Tilly Explains Labor Shortage Patterns

Urban Planning Chair Chris Tilly was featured in a Vox article discussing labor shortages as many low-wage workers demand better working conditions. Nearly 16 million Americans quit their jobs between April and July, highlighting the mental and physical fatigue experienced by many, as well as the desire to improve work environments. “For a lot of people, it’s been traumatizing,” Tilly said. Essential workers in California experienced a 30% increase in deaths in the first 10 months of the pandemic, according to an analysis of public data. Many low-wage jobs lack benefits such as health insurance and sick leave, and the work itself can be physically and emotionally taxing. “People settled for that, but they weren’t necessarily thrilled with those jobs,” Tilly explained. He also pointed out that any increases in hourly wages are often countered by inflation. “The labor shortage giveth, and the end of the labor shortage taketh away,” Tilly said.

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