By Ragu Bhargava | Forbes | July 28, 2021
The U.S. economy has been coming back to life as businesses reopen their doors to consumers eager to get back to doing — and buying — the things they love. But as companies prosper by catering to pent-up demand, a new roadblock to national economic progress has emerged: a drastic shortage of workers that gets worse as time goes on.
Businesses across all sectors are hiring, and as of March, there were 8.1 million job openings in America, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But there were approximately half as many available workers for every open job nationwide as there have been on average over the past 20 years, and that ratio continues to drop. By April, there were 9.3 million job openings, yet only 69,000 new hires were made.
Pundits disagree on the root causes of the problem, but one thing is certain: The work-from-anywhere shift brought about by the pandemic has given American workers a new sense of freedom, and many are leaving jobs and finding new opportunities at their leisure.
Employers should remember they are also free to explore new workplace models. Rather than simply accept a slowed pace of business thanks to the worker shortage, they should proactively find the talent they need, even across international borders.
It is easier today than it was in the past to hire employees and teams in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean. We can expect to see more businesses hiring internationally, as America’s worker shortage has no end in sight.