By Brendan Ulmer / Staff Writer

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported the number of unfilled jobs as being above 10.9 million, as of the end of this July.

This was a record high.

This follows the omnipresent and lengthy Covid-19 pandemic that saw somewhere between 16 million and 18 million jobs lost in May 2020. Now, that there is some semblance of normalcy reentering our world, these jobs are back.

“Whenever I see those openings, that means the economy is doing great,” Hutchinson senior nursing student Robert Murigi said, “The economy is going back to normal.”

Photo by Brendan Ulmer

It has been seldomly seen in coverage of this surplus of job openings that it is overall a deeply positive sign for the direction of commerce in the United States.

The verbiage of “Jobs Crisis” as perpetuated by news outlets ranging all the way from MSNBC to Fox News instills more of a sense of panic than the hope it could potentially represent.

“It’s an opportunity,” McPherson freshman Brooks Hubenett said. “It’s an opportunity for those who want to improve their lot in life, but it’s also something that’ll undoubtedly – at least in the short term – damage our country.”

Much is made in the intellectual field of economics about the invisible hand of the free market, the idea that people won’t pay for anything less than what they think their time and labor is worth, and the same goes for those who create and oversee the jobs – they won’t pay the employees more than they think they’re worth.

“Oftentimes, if people are looking for jobs, they’re looking for the best possible deal,” Hubenett said. “Whoever can offer the best incentives are gonna have a lot more people”

These openings appear to be indicative of a standoff between labor and capital, with labor unwilling to work for the wages, and capital unwilling to make the wages more enticing.

So who’s winning in this scenario?

“Some (companies) have resorted to automation” Murigi said. “I don’t think that’s good cause if they go into automation people will need those jobs.

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