When employers had problems filling jobs in 2020, many of them blamed the supplemental unemployment funds provided to workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic.
It was an easy target.
But now that those payments have stopped — and haven't been available for months in some states — there are still thousands of open jobs.
Loretta Mester, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, says that while the labor story is complex, a lack of affordable child care is holding some employees back from rejoining the workforce, Scott Suttell from our sister paper Crain's Cleveland Business writes.
In a Sept. 24 virtual presentation for the Ohio Bankers League, Mester said that labor supply has ben held back "by a perfect storm of factors, many of which reflect the unusual nature of the pandemic."
"The high cost and scarcity of day care is likely a factor deterring the return of some parents," she said. "For those with older children, there is uncertainty about whether schools will be able to stay reliably open in the midst of the delta wave. In addition, some workers are likely reluctant to return to the workforce until virus cases turn back down."