Abortion Bans Aggravate Worker Shortages In Red States

Barry Gander
6 min readJun 4

American employers today face a challenge: it’s hard hiring new workers when their numbers have evaporated under the hot sun of pandemic retirements.

Their potential workforce, in other words, is already employed.

Payrolls in May increased by 339,000, better than the 190,000 Dow Jones estimate and making us wonder what the somber-faced economists are doing when they make their forecasts — but that is a whole ‘nuther rant. There was a parallel surge in the stock market, which the Dow Jones people also did not see coming. (You only have one job, people…)

This comes on top of previous increases of 90,000 more jobs than expected in March and April.

The worker shortage is especially serious in fields like construction, manufacturing, nursing and professional industries such as accounting. They are now in a long-term shortage.

Since 2019, an additional 3.5 million workers have retired from the workforce, and the size of that pull-out group is accelerating. The percentage of workers who are 55 or older is nearly 24%, up from only about 15% two decades ago.

The surge of retirements, accompanied by a slowdown in immigration and the striking growth of the economy, are the primary factors behind the labor shortages that plague employers.

Now, enter the devil of abortion bans.

Because of their anti-abortion laws, the Red states are going to go labor-dry much faster than the Blue states (equating banning with Red states).

An impending medical “brain drain” alarm for abortion-banning states rang when three-quarters of those in a survey of 2,000 current and future physicians said they would not even apply to work (or even train) in states with abortion restrictions.

States with abortion bans also saw a larger decline in medical school applications for residency in 2023, compared with states without bans.

An example of the impact this can have on a community came from Sandpoint, Idaho, when its only hospital announced it would discontinue its labor and delivery services, in part because of “Idaho’s legal and political climate” that includes state legislators continuing to “introduce and pass…

Barry Gander

A Canadian from Connecticut: 2 strikes against me! I'm a top writer, looking for the Meaning under the headlines. Follow me on Mastodon @Barry