Thinking Citizen Blog — Why Aren’t Workers Returning to Work? Sectoral, Geographic Mismatches

John Muresianu
3 min readOct 26, 2021


Thinking Citizen Blog — Tuesday is Economics, Finance, and Business Day

Today’s Topic: Why Aren’t Workers Returning to Work? Sectoral, Geographic Mismatches

Part of it is concern for safety. Part of it is built up savings. Then there is the problem of finding child care. The result is more leverage for workers who are willing to work. Employers are desperate. Today, a few notes — quantitative and not. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.


1. “Resignations are the highest on record — up 13 per cent over pre-pandemic levels.

2. “There are 4.9 million more people who aren’t working or looking for work than there were before the pandemic.”

3. “There’s a surge in retirements with 3.6 million people retiring during the pandemic, or more than 2 million more than expected.”

NB: “And there’s been a boost in entrepreneurship that has caused the biggest jump in years in new business applications.”


1. “There are 1.8 million job openings in professional and business services and fewer than 925,000 people whose most recent job was in that sector.”

2. “Leisure and hospitality, as well as retail and wholesale trade, also have more openings than prior workers, and many workers who lost jobs in those industries have indicated they don’t want to return.”

3. “There’s a similar mismatch in education and health services, where there are 1.7 million job openings and only 1.1 million people whose last job was in that sector.”


1. “All the slack has vanished in Idaho and Utah, where employment recovered months ago and the unemployment rates were nearing their all-time lows at 2.6 percent and 3 percent respectively.”

2. “But other states are still reeling: Hawaii is still missing 12 percent of its jobs, New York is still missing 9 percent, and Nevada and Alaska are more than 7 percent behind, as tourism-dependent economies struggle amid fast-spreading covid-19 variants.”

FOOTNOTE — THE CASE OF DANIELLE MIESS — independence and flexibility (NYT — first link below)

1. “When Danielle Miess, 30, lost her job at a Philadelphia-area travel agency at the start of pandemic, it was in some ways a blessing. Some time away helped her realize how bad the job had been for her mental health, and for her finances — her bank balance was negative on the day she was left off.”

2. “With federally-supplemented unemployment benefits providing more than she made on the job, she said, she gained a measure of financial stability.”

3. “Ms. Miess’s unemployment benefits ran out in September, but she isn’t looking for another office job. Instead she is cobbling together a living from a variety of gigs. She is trying to build a business as an independent travel agent, while also doing house sitting, dog sitting, and selling clothes online.”

NB: “She estimates she is earning somewhat more than the roughly $36,000 a year she made before the pandemic, and although she is working as many hours as ever, she enjoys the flexibility.”

The Economic Rebound Is Still Waiting for Workers

Why America has 8.4 million unemployed when there are 10 million job openings

Only half of the people who lost jobs during COVID are going back to work

The last four years of posts organized by theme are available here:

PDF with headlines — Google Drive

YOUR TURN — Please share:

a.) the coolest thing you learned this week related to business, economics, finance.

b.) the coolest thing you learned in your life related to business, economics, finance.

c.) anything at all related to business, economics, finance.

d.) anything at all



John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.