Economist: Labor shortage could become permanent, not entirely caused by the pandemic – WRAL.com

North Carolina currently has 90,000 fewer people working than it did before the coronavirus pandemic.

>>> WILL SHOW YOU WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR. >>> WE CERTAINLY SEE SIGNS OF IT EVERY DAY. RIGHT NOW NORTH CAROLINA HAS 90,000 FEWER PEOPLE WORKING THAN IT DID BEFORE THE PANDEMIC. THANKS FOR JOINING US. >> SOME EXPERTS BELIEVE THIS CURRENT LABOR SHORTAGE WE ARE SEEING MAY ACTUALLY BE PERMANENT. WE ARE LIVE IN DOWNTOWN RALEIGH TALKING TO BUSINESS OWNERS ABOUT HOW THEY PLAN TO COPE AS WE GO INTO BLACK FRIDAY. >> Reporter: THE LABOR SHORTAGE IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU DON’T WANT BEFORE BLACK FRIDAY BUT DECO RALEIGH IS MAKING DO THIS HOLIDAY SEASON. EXPERTS SAY SURPRISINGLY THIS REALLY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PANDEMIC. >> WE WILL DO 25% OF OUR SALES FOR THE YEAR IN THE COUPLE OF WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. >> STILL BADLY NEEDED AFTER THE YEAR AND A HALF. >> WHERE TO TO RECOVER FROM COVID. >> TO KEEP UP WITH THE HOPEFULLY BUSTLING BUSINESSES HOLIDAY SEASON, DECO RALEIGH OWNER SAYS INTEREST IN SEASONAL WORK IS NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE. >> TYPICALLY THIS TIME OF THE YEAR WE WILL HAVE NOT HUNDREDS BUT MAYBE A DOZEN DECENT JOB APPLICANTS COME. WE HAVEN’T HAD A SINGLE COMES OUT OF THE BLUE. >> SHE IS CONSIDERING FORGOING ADDITIONAL ADD-ONS AND WAS FORCED TO NOT DO POP-UPS. >> SHE HAS INCREASED HER STARTING WAGES BY THREE DOLLARS- FIVE DOLLARS IN JUST THE LAST YEAR. >> IT IS TOUGH ON SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS BUT BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN IT IT WAS A PRIORITY FOR ME. >> ECONOMIST MIKE WALDEN SAYS THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT BUSINESSES NEED TO RETAIN WORKERS AS THE WORKFORCE DWINDLES PERMANENTLY. >> A BIG REASON IS THE FACT WE ARE AN AGING SOCIETY. PEOPLE IN MY CATEGORY ARE GROWING IN NUMBERS AND PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULATION. AT THE OTHER END OF THE DEMOGRAPHIC SPAN, WE ARE SIMPLY NOT CREATING HUMANS AS FAST AS WE USED TO. THE BIRTH RATE IS WELL BELOW WHAT WE CALL REPLACEMENT LEVEL. >> THE GOOD NEWS IS NORTH CAROLINA MAY BE BETTER OFF THAN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY. >> WE ARE ATTRACTING PEOPLE FROM OTHER STATES. WE ARE ONE OF THE TOP STATES IN DOING THAT. >> Reporter: THE PRICE OF LABOR SHORTAGE SHE BELIEVES — DESPITE LABOR SHORTAGE SHE BE A — SHE BELIEVES THEY WILL BE ABLE TO SERVE ALL THEIR SHOPPERS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON. A WORD OF ADVICE IS IF YOU ARE SHOPPING ONLINE THINGS YOURSELF CAN I BUY THIS AT A STORE

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