Stories from the Great American Labor Shortage: An Update


This week, The Daily is revisiting some of our favorite episodes of the year and checking in on what has happened in the time since they first ran.

This episode contains strong language.

Bartenders, sous chefs, wait staff — back in August, managers in the U.S. hospitality industry were struggling to fill a range of roles at their establishments.

One owner of a gourmet burger restaurant in Houston said that before the pandemic, a job opening could easily get 100 applicants — but that was no longer the case; applications were in the single digits. “I had never seen it like this before in my career,” he told us. “I’ve been doing this for over 25 years.”

Managers blamed pandemic unemployment benefits for the dearth of job seekers. Employees said that the pandemic had opened their eyes to the realities of work.

Today, we return to the country’s labor shortage to find out why so many Americans have left their jobs, and whether the people we spoke to back in August are working again.

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For more information on today’s episode, visit Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

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