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  1. 英語資訊
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    經濟學人下載:高失業率下,為何美國還是招人難?(1)

    Source: Economist    2021-05-13  我要投稿   論壇   Favorite  

    Labour shortages in America 

    美國的勞動力短缺

    Help wanted 

    急聘

    Why workers are hard to find, even though unemployment is high 

    為什么在失業率高的情況下,工人還是很難找到

    The pandemic has led to all sorts of weird economic outcomes. The latest oddity is the growing chorus of complaints in America about a shortage oflabour, even though 8m fewer people are in work today than before covid-19 struck. In early April Bloomberg reported that Delta Air Lines had cancelled 100 flights for lack of staff. People are so hard to find that one café in Florida has turned to robots to greet customers and deliver food. A branch of McDonald's is paying potential burger-flippers $50 just to turn up for a job interview. 

    大流行導致了各種奇怪的經濟結果。最近的一個奇怪之處是,盡管美國的就業人口與新冠肺炎爆發前相比減少了800萬人,但對勞動力短缺的抱怨卻越來越多。彭博社四月初報道稱,達美航空公司因缺少員工而取消了100個航班。員工極其難招,以致于佛羅里達的一家咖啡館已經開始用機器人來招呼顧客和送餐了。麥當勞的一家分店向潛在的漢堡廚師懸賞50美元,就為了等面試的人出現。

    The data back up the anecdotes. Total vacancies are running at their highest level for at least two decades, indicating that firms have plenty of unfilled positions. Furthermore, job openings are leading to fewer hires than you would expect based on the historical relationship between the two. And even accounting for changes in the composition of the workforce, wage growth, at about 3%, has been surprisingly robust, suggesting that firms are offering bigger pay packets to tempt workers. If they persist job shortages could eventually fuel inflation, threatening the economic recovery. 

    有數據支撐這些奇聞軼事。職位空缺總數達到了至少20年來的最高水平,這表明公司有大量空缺職位。此外,根據兩者之間的歷史關系,職位空缺導致的招聘人數比你預期的要少。即使考慮到勞動力構成的變化,工資增長(約3%)也異常強勁,這表明企業正在提供更大的薪酬來吸引工人。如果就業持續短缺,最終可能加劇通貨膨脹,從而威脅到經濟復蘇。

    There are three potential explanations for the puzzling shortages: over-generous benefits; fearful workers; and a reallocation of labour between industries. Start with America's huge fiscal handouts. The latest stimulus cheques, posted in the spring, were for up to $1,400 per person. Seemingly every American knows of a neighbour's cousin's boyfriend who received a "stimmy" cheque, then quit his job in orderto sit on the sofa. A federal supplement to unemployment insurance (UI), currently $300 a week, ensures that four in ten unemployed people earn more from benefits than they did in their previous job. Economic research has long concluded that more generous benefits blunt incentives to look for work. 

    出現這些令人困惑的短缺有三種可能的解釋:過于慷慨的福利;憂慮的工人;以及產業間勞動力的重新分配。先從美國的巨額財政援助說起。今年春天發布的最新刺激支票每人能拿到高達1400美元的金額。似乎每個美國人都知道鄰居表親的男朋友收到了“吝嗇”的支票后,為了坐在沙發上而辭掉了工作。外加一項聯邦失業保險(UI)(目前是每周300美元),能夠確保四成的失業者獲得的收入比他們在上一份工作中獲得的收入還要多。經濟研究長期以來得出的結論是,更慷慨的福利會削弱人們找工作的動力。

    Yet this relationship appears to have weakened during the pandemic. The fact that increases in UI payments have been time-limited may make workers reluctant to turn down a job with longer-lasting rewards. In the early part of the pandemic the UI supplement was even more generous, at $600, but its expiry in the summer had "little effect on overall employment", according to a paper published in February by Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Likewise, in the areas where the current $300 is a relatively larger boost to income, employment growth has not weakened since January, when that uplift was introduced. 

    然而這種關系在大流行期間似乎有所減弱。失業救濟的增加是有時間限制的,這一事實可能會讓員工不愿意拒絕一份有長期報酬的工作。根據馬薩諸塞大學阿默斯特分校的阿潤德拉吉特·杜布2月份發表的一篇論文,在大流行的早期,失業保險補貼金甚至更慷慨,為600美元,但在夏季到期時“對總體就業幾乎沒有影響”。同樣,在那些目前300美元對收入的提振作用相對較大的地區,就業增長自今年1月開始增長以來就沒有減弱過。


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