Where Did All the Workers Go?

Our young workforce is evaporating. As a result, employers struggle to find workers. We have no one to blame but our new virtuous and smarter-than-thou cancel culture of hate.

As a person who has executed a significant amount of corporate strategy, and has had to deal with some of these related issues in conducting staffing planning for my clients – I hope at least, that I bear a clean and direct grasp of how the employment market is affected by certain factors. This may not be popular, and my intention is not to excuse-make for this generation – nonetheless it is the truth.

These conditions did not exist 15 years ago and earlier – so be careful about quick comparisons to one’s ‘bootstrapping’ past. As a 24 year old in the United States of America (this is not me, this is a collection summarizing what I have heard or observed from this generation)1

  1. I don’t need a car, as I can Uber or Lyft.
  2. Nor especially do I desire to have car insurance, which both penalizes me for being 24 and rises 12% a year. They use all that obscene profit to compete for the most clever and worn-out ad campaign. Hey ‘Flo’, how ’bout you bundle this. Fuck that lizard and oversized turkey.
  3. My parents’ house has appreciated 150% since I was in high school and offers ample room for a home improvement loan since they have been paying their mortgage for 28 years now.
  4. My brother is disabled with autism spectrum disorder. This crushed my mom. She needs me, and sometimes it is like I am her only friend. Between them both working to make ends meet, I cannot leave them without help.
  5. My parents are both ill/addicted, and hide this from their friends and employers. I am there to help out so things don’t unravel.
  6. Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance goes up by 14% a year for absolutely no reason. We’ve never had a claim be accepted in 28 years, yet it is ‘mandatory’ – I get the game.
  7. The coffee I make for myself and my parents is better and less costly than you can get at an office or Starbucks by far.
  8. Taxes skyrocket between 40 K and 80K in income… the extra insane level of effort is not worth it at all. I pay very little to no tax now.
  9. If I make $40,000 in income or less, I get free healthcare now. If I make $80,000 I have to pay hundreds of dollars a month for it. Fuck that… The doctor does not listen to, nor help me, anyway. Why should I then also pay for that?
  10. President Barack Obama in a June 3, 2020 ‘Town Hall’ meeting, placed a Mark of Cain upon my race, deeming it a ‘plague of our society’ and declared that I bore an ‘original sin’, one which I carry because of my skin color and/or gender. There are no measurable objectives of success in this, so it will never end – I am forbidden to speak my view or exist as a full rights-bearing citizen in the meantime. I am not the horrible monster these people have crafted as the focus of their hate.
  11. Rent is just a useless and overpriced expense, it builds nothing for the future. Plus I have to have a ‘roommate’ in order to afford it now.
  12. Renting forces me to live in dangerous places where crime is skyrocketing and I might be a target because of my gender. Rent forces me to earn more (diluted enormously by taxes and healthcare premiums) as well.
  13. I survive on 1 meal a day because my endocrine/microbiome system is so damaged that if I do not fast most of the day, I gain weight like crazy. This also keeps food costs low.
  14. I feel like crap most of the time. My asthma, allergies, and food sensitivities are insane. I am gluten intolerant and it is almost impossible to avoid that shit. I have to avoid so many foods now that eating out is a disaster to my body.
  15. If I am to work, I have to shave and shower every day, and workout for an hour each day in order to be at my optimal appearance. I can do that, but what a pain in the ass, just to pay bigger tax, gas, auto insurance, and medical insurance bills.
  16. The Maskuerade.
  17. I can work from home in my lower income part time endeavor. I can work my own hours.
  18. No traffic. What idiot thinks I am going to sit in a car for them, for 2 hours a day any more? Not someone I trust.
  19. Employers want me to get three or four shots, and accept a subscription to more shots, just for the ‘privilege’ of working under some Boomer-fanatic overseer who wants 10+ hours per day out of me to show my ‘commitment’ and that I have a ‘work ethic’. I am willing to work very hard, but I am not an idiot.
  20. My gender and/or skin color is very unpopular now – I am already a minority in colleges, and yet I still cannot attend the college of my first choosing, and I won’t get promoted, so it is better to be in business for myself where I will not face discrimination.
  21. Being intelligent does not get one into university, rather you can be dumb as a door-post as long as you have straight A’s. It is just not worth the effort of kissing teacher asses, who are politically biased against you by their Union in the first place, in order to convert a couple B’s into A’s.
  22. My boss will be frightened, nepotistic, and chosen for their correctness, not competence. I am not willing to cast my pearls before swine.
  23. Knowing a trade is much more valuable than having a degree now. Work for yourself, part time is the way to go. If you can fix a pipe, circuit board, or electric motor, you are far more valuable than a college educated cubicle-dweller managing the overdue payment notification team.
  24. I refuse to be put on a unit-rate based ‘performance enhancement system’ which only offers me a livable wage if I work at an unsustainable pace – leaving me little work/personal life energy balance.
  25. Video games are incredibly real and immersive now, and highly addictive, on large 4K screens with fantastic sound. There is a new one each week. The social network around them is incredible, a lot of people just like me.
  26. My chances of catching Covid are higher the more I go out and huddle with people in small, poorly ventilated work spaces or restrooms. I cannot afford to give Covid to my parents. What would I do if one of them dies?
  27. I am constantly instructed as to how incorrect and unacceptable I am, in the workplace. It is justice and virtue to have fewer of me around, thus they will get their wish.
  28. I’ve seen what the industrial workplace did to crush/steal from my once vibrant and loving parents and disrupt my home, and I will never let that happen in my life. I’m not funding the next oligarch war or Greek island yacht from my hard efforts. If I work hard, it is going to be for me.
  29. Online porn is far less trouble than a real live friend of the opposite sex. Having one of those is like owning a monkey, with a chance of accidental pregnancy. Plus, after all, I live in my parents’ basement
  30. Cancel culture has made existence in public a miserable chore. Some people literally believe they hold a righteous license to truth and regard me as a ‘Nazi’ the moment they get the notion that I might not agree with their Narrative 100%. Go scream at someone else.
  31. I can get my food and booze delivered to me at my doorstep.
  32. Living in a micro environment so as not to place undue burden on my parents, is actually kinda’ cool. Plenty of savvy devices to make life workable. YouTube shows how it is both do-able and fun.
  33. I enjoy three-day excursion outdoor activities. It is a very rewarding and refreshing break from the same-same. I cannot do that with a ‘job’.
  34. I can’t take the risk of arrest, drug test detection by an employer, or accidental overdose by having to find a new supplier for the drug of ‘my choice’.
  35. I don’t want the burden of children. I probably should not be a parent either – how the hell am I going to inspire them? I don’t want to subject anyone to this life, especially an innocent person and against their own choice.
  36. I don’t want to introduce children who look like me, into a world which will vilify, hate, and disadvantage them by their appearance. So there is no reason to get married.
  37. My eyes have been opened to the fact that there is more going on around us than is acknowledged. I don’t know exactly what it is, but enough evidence is there to conclude that we have been lied to significantly. I do not possess an aversion to a new paradigm or ontology – instead, I despise being lied to, and being led by persons who think they bear the right to lie or conceal.
  38. All my old friends are local, in the same boat as me, we share the same interests, and we hang out and talk about this predicament. Who needs new friends?
  39. We don’t go to restaurants or bars to hang out, as that costs too much and is not near as much fun.
  40. I am not working, just because I should work… You need to inspire me with a mission where I can contribute value. Amazon and TwitGoogFace dominating the world is not a suitable ‘mission’.
  41. I do not trust our national leadership, nor do I feel I can change what is occurring, nor would they let me. If life does not take me seriously, then I’m not going to take it seriously, in return. It’s just simple action-reaction.
  42. They would gleefully sacrifice my life in a military conflict, but won’t even bother to count me as an unemployment statistic – preferring instead to replace me with imported voters. I am willing to lay down my life for my fellow citizens, but not for an encroaching third-world culture which is teaching hate, demeaning and replacing me – and from whom I get the stark impression that they would never fight alongside me in return.

There is a name for this process. It has been done before. Our Constitution was written so as to preclude it ever happening again. Unfortunately we were way too smart to have a Constitution any longer – thanks in part to our fake skeptics, ‘doubting’ everything except what was important to doubt.

The Ethical Skeptic, “Where Did All the Workers Go?”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 8 Feb 2022; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=61962

  1. As your read, bear three things in mind: 1. These points are not representative of all 24 year olds, nor you, nor a preponderance of younger professionals. We are explaining a ‘principle of margin’ here, not majority. Why worker availability has dried up, not an attempt at explaining your personal mindset nor persons like you. 2. Not everything here is being contended as reasonable, simply that it is a reality. 3. These sentiments do not necessarily reflect my own. Please keep these things in mind as you read.
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Mark

The problem with this mindset is the time frame. Mom and dad won’t be here forever, then what? Starting out in your twenties is tough and it doesn’t get easier as you get older. As my Drill Instructor used to say, “Life is tough, and then you die.” It often sucked, but it was worth it. Yes, I am that old.

argmax

Unrelated and offtopic: how did you do with your covid experience ?

argmax

Recovery I meant

argmax

Damn. Sorry to hear about the ordeal of your family. I am glad you got out of it unscarred. That spike protein is -nasty-, if its numbers build up there either because of the wrong vaxx or because the body did not stop the virus in the early steps there will be issues. I got away with omega, younger age, high entry vitamin-D levels and flccc protocol (IVM ++) with nothing but 1.5 days of fever but I do know people that did not follow the above steps and ended up with 10 days in bed, long covid and loss… Read more »

Glau

You bent over backwards to make white guys complaining about reverse racism the same thing as women complaining about sexual harassment and black people complaining about out and out discrimination. Was the intent to skew the responses so they are all based on rightwing shibboleths, or was that subconscious?

Code Jinn

We have single party controlled academia and press to the tune of 90% or more at this point. Major internet content hubs are even more single party controlled at this point. It should be no surprise that serious problems are happening. The left has been radicalized by this single-party control just as it was previously in history. Proof from Pew is here: https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/pew-research-center-study-shows-that-democrats-have-shifted-to-the-extreme-left/ If you insist on rejecting anything that seems “right wing” to you then listen to this left wing professor instead http://righteousmind.com/viewpoint-diversity/ The truth is out there but similar to other single-party-control situations it’s not going to be… Read more »

ms100

How large do you think is this cohort & what do you advise your clients to do? And, if you were king, what should happen on a societal scale to fix things?

Jeff

I’m 38 and also work in the IT field, though in a rather blue collar niche of it where I must regularly get my hands dirty and work outside and in otherwise industrial environments. As someone who loves to work with both my hands and my mind, and cannot stand being seated in an office, I love my job. I’ve been doing it for 16 years and I’m very good at it. I enjoy the people I work with, and they are appreciative of the work that I do to keep all of our systems and equipment running smoothly. Now… Read more »

Anto

Thanks for this, TES. I continue to hope that this is merely a generational cultural and societal “break”, rather than “breakdown”, although I am by no means certain this is the case. However, it is sad to live through (I came of age in the late ’80s, when things were still hopeful and looking up). Even worse, is having two sons who are new adults being thrust into this era. I only hope that their upbringing and education can steel them somewhat from the disconnect which is happening. In past times when society reached the point at which we presently… Read more »

Ligand Field

In short, one might say that they have gone Galt…. Alas, often for cause.

Zen Tsu

My advice to the 24 yr old man in 2022: Leave your parents. Love them but physically leave them. If you are a parent reading this and have a reaction of anxiety and objection, you are part of the problem. I know that sounds harsh and it will be. Moses’ mother put him in a basket in a river. Did she need a male around to grow up and protect her? Farm the land? She was a divorcee and alone. Keeping a son at home in todays age is not different than if Moses mother had kept him instead of… Read more »

Zen Tsu

I hope it’s helpful to someone. One thing that’s under reported (among so many other underreported things) but worth mentioning is gender birth rates. There are more boys being born in the US than girls. This is for many years now. My elementary school daughters are outnumbered by boys at least 15%. This has never in history been the case as far as I’ve read. We grew up being taught throughout schooling the world had more females than men! Today, they don’t teach gender ratios in school or mention it at all. I’ll get to why this matters. As this… Read more »

Anon

One wonders if the gender skew is a genetic phenomenon, an abortive phenomenon, a phenomenon of the demographics of self-selected “economic migrants,” or a combination thereof. Either way, women are noncompetitive enough these days in terms of marriageability. I’m trying to help my friends of similar age find wives and it’s abysmal. My son’s Godfather and my best friend makes great money, is in great shape, looks decent and dresses well, and is generally masculine. Women continually turn up their noses at him citing how serious he is about his faith and how politically unhinged he is. Note: he didn’t… Read more »

Anon

There’s a lot of good advice here, but also some things that require potential clarification. Sales truly is one of the last “make your own fate” options available to people, but it takes a lot of self-confidence and intrapersonal skills. These are two things zoomers and millennials struggle greatly with. Toastmasters can help greatly with one and regular extended conversations and interactions with strangers can help with the other. Also, there are a lot of sleazy “direct sales” traps there to catch people. I found myself sitting in one such interview years ago because I was lazy and didn’t do… Read more »

NedButler

I’m not Gen Z, but Gen X. I was 24 before the turn of the century, and boy did things look bright. I was caught up in the dot com boom, and after my overzealous, overhyped, tech company went belly up at the end of 2000, I struck out on my own. I worked like a dog in the IT consultancy field with small businesses, and grew until about 2008 as well. As I got older and more stressed, I began to shed customers, now totally burnt out, bullied by strange COVID mandates, and almost in a catatonic bemusement have… Read more »

Steve

They are sociopaths. They comprehend. It is a fun game to them. “Normal” people wonder why leaders bother with all the trouble of leading. Sociopaths wonder why anyone would just “get along” when they could be the one in charge.

Carl

Regarding points 41 and 42: What these mean is the men won’t fight. The ones who created this tell themselves that won’t matter because there won’t be a need or the drones will do it or they will make a back channel arrangement. They are wrong. The time always comes where the men must fight and if they don’t, society dies. The anointed ones will wonder what happened.

Pepe the Frog

Do you doubt that it’s Chinese money flowing a billion dollars at a time into our politicians’ pockets that have bought us wide-open borders? Russia and China hate us and would exterminate us down to the last infant in an instant if they could, but it would be messy and risky to act directly. Russia has a smaller economy than Brazil and can barely keep the lights on, but the Clintons chose to make China wealthy and powerful beyond Mao’s maddest dreams. We are betrayed. Everything the Left wants, every proposal they bring forward, points i. The exact same direction,… Read more »

Mrb

There may be another factor….homeschooling. I saw an unconfirmed report that households with kids and at least one homeschooled child went from 4% to 11%. That is a huge increase that’s up over a million new households with homeschooled kids….and there would have to be an associated amount of adults leaving the workforce to manage that. There is an associated number of young parents who pulled out of daycare due to the virus and/or restrictions. More out of the workforce to manage. Numbers on this I have found difficult to confirm, but we may be also seeing a big shift… Read more »

Nordic

Sadly, a lot of this is me too. I lost my incredible job in 2008 and was never able to find full-time employment, worth my time ever again. I’ve done my thing ever since. I live on a beautiful lake in a home owned by my grandparents. While they are in pretty good shape, my grandfather is blind now, so I drive him to the gym or to his doctors’ appointments. I do the grocery shopping. I am happy to have them and they are happy to have me. I haven’t had health insurance since 2008. I haven’t needed it.… Read more »

JJ Anon

Your story is very interesting. May I ask how do you pay the most basic bills like food, clothing, necessities? I assume your grandparents foot all the house bills but what about the rest?