U.S. Chamber of Commerce Poll of Unemployed Americans Indicates Worker Shortage Crisis Unlikely to Ease

Businesses are still struggling to hire workers, according to findings released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday.  Results show that there is no end in sight for America’s workforce crisis, and that since May, it has only worsened.

In fact, less than half of Americans polled who lost their jobs during the pandemic and remain unemployed are actively looking for work. One in five reports that they are not looking for work at all.

“Labor shortages are plaguing businesses even as the demand for workers continues to skyrocket,” said PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr, in response to the results. “There seems to be no end in sight for workforce shortages which disrupts production and complicates supply-chain networks, further hampering economic growth. The Chamber’s ‘Bringing PA Back’ initiative seeks to find solutions for Pennsylvania’s evolving workforce.”

Key findings of the report show the following:

  • More than half (53%) of Americans who became unemployed during the pandemic say they are only somewhat active, or not very active at all, in looking for work.
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) don’t expect to be back working before the new year, and 8% say they never plan to return to work.
  • More than one in ten (13%) have left multiple jobs during the pandemic.
  • Among those currently unemployed who have held multiple jobs since April 2020, 57% held their most recent position for three months or less.
  • Almost half said they have been using pandemic incentives or stimulus payments, or tapping into savings and investments, to get by.
  • A third (32%) want and expect to switch industries.
  • A hiring bonus of $1,000 remains the top incentive most apt to bring unemployed workers back.

You can read more about the poll on the U.S. Chamber website.


Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.