Employee shortages and higher costs persist in the US

The labor shortage may be the most intricate of the cost risks facing US companies in the past quarter, and as the earnings season peaks, there are signs the problem will persist, analysts say. strategists.

Finding and paying workers is a challenge that investors are paying close attention to as third-quarter results roll in, with supply bottlenecks and high prices for energy and other commodities, among other key risks to the companies.

The warnings have already come from companies in various industries, including healthcare, with hospital operator HCA Healthcare Inc saying the higher labor costs seen in the third quarter could last longer due to a worker shortage.

Domino’s Pizza cited a driver shortage as it recently reported an unusual drop in sales in the United States, while FedEx Corp also cited higher labor costs in September when it cut its forecast for the full year.

“We will see it emerge in the next two quarters as we try to continue the reopening,” said Mace McCain, chief investment officer at Frost Investment Advisors. “The reopening was delayed due to the Delta variant, so we have not yet seen the full impact of the labor shortage.”

Goldman Sachs strategists wrote in a note this week that there have been some “tentative signs of improvement in supply chain data and commodity prices,” although a very tight labor market situation could be challenging. ” for many companies for years. “

“Our economists expect Covid-related labor market supply pressure to ease in the coming months, but they forecast an unemployment rate in the United States of 3.5% by the end of 2022, which means that companies will continue to face many of the challenges of the labor market “, they affirmed.


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