Labor Shortages Cause Prices to Skyrocket

Labor Shortages Cause Prices to Skyrocket

( – After more than a year of harsh quarantines and other COVID-19 restrictions, the nation’s economy is finally starting to pick up steam again. However, the transition back to a normal functioning economy is not without its problems.

For instance, the United States Commerce Department released its International Trade in Goods and Services report on May 4 covering the month of March 2021, and things don’t look rosy.

The nation’s trade deficit for March surged to a stunning $74.4 billion representing an increase of 5.6% or an additional $3.9 billion on top of February’s level. On the plus side, that deficit results from the US economy recovering faster than that of our trading partners. Americans have more money to spend than people in other countries, leading to lower exports from our shores and a larger deficit.

However, the country is also facing some serious supply-side issues at home.

Poultry Prices Skyrocket

The Wall Street Journal reported on May 6 that “Chicken wings are flying off the shelves.” After promoting takeout and delivery services for months in response to COVID-19 concerns, KFC and other restaurants report that they’re paying high prices for poultry, which has become scarce recently. Some large restaurant chains are running out of poultry products or limiting their availability in hopes of making current supplies last.

Smaller restaurants and bars report they’ve gone without poultry products for weeks and counting. Market research firm Urner Barry told The Wall Street Journal that the wing prices have hit record highs, and chicken breast prices have more than doubled this year.

This shortage and accompanying price increase come at a time when many Americans are already struggling to make ends meet. Unfortunately, it’s unclear when this shortage might end and how many other products will experience a similar rise in prices.

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