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Your Call

Why The "Worker Shortage" Is A Reflection Of Low Wages & The Pandemic Forced Moms To Leave The Workforce

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On this edition of Your Call, we’ll find out why some industries are struggling to find workers. A recent study from One Fair Wage says it's a wage shortage, not a worker shortage. Over 75 percent of food service workers are considering leaving the industry because of low wages and tips.

Later in the show, we'll discuss how the pandemic has pushed working mothers out of the labor force. Many have not returned to work because they’ve taken on childcare responsibilities. How has the pandemic changed the labor market?


Ioana Marinescu, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research

Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage, a nonprofit that advocates for ending the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley

Christine Beckman, professor of public policy at the University of Southern California, where she is the Price Family Chair in Social Innovation

Web Resources:


The Counter, Tina Vasquez: Restaurant workers across North Carolina say there's no labor shortage. It's a 'wage shortage.'

HuffPost, Arthur Delaney: Why People Don't Stay In Restaurant Jobs

CNBC, Greg Iacurci: It's unclear whether state cuts to unemployment benefits got people back to work in June

CalMatters, Jesse Bedayn: Mothers may not return to work until school starts

The Washington Post, Ellen McCarthy: Many moms left the workforce during the pandemic. For some, going back isn’t so simple.

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.
Lea is a producer for Your Call on KALW Local Public Radio. She graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in 2018.