Labor shortage 2022

How Will The US Labor Shortage Affect 2022?

As the U.S. economy makes a post-pandemic recovery, latest news says the labor shortage is going to continue in 2022.

At the start of the pandemic in April 2020, the US job market had over four million layoffs. This meant that millions of Americans were unemployed and had to survive the pandemic without a steady income – on the back of the unemployment benefits.

As the world started to get back to business and economies all over the world showed signs of recovery, trade news experts expected the American job market to expand back to its pre-pandemic size. However, till late 2021 the US economy had a shortfall of approximately 4.5 million jobs from the pre-pandemic level.

While one may think it’s a market full of people desperate to get jobs and too few jobs available, the picture turned out to be entirely different. In November 2021, there were 11 million jobs, and not many people were interested in taking these jobs. Going forward, analysts expect the situation to be not very different for almost all major industries in the US.

Why the Deficit?

As the COVID pandemic started to spread in the US, every industry in the country had to shut down. This uncertain and prolonged closure meant close to half a million layoffs. These Americans then switched industries, moved across geographies over time, and some learned to make do within the means of unemployment benefits.

Now, as the world market resumes, all these people are not available to take up the jobs they were once fired from. Additionally, for working couples, homeschooling has made it challenging for at least one of the parents to take up a full-time job.


Presumably, the worst-hit industry of all, due to the pandemic, was tourism. After having to shut down their operations due to travel restrictions, major aviation companies laid off thousands of employees in 2020. Now, as the industry is resuming operations, there are 700,000 jobs that are unfulfilled. While the deficit will decrease to 480,000, it’s still a huge vacuum in tourism and travel.

Labor shortage affect


According to estimates, construction industry jobs will see a boost of 3.9 percent this year due to the rising demand of residential, commercial and multistory family buildings. However, the scenario is bleak to the extent that even if the seven million unemployed people took up these jobs, construction still wouldn’t have enough workforce.


While the trucking business continued under the exception of essential services, during the pandemic, the trucking schools were closed. This created a shortfall of truck drivers, and now only Indiana faces a shortage of over 80,000 drivers. Moving forward, the unemployment in this industry is expected to come down to four percent from the current six percent.

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