• Podcast Appearance

Is the Labor Market Broken?

Supply chain disruptions and global labor shortages are becoming more and more common. Now, these issues are causing a big problem for consumers and businesses across the globe. Even though demand for labor is increasing in many industries, their is less labor available. From workers choosing to quit their jobs to ageing worker retiring, there are less people in the work force. In addition, quiet shifts in society are becoming more apparent on the labor market.

For one example, Kansas City metro area is experiencing a slight increase of employment but is still better than the national average of 5.9%. The economy is rebounding, but there are still less jobs than before the pandemic began. Most of the jobs available are low skill and employers are having a hard time finding workers. Consequently, NPR’s Steve Kraske wanted to look at the Kansas City metro area’s labor market and needed expert analysis of the latest trends.

On August 20, 2021, Kraske interviewed Dr. Abigail Devereaux, Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Economic Growth (ISEG), on “Up to Date” on NPR in Kansas City. Dr. Devereaux points to the delta variant as one major source of uncertainty. In addition, she points out how wages are failing to keep up with inflation.


The coronavirus is also a factor. Abigail Devereaux, assistant professor of economics at Wichita State University, says “There’s still some uncertainty going on, probably around the delta variant” but noted that Wichita State will have masks on campus and is offering vaccines.

Steve Kraske
“Up to Date” on NPR KCUR 89.3 in Kansas City.

Discover all this and more on the episode “Better to be Looking for Workers or Looking for a Job?”. Listen to Dr. Devereaux’s appearance online at KCUR.