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US Businesses Are Closing Because They Can’t Find Anyone to Work. Here’s Why.

In a recent interview, economist Lawrence Summers said the government’s juiced-up unemployment benefits have created a record labor shortage.

For the last 10 years, Larry and Roxane Maggio ran a deli—Ludovico’s—in downtown Haddonfield, a borough in New Jersey.

Last month, however, they prepared their final catering orders. The couple decided to close their business—“and not because business is bad.”

“We just can’t find anyone to work,” Roxane Maggio told the Philadelphia Inquirer last week.

Similar stories can be found across America, where businesses are struggling to find employees. In Spokane, Washington, job postings “appear to be around every corner,” but employers simply can’t find people to fill the jobs.

“It’s been challenging,” said Matt Jensen, who serves as Director of Sales and Marketing for Davenport Hotels, just one of many businesses in Spokane searching for dozens of employees.

These anecdotes are no aberration. Data show that small businesses are reporting a record number of job openings.

“I think we’re seeing rising evidence of labor shortages,” economist Lawrence Summers said in a recent Bloomberg interview, which highlighted a recent National Federation of Independent Business survey.

“You can see that in small business surveys, where we’re at record levels in terms of difficulties of finding labor. You can see that in terms of the data on job vacancies, which are at near record levels,” said Summers, a former president of Harvard University.