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  • James

Labor Shortage And Business

This post is not directly supported by research. It is based purely on my experience in the Oneonta, NY market. The title is what we as a cleaning company are experiencing. Normally this time of year Oneonta is rocking with baseball fans coming and going as part of the Cooperstown baseball camps. It is so hot that private home owners will go on an extended vacation in order to be able to rent out their home for some serious windfall profits. This year is different.

I don't think I have to explain why it is different; you all know. So with no baseball camps, means no tourist, means no cleaning, means unemployment. Now logically with all the out of work cleaners one would expect a good pool of labor. Unfortunately this is where government trying to do good creates more problems. Unemployment benefits with the federal $600 add-on makes it hard for a small business to compete for qualified workers.

The cleaning business is not for everyone. It is hard work, at odd hours, and is not in one location. Jobs have to be completed on schedule to remain within budget. This is where the term qualified workers comes into play. Yes there are those who do not qualify for unemployment for one reason or another, and who will take the job. But they are not a good choice for this type of work.

Now this makes it tough for everyone. From the client to the cleaning business. This then brings us to supply and demand. Low supply of available cleaning staff and high demand for cleaning services. High demand is due to the artificial shortage of labor. A cleaning business can take on only the number of jobs it can service. Of course prices will increase, but this will only level the profit to the point that would approximate the profit generated from more work at a lower price. The labor 'brakes' will always raise its head to minimize the opportunity of capitalizing on low supply.

Wow that is mouth full. So this takes us back to the $600. Is it good? Just depends on your point of view. I was taught, and believe, that work and earning one's way is always the best choice. Hand outs only create trouble for the individual, as well as society in general.

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