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Opinion
Conor Sen

The U.S. Is Running Out of Truckers

The supply isn't rising, so freight prices will soar and cut down demand. That's bad for the whole economy.
Not all labor shortages are created equal.

Not all labor shortages are created equal.

Photographer: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Economists debate how close the U.S. is to full employment, but less often discussed is where the most crucial constraints are in the labor market.

If we have a shortage of line cooks, the economy can adapt without even adding any new line cooks: The wages for existing line cooks would rise, and dining out would become more expensive, inducing some consumers to eat at home instead. This reduces the business at restaurants and eases the shortage of line cooks.