Once again the labor shortage

The U.S. workforce now is three million fewer than would be the normal number based on pre-pandemic trends. (At the depths of the pandemic it was five million fewer.)  This places even greater than before dependence on the inflow of immigrants.

Today, the workforce participation rate of 25-54 year olds, which was at a near 21st Century high of 83% in 2019, is now at 82.5%, and the rate for 55 and older, which used to be at 40.3%, is now at 38.3%.

Growth of the workforce, which averaged about 1.4% per year prior to the pandemic, will be about 0.4% for the next ten years, according to federal forecasts—about 600,000 a year.  Most of this annual gain is due to immigration.

Biden’s initial immigration proposal in early 2021 was to increase immigration by about 500.000 a year, which would increase the annual inflow of workforce – type people from about 500.000 to 750,000.

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