U.S. Has Long-Term Labor Crisis  

The Wall Street Journal has set forth a detailed analysis of the U.S. long-term labor crisis.[1]

“Work experts have warned for years that the combination of baby boomer retirements, low birthrates, shifting immigration policies and changing worker preferences is leaving U.S. employers with too few workers to fill job openings. While the labor market is softening, none of those factors are expected to change dramatically in the coming years.”

“The U.S. birthrate—the number of births per 1,000 people—has been falling for decades, declining by about half since the 1960s.”

“Labor shortages can be eased by funneling more people into the labor force or making the current workforce more productive. That can be done through immigration; outsourcing more work overseas; tapping underutilized labor pools such as people with disabilities and the formerly incarcerated; and improving productivity through automation, training and refining business and production processes.”

“Offshoring, the scourge of the U.S. manufacturing workforce in the last decades of the 20th century, has lost favor with some business leaders after the pandemic highlighted the vulnerabilities of a global supply chain. Reshoring—bringing manufacturing back to the U.S.—is gathering momentum, backed by billions of dollars in government subsidies.”

Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT could help, but the technology is too new to know exactly where large language models can be reliably applied in business or work settings.”

“That leaves immigration. After falling during the pandemic because of Covid-related policies, immigration has come back strongly. But it remains a divisive issue, and business leaders say the lack of a coherent, stable policy is contributing to the labor problem.”


 This blogger agrees that U.S. should significantly revise its immigration laws to encourage the immigration of people who could be productive workers in our economy.[2] But the U.S. Congress currently is dysfunctional on many issues, including immigration.


[1] Weber & Pipe, Why America Has a Long-Term Labor Crisis, in Six Charts, W.S.J. (Sept. 21, 2023).

[2] See, e.g., the following posts to dwkcommentaries.com:  U.S. Afghan Special Visa Program Still Facing Immense Problems (Sept. 2, 2023); Overwhelmed U.S. Immigration Court System (Sept. 1, 2023):Increasing Migrant Crossings at U.S. Border Call for Legal Change (Aug. 16, 2023);Wall Street Journal Editorial: U.S. Needs More Immigrants (July 25, 2023); Other States Join Iowa in Encouraging Immigration To combat Aging, Declining Population (Feb. 22, 2023);More Details on U.S. and Other Countries’ Worker Shortages (Feb. 9, 2023);Iowa State Government Encouraging Refugee and Migrant Resettlement (Feb. 3, 2023).

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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

One thought on “U.S. Has Long-Term Labor Crisis  ”

  1. I don’t understand two things:
    First, is we have lots of lawful immigrants here who are not going back, but the can’t get work permits. We can repair a crucial segment of I-95 in Phildlevia in less than a month, but can’t approve a green card in less than half year.
    Second, most immigrants would be happy to take training courses so they can fill the labor shortage segments.
    Note: My younger son had a job as boss of the overnight crew at a Walmart in Colorado. He would hire any Mexican who applied for a job, legal or illegal, be cause the all worked hard.

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