To paraphrase Lee Iacocca’s sales pitch, “If you can find a better car, buy it”. This is how the economy works. There has been considerable media focus on the so called “Great Resignation”, a term created to describe the large number of people who are quitting their current jobs.
The important thing for investors to consider is, are all of these people quitting and leaving the workforce, or are they simply leaving one job to get a better one? While it is true that there has been a reduction in the work force over the last several years, see our blog “Retirement and the Labor Shortage”, posted January 21, 2022, the “Big Quit” looks more like the “Big Switch”.
It should be noted that large employers such as Amazon, Walmart and UPS, to mention a few, were successful in staffing up for the recent holidays. Apparently workers can be found if employers meet compensation expectations.
To those companies that claim that they can’t find enough workers, either raise pay and prices, or review your business model. We alluded to the issue of pricing power in our blog of January 14, 2022, “Pricing Power and Inflation”.
All comments and suggestions are welcome.
Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA