Shoppers Are Partly to Blame for America’s Crippling Labor Shortage
Shoppers Are Partly to Blame for America’s Crippling Labor Shortage

There’s a labor shortage happening in the U.S., and it’s been blamed on lazy workers, or workers being dis-incentivized by expanded federal unemployment benefits.  But survey results show that another group should take some of the blame:  Consumers who have treated workers poorly (not just bad bosses or poor pay).

A poll of restaurant workers, earlier this year, found that 80-percent said they had experienced hostile behavior – from customers who didn’t want to follow COVID-19 safety protocols.

About 50-percent said they were considering leaving their jobs, because of it.  And, of that group, 40-percent said it was because of customer hostility and harassment.

A survey of restaurant workers, released in August, showed similar results—more than 66-percent said a key reason for the labor shortage was customer disrespect.

Stores such as Gap and H&M are trying to rebalance the power, between customers and workers, by launching campaigns to shield workers from hostile customers.  Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School says, “Workers will understandingly seek a best decision for themselves, something they haven’t had the luxury of in the past.”

Learn more, here:  (BusinessInsider)


  • Customers have been increasing hostile towards service workers, and in surveys, people who work in customer-facing roles have reported it’s a reason they’ve considered leaving their job, or have left their job
  • This all suggests hostile customers should be blamed in part for the labor shortage
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