The Nahployment 'Crisis'

BLS does release these data by state, but they lag by a week or two, aren’t seasonally adjusted, and aren’t aggregated AFAIK.
E.g. here’s AL, only through August:

Yeah the seasonal adjustments may not be appropriate in weird years.

“Soft” paywall, i.e. not really.

Thanks. If only I had infinite time I’d try to figure it out.

The NYT article notes that there has not been a jump in people taking jobs since the extra benefits ran out nationally, which is not surprising since there was no jump in states that ended them early.

George is about 10, 15 years younger than I. A Korean-American, George and I came into each other’s lives via my parents business, Market Distribution Specialists, Inc. George is actually one of the principal characters in the project, literally a person who could be cast either as villain or victim, and my talking to him was the first long discussion we have had in possibly a decade.

Without stepping too much on the other projects toes, George was a hustler of the typical Midwestern sort- indefatigable, always looking to maximize value no matter what the task, and kept to a schedule of 60-80+ hour work weeks, to the detriment of his wife and son. He believed in America, he had money in his pocket, and even when MDS went belly up, I was assured that he would quickly rebound.

And he did, working as a salesman/manager for a manufacturing concern with Texas as his territory… excellent pay (well over $100k before bonuses and per diem), but for brutal hours and travel. He then decided to leave that job, go into auto sales near his home in Oklahoma City, having 6 sales credited to him his first week.

But, still… long hours. Good pay, but now in a competitive environment where he has to make sure he isn’t getting screwed out of his commissions.

And then COVID hits. The dealership wants to keep George, but George is not too sure he wants to keep the dealership. He’s tired. He looks back at the last 20 years and regrets the time taken from his family for other people’s benefit. He wonders if he should have redirected his energies elsewhere than chasing the American dream via the traditional ‘work until you drop and you’ll be rewarded for it’ system. He’s done fine - has a few acres in Oklahoma, raises pigs on the side (it was feeding time during part of the call), but in terms of wealth, well… he’s like most people and, apart from his land, he doesn’t have much in the form of liquid assets: stocks, mutual funds, 401k, etc.

So, George decided to leave.

‘Why should I work 80 hours a week for $100,000 when I can do my current job, 40 hours a week, for $70,000 and have no management responsibilities?’

(He left the dealership as their #2 salesperson, now does warehouse work in OKC.)

'I look back, see all the shit I’ve done, and for what? I’m happier being a pig farmer w/ a warehouse job than I was while being paid more as the head of the largest sales division of my previous firm.

‘It took me 20 years to realize… we didn’t need the money. We just wanted it. Or, rather, I wanted it. And I’m not too sure why.’

George is a person who, I am sure, can bring $1,000,000+ top-line revenue to the right company, he is that easy to like, that good of a salesperson. However, he has effectively decided, in his 40s, to get out of the American game of continuous financial advancement by dialing back his skill set, his effort, even his material expectations of life in America.

In his way, George, too, has become a nahployee.

And he isn’t the only one, the only mid-career American who has taken stock of their lives because of COVID and decided to change their approach to work and money by reducing both.

From the AP:

Key quote:

The data strongly suggests that the delta variant wreaked havoc on the job market in August. As COVID-19 cases surged, quits jumped in restaurants and hotels and rose in other public-facing jobs, such as retail and education.

Quits also rose the most in the South and Midwest, the government said, the two regions with the worst COVID outbreaks in August.

Employers have been told over and over again for more than a year now that employment conditions for these jobs are worse than ever because of COVID, and yet, they’ve steadfastly refused to do anything to significantly improve them.

And now they’re surprised that a lot of people have finally had enough.

An awful lot of people quitting now are doing so because of the vaccine mandate.


People so uncivilized are likely not those with whom a firm can truly maximize profits or valuations, and will not be missed.

Here’s a non-paywalled link to the article. I can do that. You’re welcome.

But the link is only good for two weeks, IIRC.

On the other hand, hardly anybody has quit because of the vaccine mandates.

Yep, very good news. From this article, 2-5% of healthcare workers in WA will leave due to the mandate:

Too bad they won’t be able to collect the sweet unemployment that kept everyone else from working :slight_smile:

By “An awful lot” you mean what exactly? 75% would seem to to fit the phrase. Looking forward to your cite, or at least a coherent argument.

An awful lot:

That’s just a few stories. Local headlines in many places describe layoffs due to people refusing to get vaccinated.

The issue is more severe in Canada, where some provinces have sweeping mandates. I believe the U.S. only mandates vaccines for governent workers and contractors.

I’m surprised you haven’t heard any of this.

I think it’s your classification of “an awful lot”. For example, the 150+ Houston hospital workers is out of 26,000 which is around 0.06%. I will take those percentages if it means the bulk of the rest of those healthcare workers are now vaccinated.

Really? I can’t say ‘an awful lot’ when we have some places losing up to 36% of their staff, and some places have layed off more than a thousand people? I also read that a maternity ward in NY had to be closed because so many staff members refused the vaccine.

This is just nitpicking.

I read that thousands of Southwest flights had to be canceled because pilots called in sick rather than get vaccinated.

Those “sick” pilots never existed, though.

You can describe it as an ‘awful lot’, that’s no problem. The issue is whether or not the numbers quitting because of employer vaccine mandates is statistically material in a macro term, which you haven’t proven.

And, to my point, Sam: people so divorced of manners, health, and basic civility are likely low-value employees, even those in high-value professions. An airplane pilot who refuses vaccines is of lower economic value than one who is fully vaccinated, for example. A doctor or health care ‘professional’, even less so - I would argue that such an employee may have a negative value to their employer.

You found ONE place in Canada. Most of the headlines I have seen on this predicting large percentages have turned out to be too pessimistic when the actual rubber hit the road.

Hell in your own reports one of the mass firings was 0.6% of the workforce, another was 1%.

Yes, I already read - and discounted - that one. What’s your point? That you found a story mistaking weather issues for vaccine walkouts, and therefore I’m wrong even though I didn’t mention it?

Really? Losing thousands of hospital workers in a state during a pandemic isn’t visible on a macro scale?

My wife is a health manager in the government. They ard panicking because they think they are about to lose a lot of workers.

But note I’m not making any sort of argument against the vaccine, so I think you are all reacting to something I never said. I merely meant to point out that vaccine-related layoffs are another source of worker issues, thhat is all. Two people in my family are immuno-compromised, so I would really, really like people to get vaccinated.

Do you have any evidence at all for that assertion?