Labor Shortage Persists

Published on May 7, 2021

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

Labor Shortage Persists


  • The labor shortage persists as the approaching sansdemic puts a damper on economic recovery. 

  • The US added a mere 260K new jobs in April, in contrast to a huge 3 million new job postings.

  • Remote job postings are 350% above early 2020 levels.

  • Resignation rates will likely surge this summer as Americans take their pick of ample work-from-home opportunities.

A mere 260K new jobs vs. a huge 3M new job postings in April

Last month, the US added a mere 260,000 new jobs to the economy—just a quarter of what economists were predicting as they estimated one million. That’s also significantly down from the 916,000 new jobs that stunned the labor market in March.

At the same time, new job postings in April surged by 3 million, with the most new job postings occurring in retail, professional services, logistics, and healthcare.

This contrast of scant new jobs with robust new job postings demonstrates the unbalance we’ve observed for a while: employers are trying desperately to hire workers, yet somehow, workers can’t be found.

As the Wall Street Journal has pointed out, the country’s critical labor shortage continues to hamper our economic recovery. Employers, particularly in people-starved industries like manufacturing, restaurants, and construction, simply can’t hire enough employees to fill open positions. More on this below.

Remote job postings explode 350%

In April, remote job postings shot up nearly 350% above where they were in the opening months of 2020. Remote postings now make up 10% of all postings in the US, compared to early 2020 when they made up just 3% of all postings. 

But here’s the problem. All this remote work is driving up resignation rates. In our recent report on resignations and remote work, we discovered that large numbers of professionals are opting for new jobs in the middle of their careers. 

Why? Think about it. If you can work remotely, then you don’t have to move, you don’t have to pull the kids out of school, you can just start a new job right where you are. We expect to see record-high resignation rates this summer as Americans take their pick of ample work-from-home opportunities. 

Sansdemic puts a damper on economic recovery

Employers are struggling to find workers for a variety of reasons, the most dire of which is because the US is suffering the initial stages of a sansdemic: not enough people for all the work that needs to get done

Over the next few decades, this labor shortage is projected to only get worse. We cannot stop it.

But the good news is, you can survive it.

Read about the sansdemic and Emsi’s recommended solutions in our new ebook The Demographic Drought: How the Approaching Sansdemic Will Transform the Labor Market for the Rest of Our Lives. Download for free.

To learn more about how Emsi can help employers, higher ed, and communities face economic challenges, contact us below: