Earlier in the pandemic, the labor shortage was most noticeable at eating establishments, from local diners to Domino’s. As Americans returned to pre-pandemic levels of air travel, there were suddenly too few pilots, crew and air traffic controllers. The delivery of numerous goods and services slowed in part because of shipping snarls, but also because truck drivers were scarce.
Now, in my community and in others around the country, the labor shortage means too few emergency workers as well as reduced emergency medical flights.
This last shortage could lead to much more dramatic consequences than doing without a restaurant meal, or a delayed or canceled vacation (as distressing as that can be). Lack of emergency workers could mean the difference between life and death in some situations.
I’m not an economist nor a labor expert; I have no insights into why these shortages exist, how severe they are or how long they might last.
But I do think the problem offers an…