It should not be a surprise, but the current high price of labor (mistakenly called a “shortage”) sheds light on what is not as visible when wages are not increasing as fast: in a free-market economy, employers need employees as much as employees need employers.

Many employers don’t want to mandate Covid vaccination for their employees because they fear losing them—or having to pay them even more. One example among others is given by a story in today’s Wall Street Journal (Jesse Newman, “The CEO Wants His Staff Vaccinated. He Also Worries They Will Quit,” August 19, 2021):

“As much as I’d like to say it’s 100% required, I don’t want to lose 10% of my workforce,” Mr. Taylor [CEO of Taylor Farms] said.  …

Taylor Farms is in no position to impose a mandate. On average, the company has raised its hourly wage by 18% in the past year and a half, with particularly steep raises in competitive labor markets including Florida, Tennessee and Texas. Wages in one location increased 42%, the company said.