Where did all the workers go?

Labour shortages are spreading in many countries. Are they a result of reduced migration? Early retirement? And will they last?

A job fair held on Fifth Avenue in New York, in September.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (FINANCIAL TIMES) - Mike, a gregarious former rugby player who now burns excess energy by putting in miles on a road bike, is not ready to retire. Yet his job in fintech - which he began in April last year, a week into the United Kingdom's first Covid-19 lockdown - has proved radically different from the one he signed up for.

Working at senior level in business development, he used to enjoy spending days on the road meeting clients. Long stints of wall-to-wall Zoom calls left him stultified yet still buzzing and unable to sleep in the small hours.

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