Magazine August 16, 2021, Issue

A Tight Labor Market Is Good for Workers

(Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images)
There’s nothing quite like it for increasing their share of income

A fast-food CEO calls it a “total nightmare.” Some economists are calling it The Great Resignation. Best just to call it what it is: a tight labor market — and three cheers for it.

In late July, the United States had about 9.5 million unemployed people and about the same number of unfilled jobs. The unemployment rate was under 6 percent in the most recent survey, so one way of thinking about those 9.5 million unemployed workers and 9.5 million unemployed jobs is as churn at the margins.

That churn has been intensified by a tight little knot of interrelated factors.

The

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This article appears as “The Great Resignation” in the August 16, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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