Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Good signs in labor market

The woman at the sandwich place where I go for lunch -- one of two primary sandwich makers on their line -- recently left because she found a role as an admin assistant. Yesterday a new hire, an African-American woman with a bunch of tattoos, made my sandwich. She had never used a pepper mill before, but the other guy showed it to her and it barely slowed things down at all. You could tell she was a little nervous as the line of balding guys in blue shirts got longer as noon approached, but she was gonna do fine.

Over the weekend a friend of mine complained about the level of service in a restaurant owned by another friend.

This is all good. It shows that people are being drawn into the labor force. Food service and hospitality are not the greatest jobs, but they are jobs, and people learn valuable skills and habits in them. I know I did. People are coming back into the workforce.

Much of this is due to tailwinds from the Obama years, but it is not being hurt by a revival of animal spirits and expectation of a more favorable regulatory climate under Trump.

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