic market. They should focus on growth in the early stages. /sarc

  13. SocalJim says:

    At my last wall street firm, HR started talking about diversity and inclusion and how that was so important to the firm.

    They are bringing in diverse hires with trash degrees and promoting them rapidly while passing over white guys with advanced degrees from top schools.

    Now, the passed over white guys are leaving in droves. That will teach them.

    • SocalJim says:

      While some passover white guys are leaving, others are doing as little as possible till retirement. Why work when there is no upside.

      • Old school says:

        County next to mine just got a diversity manager. It’s happening all over.

      • LeClerc says:

        Passover? That’s just once a year, isn’t it?

        • NBay says:

          Yeah, It’s just another winter solstice party wrapped in shared and preserved supernatural beliefs…..God I hate organized religions! A real curse on humanity.

          If someone has his own and keeps it to himself…no problemo!

      • NBay says:

        Ha!

        I can use the argument my vehemently anti anything remotely “socialist” relatives use against me on you.

        “Wouldn’t it be a drag if everyone was the same?”

        Words are tough to communicate with. That’s why hard sciences use math and dead languages, or invent new words.

        • NBay says:

          That’s what this “It-isit is” fatalist is getting rich on…inventing new languages for “modeling ad’s effect on sales”….hardly a noble goal, just making people consume MORE SHIT on a ball in space…

          But I’m sure he doesn’t care, as he obviously has NO alternative but to try to get rich off it, no matter what the social damage, as his screen name suggests.

          ..but this coding crapp still has to be done within the strict capabilities of a chip that some other REAL TECHS built.

          It’s kinda like he is managing the best “chip managers”.

      • NBay says:

        “Why work when there is no upside?”
        Because you are paid to?……Holmes.

        • Bakes says:

          Well then, better start paying for the work output desired.

          Or as they used to say in the Soviet Union…

          “As long as they pretend to pay us, we will pretend to work.”

        • NBay says:

          So funny Bakes!….you sound just like my filthy rich relatives….they talk in those reductio ad absurdum worn out old phrases, too.

          At least invent a new one, eh? They have used that one many times.

        • NBay says:

          And this; “….better start paying for the work output desired.”

          That’s been around forever, it’s called “piecework” and having worked on machines for 17 years (built in Arlington TX) that used that system I can tell you first hand there are quality problems…some are really nasty to troubleshoot, like cold solder joints…intermittent problems, the worst kind.

    • Augustus Frost says:

      It’s a cancer on Western civilization generally.

      It’s one of many, many indicators of social decay denied by the cultural relativists.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Augustus Frost,

        Careful. I’ve been very happily married for over 20 years to a woman of another race. “Diversity” is in my household, and it’s cherished. It’s wonderful, very enriching.

        • Jason K says:

          Diversity as you’ve used the term here has little to nothing to with “diversity” as the commenters above used it.

          One is a beautiful thing; the other is an ugly, hateful ideological concept.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Jason K,

          I replied to Augustus Frost, who said, “It’s a cancer on Western civilization generally. It’s one of many, many indicators of social decay denied by the cultural relativists.”

    • Depth Charge says:

      Hiring somebody based upon the color of their skin is the very definition of racism and bigotry. Can you imagine what would happen if a company said “we are looking to hire a white man?” Can you say CLOSED DOWN? The double standards flying around today indicate a very, very sick society.

    • drifterprof says:

      Of course, there has been a real need for orientations in diversity training as well as sexual harassment issues. However, the orientations I experienced both in companies and educational institutions seemed like farcical clown shows. The speeches bordered on hysteria, the videos fake-artificial, the training exercises moronic, and so on. Consequently those “orientations” and “trainings” had very little, if any, value. True oppressors view those orientations / trainings as a sign of weakness. Rapers gotta rape, harassers gotta harass, and overt racists gotta express hate.

      One of the reasons I so strongly wanted and, eventually got, employment overseas, was that educational institutions (in California, at least) defined sexual harassment as ANYTHING a female thought was sexual harassment. And there are plenty of unstable, vindictive, and/or power-tripping females out there.

      Regarding diversity training, I was never a “normal” person at all. But I learned there was value in trying to appear so. And suddenly I was defined as one of the normal white males who as a group seemed to be being characterized as the source of most evil in society. So for me there is some truth the Andrew Yang’s book title: The War on Normal People (although I haven’t read it).

    • Jason K says:

      It’s worse than that actually.

      A degree in “social sciences” is of less productive value nowadays than some dude casually surfing history videos on Youtube.

      A dude permanently banned from all social media for his COVID takes is more productive still.

    • NBay says:

      “At my last Wall St firm…..”
      Very interesting bit of personal disclosure there, Holmes.

    • fajensen says:

      Teach them how replaceable everyone are? They already know!

  14. Bobber says:

    With stock and RE prices so high, I expect many people are deciding to retire five or more years earlier than normal. That’s a lot of GDP and productivity that has been coaxed out of the economy by the Federal Reserve. The monetary policies seem largely counter-productive.

    • Augustus Frost says:

      Maybe and maybe not.

      GDP? Possibly but then GDP doesn’t necessarily represent actual production and wealth.

      We could go down a list of professions, jobs, products, services, companies and industries where the supposed production has little, zero, or even negative valued add.

    • Old school says:

      I think it’s going to be another unintended consequence of Fed Policy. People seeing a million bucks in 401K and think they are set. Most don’t realize current setup for future real returns is horrible. A crash would deplete a 100% stock portfolio really fast in retirement, maybe in five years or so.

    • I just feel surprised people still go to work at all. Retiring 5 or 6 early seems like such an insignificant change. Let’s say you had $250,000 saved in 2009 and were making $75,000 a year working a job. Since then, the S&P 500 has quintupled, so you would have earned a million in passive income. That exceeds the earnings from working. So why bother working? Now if you think that most people sell at the bottom and buy at the top of a market, then it doesn’t motivate work , either, as far as I can tell. How would it feel to have kept that quarter of a million in cash the whole time since 2009 and realize after toiling for 12 years that you would have been better off quitting your job and letting the money sit in an S&P 500 index fund? At that point, I imagine one would want to quit in disgust, put all one’s savings into whatever investments protected by the Fed put and hope of the best.

      • Bobber says:

        I made more money last year pushing a button than I did the first 15 years of my professional career, courtesy of the Fed. My new wealth is going in the bank, not invested according to some far-fetched trickle down theory.

      • Jackson Y says:

        And how would a $75k/year earner have $250k saved to begin with? At an above-average 10% savings rate ($7500/yr) with no salary growth, it would have taken 33 years of work to save that $250k … already near the lower end of retirement age. And this $75k/year worker times the market perfectly, buying at the exact bottom & selling at the exact top of one of the largest bull markets in history. I get the point you’re trying to make, but your example (assuming it’s hypothetical) sounds very contrived & unlikely to happen in reality.

        • Some people only make $15k a year, so a $75k can save around $250k in 4 years and then retire. Why spend your life working when you can choose to retire after only 4 years?

      • Engin-ear says:

        – “why bother working?”

        Generally speaking, the modern working is good for mind and body.

        If your think otherwise, reread the stories of work conditions prior to 20th century.

        Working also increases social contacts and reputation – valuable particularly for those in age of mating.

        Finally, working or not is a new and a very temporary option. This option will expire in several decades when we will be unable to feed our army of robotic mechanical slaves with free energy.

        But thanks for the question. Made me meditate 15 minutes.

  15. Flea says:

    Most really rich are arrogant and ignorant of history . Better wake up quick reckoning awaits

    • JK says:

      Also, our government is ignorant of history: printing money and destroying buying power, promoting welfare and slothfulness, spending too much on MIC and empire building, allowing large corporations to monopolize and evade laws, corruption allowed to foment, and fighting amongst themselves instead of focusing on problems. Roman Empire V 2.0

      We know how it ends.

  16. Seneca’s Cliff says:

    I was putting together an order for a new 5 axis milling machine today. I decided to include the option which allows you to add on the load/unload robot later so when I get busier I won’t have to add any employees and fight this employment rat race.

    • ivanislav says:

      Automatic tool changers are awesome!

      • phleep says:

        I started coding my law office 30 years ago. Never hired a human (which was the norm). I appreciate all this sentimental stuff, but how can a sniffy nosed, resentful, life-problem-beset, shirking child-spouting clunker like that hope to compete? All this WTF volatility now will speed the path to that. The logic is what it is. Which leaves social fabric-public goods fixes to traditional institutions (families, voluntary associations) or else the much more confused and inefficient government. Lots of storms, steadily converging from far away and long ago, have found their way to this shore. This moment had to arrive.

    • Dan Romig says:

      S’s C,

      OK, I had to look at a few 5 axis machines to see where you’re making a capital investment in your company. Damn, those are some incredible machines.

      John Hiatt’s ‘Graduated’ lyrics came to mind,

      “The top of the pyramid is holding all our volts
      It’s not high technology, it’s just nuts and bolts
      And we both graduated
      Yeah we both graduated”

      • Harvey Mushman says:

        Huh?
        Never heard that, I will have to check it out. Saw him live back in early 2000s or late 90s.

    • Harvey Mushman says:

      Hah!
      And people say America doesn’t make anything anymore. Just curious, are your customers automotive or aerospace?

  17. DawnsEarlyLight says:

    BLS reports on Fridays, or comics on Sundays. Both have quite the imagination.

  18. ivanislav says:

    Meat prices are too high. We need more stimulus checks, stat.

    • Marcus Aurelius says:

      We need more steers.

      • Dan Romig says:

        Marcus,

        From my weekly Red River Farm Net News on Monday, 3 January:

        Drought is RRFN’s #1 Story of 2021

        “The stress went beyond crop production. The grass dried up and ranchers were forced to bring cows into town. In early June, Rugby Livestock (Rugby, North Dakota) moved more than 3,000 head through the auction barn in its weekly sale. In a normal year, the auction market would be on a bi-weekly summer schedule and receipts would be closer to 500 head.

        It all has to do with the drought and the possibility of not having hay for the fall. A lot of cows are leaving the country. There is no grass and in some cases, there is no water; it’s gotten serious.”

        • DawnsEarlyLight says:

          I have never seen the stockyards near Loveland CO so lethargic. I knew something must be causing this lack of activity.

  19. the workers are winning! but are they really?

    workers are quitting at an alarming rate
    is this a sign of a good economy? NBC Lester holt nighly “news” had a “reporter” tell me tonight high quitters means we have a strong economy. Oh Really?

    what happens next?
    employers pay more money to hire employees
    everyone’s happy

    but since employers are paying more money for employees they are going to have to charge more money for their products, this will lead to higher prices

    inflation is not going to go down. it is not transitory. The fed can’t print trillions of dollars, lockdown the economy so we can’t produce stuff, and then give everyone free money – this is the definition of inflation – how can our leaders be such morons? I guess I’m a moron for voting them in

    so with prices rising and wages rising (but at a far lower rate than inflation) people are essentially getting paid less – the invisible tax of inflation stings!

    eventually, with companies not making profits on their products, they’ll keep rising prices, and soon because of losses they will need to lay off employees. Not only are prices going up but people will be losing jobs – stagflation! Ouch!

    But politicians need to get elected and when people are screaming in the streets because of high prices our honest political leaders beaming with integrity will start implementing price controls just like in the 70s (this just leads to longer lines and poorer quality of products – why am I going to sell my product at a guaranteed loss – I won’t so I don’t make my product. And those that do still make their product will do so with cheaper materials to try and make a profit – the person that loses the most in this outcome is the consumer

    but price controls never work and the tail end of price controls inflation always wins and hurts the consumer

    so… it may look like the employees have the upper hand now but sadly it is just a short term illusion that will soon be revealed to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors

    the dollar is trash and if you never thought much of sound money (yes that barbarous relic wall street hates) it just might be the time to start thinking about it… 5000 years it’s been hanging around as a trusty store of value and now as we venture into very scary inflationary waters, that golden lifeboat is worth jumping onto

    • Sams says:

      Do you describe the fall of the Soviet Union?
      Somewhat different in detail and execution, but interesting times. One question is if the informal economy can help people live through the crises or not.

    • Yort says:

      My real black swan concern is what happens when a majority of investors figure out that there is way more paper wealth assets than actual real life income producing hard assets, and a majority attempt to cash out their paper wealth products for dollars to then panic purchase something real instead? For example, so much fiat money has been printed already that people use it to buy imaginary digital coins, to then buy imaginary digital land, to build an imaginary digital house, which is what kids do in video game simulations for fun for sixty dollars. This so called imaginary multi-million dollar “wealth asset” then requires a greater fool to offload for actual fiat money, which once enough people realize is exponentially becoming worthless, will want to buy actual physical income producing wealth assets immediately. And when Congress and the Fed print more money to fight such a negative loop scenario, it only feeds the beast further…

      Now that will be the day that “nobody could have seen coming”…

      • Engin-ear says:

        I see a solution for the excess of fiat money: park it via sales of land on Mars.

  20. Yort says:

    Who could have guessed that the Fed pumping up the value of people’s homes and retirement assets would allow them to retire early, or be “paper wealthy” enough to not have to work 24/7. At some point, the elites will need to crash the working people’s “paper wealth” to force folks back to being debt/wage slaves…else who is going to cook their meals and nanny their kids while they play golf???

    For anyone who would like a history of how the previous three Feds trapped us in the current QE/ZIRP/inequality/inflation quandary, and the handful of Feds who said it was too risky but got out-voted, search the following article on Politico (long read but lots of “fly on the wall” details of previous Fed meetings years ago):

    The Fed’s Doomsday Prophet Has a Dire Warning About Where We’re Headed
    Thomas Hoenig knew what quantitative easing and record-low interest rates would bring.

    • Truckman says:

      There’s a tipping point, when an attempt to force folks back to work results in the government trying it getting booted out at the next election. Government is such a blunt instrument, and the situation is so complex that unintended consequences are almost inevitable. I cannot see the Democrats trying it this year with the mid-terms coming, and Trudeau extended the Canadian covid benefits to just past their election also.
      There’s also a second tipping point, when the people take to the streets, as is happening in Kazakhstan right now.
      And no one knows quite where the tipping points are, and therefore whether or when they might happen. Indeed, governments have so censored and misrepresented the data, coupled with lots of groups living in their own echo chambers, that neither the government nor any of the groups in any nation actually know what the others now know, think, or might do next.
      Interesting times!

    • Depth Charge says:

      The solution to all of this is painfully obvious and simple. The FED needs to kick the legs out from under this massive everything bubble. They need to raise rates massively to get ahead of inflation no matter the short term pain, and let it all crash into a nasty recession. Allow price discovery in everything.

      And no more QE EVER. It was a failed policy which has never been so obvious as now. All it did was make rich people even richer. Even clowns like Kashkari are now coming out and admitting they got it wrong. He should be fired, btw. He’s incompetent.

      The whole MMT garbage just died an ugly death. The hubris of these people to think they could just print money and spread it around with no deleterious effects is disgusting.

      • eg says:

        Nothing you have written has the remotest thing to do with Modern Monetary Theory which is simply a description of fiat monetary operations.

      • Sams says:

        Popping the everything bubble may have the consequence of strengthening the value of labour, skills, factories and production of goods relative finance.

        Finance do run the show today, do you think they will let their power slip? Together with their work free rentier income?

  21. Bobber says:

    There’s one more reason influencing people not to work. Many people in mid-life are getting nice payouts from inheritances. Even if the parents are still around, the prospect of getting that inheritance will persuade some people to take it easy. The money might already be in a trust.

    This windfall is courtesy of misguided Federal Reserve policy as well, and it causes damaging wealth concentration and loss of output in the economy.

    • Yort says:

      An additional 800,000 accelerated inheritances in the last 12 months, agreed. US system of economics covets GDP, and GDP loves a “good” natural disaster, massive pandemic, and other human suffering events only because that means more free printed money from both Fed and Congress, as the “broken window fallacy” is not a fallcacy when the printer go Brrrr. What a pathetic indicator GDP is for human well being, society cohesion, patriotism, etc…other countries do better using different standards, that benefit citizens over corporations and Wall Street…perhaps someday once the financial fallout affects enough voters…

      I read today that Gundach had calculated American CPI using Euro CPI standards, and it would result in a 7.8% CPI rate currently for the USA, so it would seem America is better at misleading their citizens than Europe at he moment…impressive?!? Perhaps it is a good idea that the masses are not educated to the facts, and are kept in check with tribal, nonsensical daily distractions…although at some point of financial pain, it will become obvious that Fed/Congress has destroyed the majorities financial ability to exist without being fully controlled by perpetual handouts…

      • Red says:

        Lots of Pyrex for sale the last 2 years. Almost like the boomers are dying.

      • Jason K says:

        And bear in mind that Europe is dealing with a sovereign debt crisis AND private banking crisis that puts the US to shame. China and Japan are arguably facing even worse scenarios spurred on by rapidly aging workforces. China is a 2nd world country with a 1st world demography. Their one-child policy gutted an entire generation of productive workers and now the CCP can’t even pay people to have enough kids. Having fewer kids made it easier for them to industrialize rapidly (by freeing up capital otherwise invested in children) but now the bill is coming due.

        It’s all over but the crying, as they say.

    • Jason K says:

      @Bobber

      I saw a graphic recently that compared the percentage of millennials still living at home in various countries. The European numbers are startling high, averaging 40-50% and reaching well over 60%+ in some places. In the US, the figure is generally under 20%.

      Look, eventually everyone figures out the game. If you can’t beat them, join them, as they say.

      As long as the Central Banks keep redistributing income upwards via QE and negative interest rates, it just makes less and less sense for young people to work endlessly in low-paying jobs to buy the artificially inflated housing stock of their parents to the tune of hundreds of thousand dollars.

      Washington, D.C. shills like Paul Krugman pretend to be shocked that real wages are flat or declining but are utterly blind to the damage that US monetary policy has been doing to the labor market. Surely it must be willful blindness: He can’t really be that stupid can he?

  22. Jason K says:

    Wolf, until real wages actually go up this is all smoke and mirrors. The job opening numbers, unemployment claims and unemployment rate all have ways of belying reality on the ground.

    Again, keep a laser eye focus on REAL WAGES.

    Even then, adjust for the fact that inflation is likely understated by 2-5%, meaning real wages are worse than reported.

  23. The employee, like the celebrity, is to be pitied. They both live in a goldfish bowl. You have to pay people a lot of money to compensate them for that.

  24. David Morris says:

    I study unusual events that have a positive correlation with a specific event. My favourite example is the return of trout to Yellow Stone national park after the re-introduction of wolfs. The reason was that the wolf stopped the deer from destroying the trout spawning grounds by making the deer hide in the woods and not hangout in the streams.

    So what does this have to do with November jobs and the people quitting? November is when many companies started to enforce employees to be vaccinated. In my opinion many of the reported job jumper are people how were dismissed and are now looking for a new job.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      David Morris,

      Good lordy. Where does this BS come from? Look at the chart of quits. Quits started spiking in January 2021. . That was one year ago. There was NO vaccine mandate. In fact, for most people, there was NO vaccine.

    • Depth Charge says:

      So the deer stopped drinking water? Wow, that’s some feat.

Comments are closed.